Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘story time

The other day Borys came downstairs after reading Niko his bedtime story, and I needed to do a double take when I saw him. Noticing that he looked close to tears, I had to find out what was going on…

Me: Yadda yadda yadda…blah blah blah.

Then looking into my hubbie’s eyes I could tell all wasn’t right.

What’s going on? Are you OK?!

Borys: It’s that story. I thought it was a potty book. I’d never read it before. I thought it was a potty book…

Granted there is a picture of a little boy playing with toilet paper on the cover.

Me: What book?!

B: That one about little boy who grows up. It was just so sad. I thought it was a potty-training book. I thought it was a potty training book…

Sniff sniff.


Geesh. OK. Crisis averted. At least it wasn’t more serious than a heartrendingly sad bedtime story.

Never read the book? Check out, Love you Forever by Robert Munsch.

When I was a kid I used to love that Richard Scarry story called Good Night, Little Bear. It’s about a family trying to put their baby (cub) to bed and they pretend they can’t find him. Meanwhile, the baby is knowingly sitting on his dad’s shoulders while the search goes on.

Every time that story was read to me, I remember admirably thinking what a tricky little bear cub he was, and enjoyed how much fun he was having secretly on his dad’s shoulders. I mean geesh, what a great way to get out of going to bed on time.

Well, it appears that our little man loves being up on Daddy’s shoulders too.

Niko: This is the greatest thing ever! Whee…whee…

It’s inevitable that babies will develop fears of certain things. As much as we want them to be happy and carefree, there will be something out there that eventually frightens them. Whether it’s the dark, a blue stuffed giraffe (which is what my friend’s son is scared of these days – he just can’t do enough to get away from it), a book, a movie etc. So yes, the fear will come, it’s a natural progression, I just think that we as parents don’t want to be the ones to induce it, right? But what if we induce it by accident…

The other day I read the story Where the Wild Things Are to baby N. Personally, I have always thought the book was a bit scary, but it is an award winner and Niko happened to have been given a copy (thanks Tamar), so read it we did. Now, to my baby’s chagrin, (and in part due to the fact that I think it’s a scary story to begin with) I used a deeper and scarier voice when I was reading – without even a thought as to how this could affect my little listener.

Little N was just sitting on my lap, innocently looking at the pictures and I was reading along full force, in a voice he hadn’t heard before. I know that reading to him is supposed to be about him and for him, but since he was facing the book, I couldn’t really see his face, until I was forced to look when I heard two little high pitched squeaks (a noise I had never heard before) coming from him. When I heard the squeaks I stopped and turned him toward me, only to see a huge pouty lip and two wide and tear filled little baby eyes looking up at me, as if to say, “Stop Mommy! I’m scared!”.

I quickly reevaluated the voice I was using, closed the book and held him close to reassure him that everything was OK. A few minutes later I went back to the story, this time with a softer baby voice, but it really didn’t matter: the damage had been done and he started to pout and his eyes got wide and filled with tears again! “OY! What have I done”?, I thought.

A day passed and I wanted to test out the book one more time. A glutton for punishment? Not really. I sort of just wanted to show him there was nothing to be afraid of. Anyway, with a new day and a new voice, he was fine with book. As long as I remembered to use a nice sing-songy voice when I was reading the part about how the wild things “roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws”.

One thing’s for sure, I definitely want my arms and voice to be a comforting source for Niko, a place where he knows the wild things aren’t! Lesson learned.

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