Finally, A Reader!

Finally, A Reader!

The other day I saw H sneaking into the washroom with a book hidden rather clumsily behind his back.

And that dear friends, was the very first sign.

After years and years of cajoling, of telling delicious stories, of quoting wondrous quotes, of strewing books around the house, of talking teasers and stopping at the best bits and also of running a book club, we have a reader in the house.

Finally, H has graduated to being a true-blue reader.

There’s a little bit of my grandma in me that forbids the children from reading in the loo. I may not throw a fit any longer (The Husband, who had no such qualms and no such a grand mom apparently, cured me long ago) but I’d much rather the children don’t make it a habit. I have to mention here that I did get them The Diary of Amos Lee (where the protagonist writes his diary in the loo). See? I was that desperate to get them to read. So perhaps I was sending out mixed signals in the first place.

However, I digress.

There was more proof coming my way. Another day H threw a huge tantrum and refused to leave his book during dinner. Yes yes I know a lot of us read while eating but that’s another bit of my grandma who insisted we were dishonouring two gods if we did that – Annapurna, the goddess of food and Saraswati, the goddess  of learning, both of who deserved undivided attention, according to her.

I’m digressing again but my grandma did talk a lot of sense, I see that now.

Getting back to H, last week at his Open House in school, his art teacher complained he wasn’t focussing on his artwork because he was in a hurry to finish and get back to his book. Art is not his favourite subject and he got his book confiscated. Twice. I stifled a smile at that, since I had mine confiscated during embroidery class!

I shouldn’t have smiled because soon after I found him lost in a book right before his Hindi exam and that wasn’t funny at all. “I finished the Chamber of Secrets,” he told me excitedly, while I struggled to decide whether to take him to task or to high-five his outstretched palm.

I find him curled up in various corners of the house, he insists on reading out the ‘best’ bits to me (which, by the way, are often the most unsavoury ones) and laughs so hard while telling me the funny bits that I can barely make out what he’s saying. It’s delightful to watch this transformation even though his timing is not quite right. But then passions never come in half measures.

He’s managed to inspire N too. She was a late starter at reading and still struggles a bit, but is all enthused and is making her way through The Philosopher’s Stone, slowly but steadily. ‘Ma I met Hermione,’ she shouted out when she first found her between the pages.

For years they were stuck with Captain Underpants and Wimpy Kid and  Dork Diaries. I am relieved they are finally graduating to ‘real’ books.

So here’s a reminder – Don’t give up on your child, ever. No matter how stubborn they might seem or how resistant, the things we do and say are getting registered somewhere in their super busy brains. And one fine day they will throw us a surprise.

Do you have a reader at home? Did your love for reading ever get you into trouble?

Linking up with #MondayMusings at Everydaygyan


and with Mackenzie at Reflections from Me #mg

20 Replies to “Finally, A Reader!”

  1. This is so much good news. Congratulations Tulika. I have my hopes on my younger one. Hopefully, some day. he reads comics but is not ready to go to books. He did read Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Well, for my reading, I used to read M&B during my exams too and my mother felt it was not cool at all. But, thankfully, she never stopped me.

  2. Aww this post made me all happy inside. Gy is exactly like H! Will read a book before an exam and giggle helplessly while sharing a joke and I can’t make out what the joke is 😛

    SO so so glad that he is reading 🙂 It only gets better from here.

    1. That’s really funny, isn’t it? Children can be so alike in the way they behave. I’m glad too. It took a while but I’m glad he’s there.

  3. I can completely comprehend your joy, Tulika. The younger son was in the same boat and I wondered if he would ever cherish reading. Then seeing him come home from school and just read his Famous Five even without changing his uniform made me stifle a smile. Though I sternly told him to change his clothes. And boy, he also started taking books to the loo after his elder brother. It drives me nuts but they do it. Somehow, reading is so important to me that I am glad that both the kids are now avid readers. Ah, the simple joys and aspirations of parents. 🙂

    1. Ditto, it’s the same for me. I do pretend to scold him, tell him to put away his book I keep seeing my mum and me in the same situation decades ago. Sometimes I use the same dialogues that she used for me and then I laugh to myself.

  4. I really enjoyed this post. I feel so blessed to have 3 readers in our house. All my children love reading. I actually woke up early this morning and went to check on my son who turned eight yesterday, he was in his bed reading one of the books he got for his birthday it was so sweet to watch him. My ten year old is our biggest reader, she carries books with her everywhere! #mg

  5. I had the broadest grin on my face while reading this. I am so glad that they found their way to real books, but more importantly to Harry Potter. I can’t wait for D to discover the Potterverse. He is only 5, but patience hasn’t been my strong suit, when it comes to books & Harry Potter.

    Oh and by the way, I’ve had more than 1 book confiscated in school for reading under my desk while keeping the crafts & knitting over it. No regrets though. I’d do it all over again. 😀

    1. Oh I know what you mean about patience. You’ve no idea how many times I grew frustrated with their choice of books and I would keep telling myself ‘it’s okay’ and that their choice had to be different from mine. But the truth is there’s a whole different kind of happiness when they share your love for the same books.

  6. This is just the kind of account I love to read about. I am happy for your happiness with H’s present tryst with books and reading. I would like D to be one such reader one day. As of now, there is only a glimpse however I know I am never going to give up on him.

  7. There is no doubt in my mind. At all. I would have high-fived and said with a wink-Mischief Managed! I bet he solemnly swears he is up to no good!

    The bit about the loo though, I have to say I agree with your grandma! Lol!

    How exciting to have two potterheads. I can’t wait till they get to meet George and Fred in the fifth book! Or Peeves! *evil laugh*

    1. I knew you’d love this.
      Thank goodness you agree with my grand mom, though more and more people are okay with this idea of reading in the loo I find I still am not so comfortable.

  8. I love it when a book is too good to put down, be it because of the need of a wee, a bath or your tea. My son read avidly from aged 3 until his teens when books became a burden replaced with text and gaming. Since uni he’s rekindled his reading habit, so relueved

    1. I know the feeling which is why I am a trifle indulgent towards him. I remember doing much the same when I was a child.
      That’s the thing about reading, it comes back to you time and again. I stopped reading when I had the twins simply because I had no time but I got back as soon as they were a little older.

  9. What a lovely thing to happen. I am so happy to know that the reading habit can be picked up and enhanced even down the line with kids. We have our days where we cannot read a single book. But largely book are my baby’s happy place and I am glad for it. I cannot wait to introduce him to real books. I wait for the day when I will hand him my copy of WutheringHeights.. all wrinkled, full of notes, memories and hopes. 🙂

    1. It’s a special kind of happiness to hand down your books to your children, although one has to be prepared for them having very different tastes and completely rejecting what we loved. That is a definite possibility but I was thrilled when he picked Harry Potter from my collection.

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