This year I failed miserably in my plan to talk about my girls every season or so. Truth is there hasn’t been that much to tell really, as I felt it would be boring for everyone if I just said they’re growing like weeds and still loving story time every three months or so. But as it’s been a year, now I can brag a bit and show them off. And I want to talk a bit about an unexpected effect being a mum to two girls has had on my reading.
For Emma this year has been mostly building on what she was already doing reading-wise. She’s been starting to read a bit, in as much as she’ll recognise some words she knows well, though she isn’t able to work out new ones on her own yet. But playing her Lola games on the iPad has really helped her get those letters and numbers down pat and she’s becoming more sophisticated in her vocabulary and the numbers she’ll recognise. She’ll also pretend to write on my laptop or on the iPad, in imitation of me I guess, because that’s what she sees me doing a lot either reading or writing up reviews and other blog posts. She can already spell out Emma, mama, papa, and Cat, though putting spaces between that is still a foreign concept. Of course we’re still reading to her every night before bed. We’ve been taking her to the library since last March and we go about once a month. Usually we get about seven picture books or books written especially to read to her age group. Mostly Emma picks them out and I choose one or two as well. It’s always surprising which books will become her favourite and which she discards after one reading.
Cat has come along leaps and bounds, which is unsurprising obviously as she’s gone from a baby to quite an active toddler. She’s still not talking that much; not because she can’t, but because she doesn’t want to. She can make her desires pretty clear when she needs to. She’s starting to ask me to read to her from my own books more often, putting her fingers on the page quite insistently saying ‘Lezen’ (Read) until I ask her whether she wants me to read to her and she’ll start nodding her head like mad. She’s also started to sit still for bedtime stories, and trying to point out specific letters. Meanwhile the little miss is as agile as a mountain goat and tries to climb everything she can get onto. And don’t think about telling her no, because she’ll throw a classic screaming on the floor temper tantrum, which earns her a fast trip to time-out usually!
This last year being a mum to two girls has affected my reading in a way I hadn’t expected at all. I’ve found myself becoming more and more aware of feminist and diversity issues. Thanks to people like Foz Meadows, Emma Newman, Lizzie Barrett, N.K. Jemisin, Renay, Alisa, Tansy, and Alex from Galactic Suburbia, and Ana and Thea of the Book Smugglers, and others that I’m probably forgetting at the moment, I’ve learned so much more about these issues and how they impact girls. And I sure as anything don’t want my girls to have to deal with this crap growing up. I’ve been trying to be more alert to it and trying to discuss it in my reviews, but I know I still miss it way too often. But I’ll keep working at getting more aware and more critical so I can teach my girls differently.
So that was 2013 in review for the Bookish Babies. Emma and Cat remain absolutely adorable together. They’re devoted sisters – when they are not fighting over which of them gets to play with whatever toy is the bone of contention at the time – and they are both angels and little terrors who I couldn’t imagine life without. I’ve decided to only do these yearly posts for the time being, so the Bookish Babies will see you next year!