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I am what you might call a completist.

Okay, so I just made that word up, at least according to spell check. What do I mean by that? Once I start something, I feel a horrible need to finish it, especially if it’s a really bad movie or a book I’m not enjoying. I keep thinking to myself, “well, I need to know what happens so that I’m not stuck here wondering.”

I had, in my mind, an image of reading books to Rose from start to finish. We would begin at the beginning, end at the end, and the middle would be right where it belonged: in the middle. When Rose was younger, that was exactly how reading went. And then one day it all changed.

One day she grabbed a page in the middle of reading and whipped to the end of the book.

And then she realized she wanted to see the beginning again.

And then she was done.

I was left having to reconcile my neuroses with reality. It took a little while, but here’s the thing that helped me: Rose is enjoying the books, even if she isn’t going in the traditional order, or even finishing the book.

Yet another case where I had to be okay with her process. It’s not easy for someone like me, but I’m getting better. At this point I’ll be in the middle of a sentence on one page when she flips to the back and I’m totally okay reading half a sentence on the next page before going back to the beginning.

Soon enough we’ll be reading from start to finish, and Rose will be able to pay attention all the way through, but for now I’m just going to let her have fun with the process, no matter how many times I have to remind myself not to freak out that we aren’t reading straight through, from beginning to end.

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