Reading aloud right before bed is one of my favorite things to do- when they’re plugged in. Some nights, they’re too tired and squirmy. Some books are too boring. Generally, we try a few books and then find one that we read for several weeks/months, finish and take a break. If they can focus in on a book and follow it, they tend to sleep well. But sometimes, it’s such a struggle that we all give up. I hate to read a wonderful story along with the litany of “Momism’s”- “Sit down… No, you can’t get a glass of water right now… Leave the cat ALONE…I need you to stop making faces at your sister…”
Last night was verging close to that, but we kept plugging away. We’ve just started “The Secret Garden” and the night before Mary had found a key- exciting stuff! But last night, Elizabeth was standing on her head in the bed- a sure sign of tiredness- and whining every third line, “Can we stop?”.
“One more page”, I said, and I kept reading to the end of the chapter… “And then she was INSIDE the secret garden.” “Good night,” I announced.
“Oh NO! I don’t think so!” both children yelled. Elizabeth flipped back over on her back, grabbed me and said “You’ve GOT to keep going!”.
I LOVE it when their engagement allows them to regulate their behavior. When they are sooo “into” a story that they are “there”. When they just CAN’T let the story end at a dramatic spot. So we read another page of description, until Elizabeth, who had been lying quietly, rapt, said with a sigh “Oh that’s lovely. Can we go to bed now?”. And off they went- quietly, no drama, no fuss. Just lost in a story.
And I have to admit, I too, dreamt of robins and roses.