Friday, August 31, 2012

Steal Time to Read-Aloud

Encouraging words for mamas from Dorothy Butler, mother of eight, grandmother and great-grandmother of untold dozens, noted authority on children's literature and literacy, on why the housework can be abandoned in favor of taking "leisure-time" for reading with your kids:
"Don't worry about leaving the dishes, or any other chore undone at this point; nothing is more certain than that the dishes will be washed and the next meal prepared, whereas no certainty at all attaches to the inclusion of story-sessions unless they are placed firmly at the top of the list. I've never been able to understand people who doggedly do the so-called 'essential' things first. If you have undertaken to assume a housekeeping role, you must, before all else, capitalize on the advantages; you are, after all, saddled with the drawbacks. And the one advantage that you have over most of the working world is that you can plan your work to suit yourself. Train yourself to smile confidently at neighbours' and relations' surprise or disapproval; tell them, if you need to explain yourself at all, that you would be ashamed to neglect your children whereas you don't feel emotionally involved with the breakfast dishes. You will get through as much as work as they, in the end, and the profits of your good sense will be as obvious to your critics as to yourself. With any luck, some of them, at least, will join you."
Dorothy Butler, Babies Need Books, page 67, "When I was Two, I was nearly new"

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