Us, At Bedtime

Her book collection is growing bigger now, thanks to my penchant for buying her too many books at op shops. I can’t help it. I get carried away. And besides, I want her to grow up with an organic love for books. I don’t care if she’d be one of those nerdy girls sitting by themselves on a bench, lost in the pages of a paperback. In fact, I actually want her to be that kind of chick. Somebody with substance. Vapid is probably the last thing I want her to be.

And so I try not to get too annoyed when I’m reading my book at bedtime and she comes up with her own book that she wants me to read to her. Lately, she’s into Cinderella which, I realized, is actually a good reference in teaching her manners. To not be a meanie like the evil stepsisters.

So far, she hasn’t asked about love or Prince Charming yet, but she did ask a pretty hard question:

What happened to Cinderella’s mama and papa?

As in everything, I try my best to be very honest with her. I don’t see the point in sugarcoating the hard bits, as she seems to be a reasonable kid. “Oh, they’re dead.”

“Because why?” she’d probe.

“Because her mama got sick and her papa was old.” A lame attempt at explanation.

“Because whyyy?” she’d ask again.

How do you break down death and illness in a way that a 3-year old can understand when I can’t even fully understand it myself?

Anyhow, last night was a chill read. A book I’ve been reading to her since she was about a year old. A touch and feel book about a lost duckling asking other farm animals if they were his mom.

She read the book by herself afterwards and I found it amazing how she shifted the perspective from the duckling to those of the farm animals. Because, really, character point of view can go both ways. She was looking at the story from a different angle.

As a writer mom, I couldn’t be more proud.

*Raven at 3 years old