I wanted to read Isabelle a few books before taking her upstairs tonight. After all, I had barely seen her today since I traveled a little over an hour away to consult with a group of teachers. Therefore, by the time I got home, I had to finish preparing dinner. Then I got Isabelle ready for bed. Surely there would be time to snuggle-up and read some books together.
But Isabelle had other ideas. She grabbed her Fisher-Price Corn Popper, which my mom bought her a couple of days ago, and decided to push it around the living room instead of climbing next to me on the couch. POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! (Do you get the sense that it was louder than I would’ve liked?)
“Come next Mama. Let’s read.”
“No,” she replied.
“C’mon. Don’t you want me to read you a story? I asked.
“No,” she shook her head, curls bouncing everywhere as she continued to push the corn popper across the rug.
“I have your favorite book,” I said showing her Faces of the Moon by Bob Crelin and illustrated by Leslie Evans. (Truth be told, I don’t know that it’s her favorite, but she LOVES the moon. Hence, when I found it in our basement a couple of weeks ago, I brought it upstairs for her.)
“No,” she said.
“I’ve been out all day. I haven’t read you one book. I just want to read to you.”
“Please,” I begged.
She considered. Then, she climbed up on to the couch. But moments after she got there and I began reading she tried to shut the book on me.
“C’mon, Isabelle. I’m trying to read to you,” I pleaded.
“No!” (Well, she knows the meaning of no, now, doesn’t she?)
She shook her head and left the couch, but only after she tried to shut the book one more time.
I paused and watched her pick up other toys in her play room and play with them — loudly.
“Well, I’m going to read to you,” I said stubbornly.
I picked up Faces of the Moon and opened to the first page… again. She continued playing as I let my mouth dance over the poetic verse that describes the moon so clearly. She continued to play and I continued to read. After about eight pages she stopped playing and walked over the the couch. A couple of pages later she climbed up on the couch next to me. She didn’t look at the pictures, but she did sit down beside me. And then, she grabbed another book — one of her board books — and started turning the pages of that book silently.
She may not have appreciated Faces of the Moon in the way I wanted her to this evening, but she heard language read aloud. And the fact that she came back to sit next to me was a small success, right?