I introduced C to books from a very early age. I was quite ignorant as to which books to choose and what to look out for. Then, thanks to a list of books I found whilst googling baby board-books, I started hoarding baby books. I am quite the book-worm myself and love the experience of reading a great book, getting totally immersed into the story and allowing myself to think about the book for days after. Books are something without which I can not live, and even though my reading time has been drastically reduced by the needs of a very small yet energetic girl, I always carry a book with me wherever I go, just in case I have a spare ten minutes I can dedicate to reading.
At first C would look at her books with a certain air of indifference, for they meant nothing to her. When her teething phase kicked in she used them as teethers, sucking on them and eventually eating them at the end. Then came my proudest moment, when she actually discovered books. She learnt how to look at the pictures, turn the pages by herself and wait for me to say the words written. She has now started saying the words, her clearest word being ‘baby’ – she sees ‘baby’ in her books, on her wipes packet and in her own photos on the iPad. Books provide a few quiet minutes when she sits by herself and ‘read’. And since she talks to no end and is always ‘saying’ something, she can now do so by herself with her books.
Nowadays she loves books probably more than ever, and gets rather excited when she sees one. But thanks to the months of gnawing at them, her poor books have finally given out and passed on. Save for the couple I have in Malta and some that I’ve hidden on her shelf, her book stack is half of what it was. What were once nearly-new books are now divided into three parts. Since they’re board-books we can get away with going out with a page or two, but it still saddens me to see the books ruined in that way. Also, it is a bit embarrassing having strangers come up to you in the street, telling you ‘Your baby dropped her book’ and handing you one single page of what was once a whole book.
Since I loved the books she managed to destroy and moreover so did she, I’ve bought them again. Her absolute favourite is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She loves me saying the names of the foods written down and more than that, putting her fingers in the holes. And since we left the largest chunk of the book in Malta last weekend, we had to buy it again. We’ve added some Dr. Seuss as well as Goodnight Moon, which she lost in the centre this week.
The first package just arrived now. It’s still brand-new and will remain so this time round. She WILL take better care of these books, of that I’m sure!