Friday, September 19, 2008

Book Woes

I am an avid reader, actually I once thought I had a reading addiction after reading a sign, "Are you a compulsive reader? There is help." I was standing in the bank and I felt a moment of panic, "Oh my God!" when I realized that I must be a "compulsive reader" since I was reading the sign.

Yes, I read everything but it wasn't something I needed to do so thankfully I wasn't that bad and didn't need to seek help, although I probably should have seeked help for a few other reasons. ;o)

My oldest son, like me, loves to read. He is only 7 but he goes through books faster than I can. At first I thought he wasn't really reading when he would say, "I've read to page 64 of Journey to the Center of the Earth (the classic, not the movie version)," in the same amount of time it took me to read half that amount. It's not a light read and although there were a few words he didn't understand, mostly place names, he was retaining enough to get the just of the story.

Still, I decided that he should read to me so I was sure he was actually reading something. Much to my surprise, he was reading fluently and was even able to pronunciate the harder words, except those words that no one knows how to pronounce.

Yeah for my little boy! Unfortunately, he is often found with his nose stuck in a book. If we are driving anywhere, his nose is in the book, even a 5 minute drive to the grocery store and I find that I have to compete with a book just to talk to him.

This isn't a bad thing, he loves learning about new things but last night I wondered if maybe we were going a little too far with reading and learning.

I was in my office trying to work after the kids had gone to bed. My youngest was crashed, he'd had a meltdown earlier in the evening from being overtired and I was a little stressed by it all. My oldest was enjoying his reading time before lights out. He was curled up with a huge encyclopedia that answered questions about animals around the world from both the past and the present.

He seemed happy reading about lizards when I left until I heard a yell, "MOM!"

I went into his bedroom, hearing a loud thump as he dropped the book onto the floor, to find him laying with his face buried into his pillow and loud sobs coming from him.

My first reaction was, did he get hurt, but when I asked what was wrong, he said something I wasn't expecting, "There wasn't enough information in that book."

I had to fight to keep from laughing in relief and saying, "Is that all?"

Instead, after a few questions, I found that he was upset that the information on dinosaurs was limited, only a few pages in fact. I said, "Oh, well all that means is that you need to cross reference."


"Well, you find out the information in this book and if it doesn't cover everything or if your not sure if it is right, you find another book to see if the fact is right and to learn more."

He looked up at me in hope, "Really, you can do that."

The giggle was really hard to suppress as I sat down on his bed, "Sure, most books don't have all the facts so you need to go hunting for more information and piece them all together."

"But that book hardly had any information," he pouted.

"But that book was just a general book. It wasn't a specific book about dinosaurs so if you want more information, you need to bring home books that are only about dinosaurs."

He sighed in relief, promised to bring home some dinosaur books today from school and went to sleep.

I just shook my head and wondered if I was making matters worse or better. Sometimes I am just amazed how kids are. I remember when he was only 3, he was sitting in bed reading a book (we started the habit young) and suddenly he started crying in pain. I was stuck because I was in the middle of breastfeeding but my husband raced up to his room only to find out that my son had gotten his nose caught when he had closed a book. In the middle of his tear filled screams he had yelled, "I got my nose stuck in a book."

And since that day, we haven't been able to get it unstuck.


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