"When I grow up I want to be a painter."
"Will you be a famous painter who sells her painting for millions of dollars?"
"No mummy I want to keep all my paintings, I don't want anyone else to have them."
What brought this on, I pondered.
And then I remembered that we have been reading her Reynold's The Dot. The Dot has inspired my child to paint everyday. Sometimes much to my annoyance really.
She once decided that she wanted to paint just before bedtime.
On the following day she decided that she needed to paint just before we left the house to go for dinner.
She managed to paint when she comes back from school.
She even insisted on painting just before we left for the airport to send the ILs off.
Who knew books could put in such strong inspirational ideas into children?
Then we read her "The Princess and the Pea." After we finished the story, she quickly pleaded that "Mummy please do not put a pea under my mattress. Otherwise I will not sleep very well."
I guess I don't have to worry about her being a princess then. A good night's sleep is more important for her.
Just yesterday she told me, "Mommy I missed you while I was in school just now. I don't think you gave me enough kisses in the morning."
I guess she thinks Rosemary Wells' Timothy gets more kisses from his mum than she does in the morning.
Have you been asked to read Mem Fox's Where is green sheep in the morning, lunchtime, afternoon and bedtime? In the car, at the kitchen table and on the bed?
If your child is anything like mine, she will not leave me alone and will ask me repeatedly until I manage to negotiate for a suitable time.
Luckily she hasn't asked me why the sleep were multi-coloured and did all sorts of things.
Some days I get detailed request from her for books, "Please bring me a book about a bee, a giraffe and a bear."
Is that all in one book or 3 different books?
Then there was the time when I got her A Cow, A Bee, A Cookie and Me. When she found out that the recipe for the cookies was at the back of the book, all I heard for 3 consecutive days was "When will we make the cookies mummy? Is it today"
And when I finally found the time to oblige the cookies were her precious possession. I was allowed two because I helped her bake them. Her dad could have one to taste.
She kept her box of cookies someplace in the cupboard and told us that "Its a secret place I put it mummy so one else can eat them but me."
Even when daddy asked for a second cookie to taste again, she said no. "Sorry Daddy they are mine and they are very special. Only for me."
I am lucky that I work in a library and have access to children books. But I am terrible in the sense that I love to purchase our own copy of her favorite tittles so our house is bursting with books.
So my advice to all parents is, if you want lots of free time alone for yourself to surf the net and everything else, don't start reading to your child. Because once you do, they will never want you to stop and they'll be very disappointed when you tell them you don't have the time for such trivial pursuits in life.
Especially when you start introducing to them the joys of reading, they'll be hooked. Possibly even for life. And you'll never have peace until perhaps when your child learns to read to himself/herself.
You've been warned!
A mother of a 3 year old