Happy Read Across America Day! Which just happens to fall on the birthday of the late great Theodore Seuss Geisel -- a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. Yes, today is all about kids and books and literacy and the government reminding us that, hey, Reading Is Fundamental.
Right about now you're probably thinking, "Oh, man! Seriously, now I gotta read to this kid? I just gave it a bag of Doritos an hour ago! This job never ends! What's in it for me?"
Actually, there are several surprising perks for parents who read to their children -- and I'm not just talking about all that stuff "good" moms are supposed to flip over like smarter kids and stuff.
Check it out:
1. Storytime is the perfect time to get some thinking done. Kids always want to hear the same books over and over and over again. "Again! Again! Again!" After the several hundredth reading, you can totally go on autopilot and think about other stuff besides red/blue fish and hopping on pop: What you need at the grocery store, for example, or your monthly household budget.
2. A well-chosen bedtime story is better than a kiddie sleeping pill. Reading your kid to sleep is an art form, but once you find the right book and learn how to make your voice really, really soothing? She'll drift off to dreamland before you say good night to the clock and the socks.
3. Reading a book out loud is a great way to send subtle messages to nearby grown-ups. Let's say you're feeling overworked and under-appreciated. Perhaps a pointed reading of The Little Red Hen is in order (additional commentary optional):
"'Then I will DO IT MYSELF,' said the little red hen. 'And she DID!' Isn't that sad, no one would HELP the little red hen?"
4. When you read your child a story, you get to sit down. Toddlers never ever EVER run out of energy, but at least they're usually willing to sit still for a few good books. I recommend designating a super-comfortable couch as your "reading nook."
What do you like about reading to your kids?