Happy as a Lark!

There will be a temporary interruption in Daddy Tales this week. I’ll resume on 8/8. Sorry for the outage!

A big part of our nightly routine with the kids is reading bedtime stories. We started doing this very early on – even before C was old enough to talk. The point back then was to establish a routine and have some quiet time before bed, but it quickly became more than that. I was really surprised at how even the pre-language baby responded to the books, pointing at the pictures and reacting to what we were reading.

And that surprise gave me an evil plan.

One of the books we read is called “Quick as a Cricket”. It starts with a picture of a little boy and a cricket and says “I’m quick as a cricket.” Each subsequent page has a different animal on it, with a different phrase (i.e., “brave as a tiger“).

When C was about 16 months old, he was a very good mimic. He picked up words very quickly. So, I started reading “Quick as a Cricket” to him on those evenings and weekend afternoons when J was off working. When we came to the “Happy as a Lark” page, I’d say “Happy as a” and pause looking at him. Then I’d�point to the word “lark” and then say “lark”.

I also hid the book so that we wouldn’t inadvertently read it at bedtime.

After 5 or 6 sessions, we were ready.

We sat down to read our bedtime stories and I pulled out “Quick as a Cricket.” J was sitting on the couch next to me, and C was wedged between us. J was surprised to see the book, saying “oh! I thought we’d lost that one.”

I smiled and started reading, pointing to each word as I read it. When we got to the target page, I said “Happy as a” and pointed to the word “lark” without saying it. C said “lark” with a definite nod. We kept reading as if nothing odd had happened.

J just about fell off the couch. “Wait! He’s read – No. He must have recognized the lar – No… Wait! Stop! How’d you do that?”

C looked up at her “Happy as a Lark, Mama! Happy as a Lark!”

Heh, heh, heh. It’s good to be the daddy.

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