Sometimes we marvel at the things this little boy does. It is the reason neither of us can refer to him as a baby anymore, because he has become his own little entity–he is becoming a little boy. He has become more demonstrative as he becomes a toddler; he emotes more through his facial expressions. He looks up at me for a few moments like I am the center of his universe, then he sees his stuffed teddy bear or his favorite book and the center shifts for a while. I think he loves books more than any of his toys. It is amazing to see this kind of thing in such a young child.
I had always loved being read to as a kid and those moments have become some of my most vivid childhood memories. I can remember the feeling of the room, the sense of comfort, the happiness that was there back then. My partner tells of his own book worm-ish-ness as a child. So it was natural for both of us to read to our son even before it seemed like he would really get the idea. From the moment we popped open the first book, “What Does Pinky Hear?” he was hooked. His eyes became fixed on every page, he looked at every picture. Sometimes he would put his hand up to touch the page. Now, no matter what his state, no matter how cranky or unhappy, when he sees you pull out a book it changes everything. The fussing might continue but now it is directed at you reading the book. With one last sniffle he will sit calmly in my lap as I pop open the book to the first page and begin to read. He has his favorites but it seems that any book with big pictures is enough to capture him.
We noted that when he first came to us he would put books in his mouth like everything else. Once he realized what books were about, he stopped putting them in his mouth and instead began to pull them open and turn the pages when he was in his crib. The other day I put him on the bed with a big, beautiful pop up book that a friend bought us. He was laying down on his belly with his arms stretched out across the pages of the book scanning each picture and turning the stiff cardboard-like pages. He pulled on the flaps of each picture and made things pop-up. Now he looks for books around the house. I was holding him in the kitchen the other day and he started squirming and squealing because across the room, maybe 15 feet away, he could see the book “How Big is Baby Elmo,” his absolute favorite. I can’t wait until he is old enough for us to read some of the really good children’s stories like Curious George, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. We’ve already bought Charlotte’s Web in anticipation of that day. We are lucky to not only have our son in our lives, but also an opportunity to relive some of the best moments of our childhood.