Yes, it’s Friday, and there are five items I want to talk about. But let’s not assume that this is a weekly thing you can expect, okay? I make no commitments. Really, this blog is to document every second of my first child’s life, in exhaustive detail, not to draw readers. But, if you are interested in what my life is like with 14.5 month old (63 weeks and one day to be exact [no, I’m not counting, a “mom” newsletter that I never remembered subscribing to, told me]) keep reading!
Tonight’s first ever Friday five is about night-time books.
We have story time every night as part of our bedtime routine. It’s awesome, and I’m proud of it. It’s the one time we come together as an entire family (including the dog) every day to break free of distractions and the outside world and just be together, on the same couch, reading together. We take turns reading, and we use silly voices. Sometimes Ellis nurses while she listens, and other times, she runs around crazy trying to ward off bedtime while we read aloud. Ellis has books that she likes and books she doesn’t care for. After several months of research, we’ve found a few books that are staples in our reading lineup.
#1. The Going to Bed Book
Who doesn’t love Sandra Boynton books for their babies? They are always silly fun, and so catchy that you can easily memorize every page. This comes in handy when Ellis wants to hold the book and turn the pages herself. Ellis likes this one because we rock like a boat at the end of it. AND BONUS Night-Night, Little Pookie Another Sandra Boynton. This is “Mommy’s book, ” meaning I am the only one allowed to read it to her. For whatever reason, I took on a silly half-British/half-Minnesotan accent for the Mommy’s voice. “Oh, Poooookie! It’s time for bed now!” It just goes. Ellis laughs. Sometimes she lets me kiss her, but most of the time she squirms out of my arms.
#2. Time for Bed by Mem Fox
Yeah, this one is sweet. The pictures are adorable, and it’s a perfect way to soothe a rambunctious one to sleep. Not really. But we try! I read reviews online that criticized how unrealistic this story is. Things like, “The whole wide world is NOT going to sleep. People in China are just waking up!” or “Baby bees are actually larvae, not smaller bees!” So sometimes Trav and I have a little fun and point out all the unrealistic things mentioned in the book – which is every page, because after all, this is a children’s bedtime book, not an informational text about animals and the way the world works. Lighten up, parents.
#3. Goodnight, I Love You, Ten Tiny Toes, and I Love You Through and Through
Really, all the Caroline Jayne Church books featuring those cute little babies. They are adorable, the illustrations and rhyming text appeal to Ellis, and the books are easily interactive.
#4. Under the Same Moon by Suzanne Berry.
This is one of those books that you record your voice. My mom got it for Ellis when she was born because she lives halfway across the country. The story is so sweet, the pictures are beautiful and captivating, and Ellis loves hearing someone else read besides us. She’s starting to chime in and do the “Whoo, whoo, whoo,” which is one of our favorite parts. Perfect for anyone who has loved ones far away.
#5. Goodnight Moon
This is our closer. Every. night. We have it memorized. We could probably recite it backwards if you asked us. Please don’t ask us. Ellis has never really shown any interest in this book, but we’ve heard time and again how so many families love this book and their children love it and yadda yadda. So we’ve tried to force it to be a much-loved piece of her childhood. In reality, I think every one of us (including the dog) despise it. Maybe eventually as she got older she would have liked this book, but it ultimately is the signal that bedtime is next and resistance is futile, so she does everything in her power not to listen to this book. She even tries pulling out other books for us to read instead, or she’ll start attacking the dog, or even jabbering because she knows we can’t resist responding excitedly to every little utterance she makes. Someday it’ll be fun to ask her to point out the red balloon and the telephone (an antique that she would never recognize in real life), but right now she could care less about the kittens and the mittens, the creepy old lady, and the bowl full of mush.
UPDATE: Since reflecting on our Goodnight Moon habit, I mentioned to Travase that maybe we retire Goodnight Moon for a while. His response: “Oh, thank God!” So, we’ve not read it for about a week now, and baby girl has been just fine with that. But seriously, the other books I mentioned we really do love.