As you’ve probably gathered, Reindeer and I spend a lot of time reading. This last couple of days I’ve noticed a few changes in the way he interacts during these times.
The first is pointing – he will now point at different pictures on the page and prompt me to say the word again. Yesterday I said ‘wheel’ about 40 times (it was a picture of a tractor and trailer and he loves wheels). Colours and shapes are his favourites for this and so I’ve started adding in the same colour in our environment, e.g., the book says ‘George’s balloon is blue’, and I’ll add ‘Reindeer’s jumper is blue’, pointing to said jumper.
The ‘That’s not my…’ books have been huge favourites for ages. When reading, if the texture patch is a body part, e.g., nose, I’ll point to his nose too. He’s now beginning to correctly identify his body parts with mouth, nose and hair being the most accurate at the moment.
He’s taken to turning the books upside down to study as well as propping books up so he can flick through them without me. He’s also identified individual pages in stories that he loves, preferring to hear these over and over to me repeating the whole book, e.g., ‘A chilly wind whistles…’ in Frogs and Friends, and ‘SCARFACE CLAW…’ in Hairy MacLary.
The other thing I hadn’t realised was how comforting he finds the stories we read. Last night, he woke up at about 9pm sobbing hard. I tried all the usual soothing and singing but nothing worked. I took him into our room and thought I’d read a story; since I didn’t have a book to hand I started reciting Frogs and Friends from memory (we’ve read it literally hundreds of times). It worked almost instantly. Before if finished the first four lines he was calm again. I repeated the story three times, added in a couple of renditions of Night Night and Rabbit’s Nap, and he was back to sleep for the rest of the night.
Curious to see the extent of this charm – could it be just a one-off? – I tried it today when he was tired and grumpy but I needed both hands for cooking. Again, it worked beautifully. He sat at my feet and listened to the whole story. I finished the story just as I had two hands free again and he was happy to have a hug at that point.
I really hope this works for some time to come but it does mean I need to memorise a few more stories. First on my list is the Gruffalo!