I am very proud that Baby Mo and I just finished reading The Hobbit together! Well, I read. He listened.
We started reading this book every night when he was about 3 months old. We read between 5 and 10 pages every night until we finished reading all 200+ pages, outloud together! Yay for our accomplishment!
When I was pregnant, I read book after book that admonished reading to your child from birth. One of my favorite baby prep books, Baby 411, suggested a nighttime routine in this order: bath, book, boob (or bottle), bed.
I follow this pretty consistently. There have been a few setbacks, such as travel and holidays, but otherwise we have been fairly disciplined and I loved every page.
I take my freshly-bathed baby boy and sit him on my lap with a binky or teething ring, smelling his clean skin and hair as I read. He has started to squirm and reach for the pages lately but I just hold the book a little further out of reach.
This may make me a bad nerd but I must admit, I had never read Tolkien. I always meant to but I just never got around to it until now. The writing was clever and imaginative and it was fun to play out the characters. You don't get to be silly and fantastical like that much in life as an adult.
Now that The Hobbit is complete, Clayton insisted on starting The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, another classic I seem to have missed. He is reading this one while I sit with the both of them. No gadgets. No computer. We sit and listen to the story.
After Hitchhiker's, we will move on to the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and then mommy's favorite series of all time: Harry Potter!
Since Baby Mo's arrival, story time has become a Morris household constant that I am grateful for. It is the time of day when I can forget everything that might be bothering me and be present in an adventure with my family.
Further, it is important to me that my children know the value of reading, and not just gross humor as this recent Wall Street Journal article suggests that boys are so prone to. I am an avid reader and so is Clayton. I want our son to remember these stories someday, since we will likely have to read The Hobbit again when he has more comprehension abilities. I want him to think back fondly when these classic tales are mentioned and say with pride: "My parents read that to me!"