On becoming baby wiser

so everyone who is everyone knows you're supposed to read to your babies. otherwise they will grow up really dumb. well, I guess we were really busy and all, because we totally forgot. we play with bella, we stick her on her stomach so she can flail around and get frustrated, and we put her in a baby einstein saucer, even, in an effort to make her smarter. (side note: at what age is she supposed to get the funny implication that the boingy mr. sun is next to the rattle replica of the globe? because she's already almost 5 months old and STILL doesn't get it.) we even let her watch american idol on tv so she can see how horrible some of the singers are and learn not to go to auditions unless she really is that good. but we've forgotten to read to her.

when reminded, sean and I both looked at each other like, oh shit. our friend nicole reads to noah all the time, because she is smart (her mother must have read to her) and a good mother. she even buys books for him. and not just to put on the shelf to make it look like she reads to him, she really actually does it.

to be fair, sean does read decibel magazine to bella, but that's only once a month. she seems to enjoy the tales about Lamb of God (formerly Burn the Priest) and Cephalic Carnage. sean said she'll appreciate this month's interview with Failure conducted by Cave In. (okay, even I like those bands, but still.) but that's still only once-the-month, and that is Not Enough.

so when we were no longer able to pretend the problem doesn't exist, I sort of broke down. "we're retarding our baby." sean gently reminded me that she's still young, we can still start reading to her, but I was not so sure. she's almost 5 months, as I said. considering that some women strap walkmans (walkmen?) to their baby pouches that play mozart and books on tape, we are clearly very very far behind.

I read her a book soon after, and so did sean. we read the book nicole gave us - on the day you were born - and bella was not interested. she stared off into space, she blew raspberries, she pounded at the pages, she even tried to eat the book. I varied my tempo, I acted like each word was more wonderous than the next, I even let my eyes get really wide while reading. bella was like "whatEVER." so it's evident to me that we've waited too long and now bella is going to grow up really dumb.

we've failed.

sean's still trying though. today he's reading a book my mom gave us called "the meaning of life." (meanwhile, the book's prologue says that it doesn't really give you the meaning of life. I wonder if my mom noticed that before purchasing it. my guess is no.) I am sure that any wisdom in this book will be lost on bella because we didn't start reading to her earlier.

but on the bright side, I can say anything I want about her childhood in this blog because even in the off chance that it survives until she's older, she'll never be able to read it because we started reading to her too late. LABOR WAS A TOTAL FUCKING BITCH AND IT HURT LIKE HELL AND I NEVER WANT TO GO THROUGH IT AGAIN. there.

if she could read this, though, I'd want her to read that I am sorry that we've retarded her. baby bubblegum, little boba fett, I am sorry!

1 validations:

NME said...

Maybe she just hated that sentimental new agey book I got her. It can't compete with Decibel!
Here are a few tricks from my experiences as a shortlived teacher and with Master Noah:
Start with shorter super lyrical rhyming books. And make sure you like them.
Pick the right time - she can't be too wound up or too sleepy.
Follow her lead - if she gets antsy you can just lay her down and finish the book. At this age it's hearing you read that is the most important - pictures be damned.
And make it part of a routine - around the same time, in the same place, etc. That way once it happens a couple of times she will be more likely to calm down and enjoy it.
And in no time she'll be working on her thesis.