the curious incidence of the daughter at bedtime

Lyd’s reading abilities have improved dramatically since the beginning of the school year.  She is now a very good reader, and she’s equally good at putting expression into her reading.  However, she doesn’t like me to ask her to read aloud or even to read quietly to herself.  When I ask her to read, she will often whine and say, “It’s too hard.”  Yet, if she can put her insecure feelings aside, she amazes me with her ability to read just about any picture book that comes her way, and she’s making a start on chapter books, too.

However, there is one situation that, if Lyd finds herself in it, will induce her to read a book entirely on her own, out loud, with no prompting from me:

Bedtime.

It happened tonight, and it’s happened many nights before, that when I send Lyd upstairs to begin getting ready for bed, she will start reading a book aloud to her little sister.  I, of course, cannot resist the sweetness and cuteness of this situation, so I say nothing, implicitly allowing the reading to continue.  Last time it happened, it was Dav Pilkey’s book Dragon’s Fat Cat.  Tonight it was Gregory, the Terrible Eater.  Lyd reads the book out loud to Jujubee, adding in wonderful expression and inflection.  She’s amazing, and it makes me so pleased and proud of her — and, frankly, proud of myself, too.  I’ve pretty much always done forensic-style readings of stories to my girls, and I think I’ve brainwashed Lyd into thinking that’s the only way to read books aloud.  🙂  Lyd has picked up quite well on the intricacies of reading with expression, and I’m sure this ability will help her greatly in her future.

Jujubee, of course, loves the fact that someone is reading to her, and she follows along avidly.  But she loves any and all books.  In fact, she will sit and look at a book for a half an hour at a stretch.  Lyd was never like that.  Jujubee will take time, look at each page carefully, and turn the page gently.  I’ve been working on letters with her at home, and I suspect she’ll take after me and be reading before she’s in Kindergarten.

Anywa, what’s so goofy about Lyd is that if I outright ASK Lyd to read Jujubee a story, she will resist.  Then, if she finally DOES start reading, she will read in a monotone, mumbling voice.  It makes me shake my head in bewilderment.  She is definitely the kind of child where an idea goes over MUCH better if it’s her own idea.

And what better time to read a story to one’s little sister than bedtime, right?

What a girl.

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