So, my daughter is 4 1/2 and my son is 1. One thing I have not yet attempted as a parent is reading my own book while the children are awake and present. As it stands now, my reading only happens after 8 pm – and given that the baby gets up at 5 am like clockwork these days, that’s some severely limited book time.
It’s funny – my daughter, at least, will entertain herself for a good 15 or 20 minutes if I want to read the newspaper; but as soon as I have a book in my hands, she wants to hear it. (Sorry, dear, but I don’t think you’d find parenting books or Hans Urs von Balthasar terribly riveting!) And of course the baby just wants to be as present as he can, holding whatever it is that I am occupied with.
When I think back to my own childhood, it’s hard for me to envision my mother either a) outside of her sewing room, or b) without a book in her hands. Unless she was watching a baseball game, in which case she was either sewing, ironing, or cooking. I neither sew nor read while my children are conscious; ironing and cooking are dicey propositions at best. Perhaps that’s a function of their ages, and my memories are all of the post-5-year-old variety.
So, I suppose I’m not really offering food for thought in this post so much as requesting it. Those of you who do read while your children are around (which I think is so valuable!): how on earth do you do it? What are your magic tricks? I’m not looking to read War and Peace here, but I’d love for my kids to see me with book in hand – and to understand that reading-alone time is special. Any insight is welcome!