Bedtime Stories

When Ane was about 14 or 15 months old, we started reading Goodnight Moon to her at bedtime.  It was the first book that we ever read seriously to her, and we must have read it for a month solid before trying another book.  It became one of her favorites.

Now, as an almost-seven-year-old, Ane still gets a bedtime story almost every night.  The Webmaster finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to her last week.  So she and I started The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  We have four chapters left in the book as of last night.  She’s never seen the 1971 or the 2005 film of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and she’s only seen part of the recent adaptation of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

I’m trying to teach her that the book – with exceedingly rare exceptions – are always better than the movie.  And we have developed and grown a good listener.  When I went to her parent-teacher conference, Ms. V. told me that Ane has one of the best reading comprehension skills in the class.  “I keep telling the class that it doesn’t matter if you can read every word if you don’t understand what you’re reading,” she said.  “Ane has a hard time with some words, but she understands everything that she reads.”

When I repeated this to the Webmaster, he raised his fists in victory.  “We managed to do something right!” he crowed.

We began reading to Tad at about the same age, 14 or 15 months.  For his first bedtime book, I chose The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton.  He loved it – he would often keep going back to it, even after hearing another story.

Despite his autism, Tad is also a trained listener – he can sit and listen to a story at bedtime without any difficulty.  It’s as much a part of his routine as breathing.  He complains when he doesn’t get a story.  Other than his myriads of shark books, his favorites include A Boy and His Bunny, which he can recite nearly verbatim (and which we had to buy off eBay when he fell in love with it from the library, but thankfully it will be coming back into print next year), the entire Elephant and Piggie series, and most anything written by Dr. Seuss.  He has lots of favorites, and he LOVES to “read.”  Friend is of the opinion that it will not be as hard to teach him to read as one might think, because he really does have a fantastic visual memory and loves being around books.  I’m inclined to agree.

But even if it isn’t as easy as we hope, I don’t think he will ever stop loving books.  When he begs me for more time to “read” before bed – we have a deal that he can keep his lights on for 5 more minutes so that he can “read” – it warms my heart.  He is so my kid.

And for the last few nights, I have begun to read a bedtime story to Rerun.  He’s coming up on 9 months old.  I’ve decided to start this bedtime routine sooner with him, because goodness knows we are all about routine in this house.  Besides, I don’t want to leave him out.  I already have Ane reading to him – it’s good practice for her and benefits him.

His first bedtime book is another Sandra Boynton one – Night Night, Little Pookie.  When I brought it out to read to him last night, his face broke out into a huge grin.  He sat on my lap and listened to the short little book, only occasionally trying to stick it in his mouth.

I can’t wait to see what stories he will fall in love with.

One Response to “Bedtime Stories”

  1. Ressis
    November 30th, 2010 08:31

    Little Cousin loves anything Disney Princesses, and Baby Cousin loves “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” she has it memorized.