Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Loved Books

February is “I love to read month”.  Did you know that?  I remember when I was in elementary school if we read enough books, as a prize, you were given a button that said something to the effect of “I love to READ!”  For some that was enough of an incentive.  For the other type of kids, if you read enough books they also gave away coupons for free pizzas at Pizza Hut.  That rounded out the rest of the kids and everyone spent February loving to read.  Right? 

Being that we are at the beginning of the great Book Month, I decided to pull out a bunch of our favorite board books. 


I am struck with how much I love how each book is worn and even torn.  They are worn out from countless attempts at turning pages.  It shows how baby fingers were learning to turn and baby teeth were eager to chew.

I am positive that if Brent started to read one of these to the girls and I was in the same room, I could read the book along with him just by memorization.  Caregivers of book loving toddlers, I do not stand alone on this trick.  All of us have read one title or another, hundreds of times over the course of our children’s toddlin’ age, and can surely recite the book in its entirety.

I know who ate the pages.  I know who tore the flap.  I know how broke the binding.  And with these baby board books, I don’t mind one bit.  Are they in good enough condition to hand down?  Nope.  But that is ok, because I won’t ever let them go.  They hold some of the best memories of having two little girls who love books.


Both Mallory and Mikayla were/are mesmerized by Baby Boo.  I heard Mikayla’s first BOO while reading this book.  I cannot even count how many times this face has been kissed.  They could read the books with sign language and head movements before they could speak.  Mikayla will nod along “Do you want to play?”  Mallory would sign “play” as we turned the page.


Hand Hand Finger Thumb has been one of Mikayla’s favorites.  She taps her legs to the beat of the rhyme.  She asks for it over and over again. 


The photo book of family pictures is a must.  Holding different pictures for each of my daughters they both loved it equally as much.  Mallory would point out extended family as if she’d seen them every day.  Mikayla will shout BAAAPAAA (grandpa) BAAAMAAA (grandma) at the top of her bitty lungs when she sees their picture. 

Each book holds a special place in my heart.  I wanted to document my memories of special books for my girls before I forgot.  Once again, it’s a moment that is too soon here and gone.  Some days I find myself holding back a grimace when I am handed “Smile” for the 35th time.  Then I remember that Mallory used to do the same thing and now she is on the brink of reading all by herself…so close to being able to do it without my help.  Too quickly, I will miss the days of That’s Not My Puppy, Big Smile Baby and Language Nursery.

When the time comes to pack away the board books, I will save a few as mementos.  And when I pull them out and look at the chewed and tattered pages I will be reminded of the moments that consume me today.  Now, if you will excuse me I think a certain red head wants to hear all about how Elmo Loves You, as if she doesn’t already know.  She is certain to show me a surprised look, and as she does each time she is asked, will undoubtedly give Elmo a big kiss before we say goodbye.

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