As a lifelong bookworm, it’s only natural that one of my favorite parts of our routine is our nightly story time before you go to bed. You sit in my lap in the glider, dad sits right beside us on the exercise ball, and he holds the books while he and I take turns reading to you.
We usually read four books, and there’s plenty to chose from. Here are some of your (and our) favorites:
Sheep in a Shop and Sheep in a Jeep. These books are so clever and so fun, and they’re filled with little details that make them appealing for us, too (for instance, when the sheep knock over a stack of blocks in the shop, the blocks spell out words that look suspiciously like “tumble” and “oops.”). You seem to like the illustrations, and react with appropriate good cheer when the sheep pull their jeep out of the mud or swap their wool to pay for their purchases in the shop. (“Communist sheep,” your dad usually says. We’ll probably have to stop that soon.)
Pat the Bunny. There was a bit of a learning curve with this book, but you’ve got it all figured out now (except smelling the flowers; that one is not even on your radar). You eagerly pat the bunny, play peek-a-boo with the kids, and confidently shove your thumb right through mummy’s ring. Nice work.
Little Gorilla. I’m not quite sure why you love this one so much, but the biggest smile spreads over your face when we read it. You LOVE little gorilla. It’s a cute story about a little gorilla who is loved by all the other animals in the forest, even when he grows up and is no longer so little. Perhaps that sentiment resonates with you, my 100th-percentile girl?
Blue Hat, Green Hat. You lose your mind over this book. The hapless turkey who just can’t dress himself correctly gets you EVERY TIME. You grin and giggle whenever we say “OOPS!” in response to whatever the turkey is doing.
We always end with The Going to Bed Book. I think we’ve read this book outloud to you about 200 times. That’s not an exaggeration. I know that reading books in and of itself is a complete ritual, but I like the idea of always ending with the same book, so you are aware that story time is ending and now it’s time for bed. Judging by how fast you attempt to flip the pages when you’re really tired, it’s almost as if you get it. ENOUGH, GUYS. JUST PUT ME TO BED.
All of these board books do get a bit repetitive, and I will be ready to move on to more exciting and less sturdy reading material when you are. But for now, the sheer delight on your face every time that silly turkey puts his shoe on his head is so worth it.