04 July 2010

Books and baby

One of my greatest worries before becoming a parent is that I would never read a book again. Unless it was called Your Child and You: Techniques for Eating with One Hand and How to Do Midnight Feedings without Waking Up, or something. Oh, of course I knew I'd read books for work; it's what I do, after all. But what about "fun" reading? I worried that, like movie-going and fine dining, I'd have to wait until the baby was in elementary school before doing it again.

But I've been more than pleasantly surprised, in that I've plowed through more "for-fun" books lately than ever. In the early weeks, when I spent a whole lot of time nursing, I read a few hefty novels while feeding the baby (the only trick to which was how to turn pages when at least one hand was occupied). But the main thing is that my bedtime reading hasn't really changed; if anything, I read more because we're home more often.

Plus, we don't have a TV, either in Bloomington or here in Barcelona, so the lure of a random television show doesn't affect my decision to read a book.

And finally, my mom lent me her Kindle, loaded with a bunch of great novels, and I've been gobbling them up. The Kindle is FANTASTIC for nursing (see one-handed problem above) and travel (lightweight, barely uses battery, pack many novels at a time). The Kindle will never replace that big stack of novels I have by my bedside, but it sure is great for the airplane, the train, or the metro.

As with many aspects of parenting that I find easier than I thought they would be, I am acutely aware that when we add another kid (or two or three?!) into the mix, all bets are off. But for now, I am so pleased that I am able to continue, post-baby, one of those things that defines who I am, which means--surprise!--I am still the person I was pre-baby. Just with a baby.


Catherine said...

Lucky you! My eldest would never let me read while I fed her, it disturbed her that she couldn't see my eyes when my face was turned to the book. RV however, was OK. Never mind that much daytime TV was mind numbingly boring (this was long before we ever had a video or DVD recorder).
Later on, I chose children's books according to what would actually give me pleasure to read to them. It's surprising how many high-selling children's books are boring to adults. To me, that's a clue that they might be boring to the children, as well.

Sara said...

you will be happy to know that it is the same with a second baby, and third i imagine. i read SO much when ayla was a new baby. now that she is older and can play with jack i sit and read for some quiet time almost every day while they play toys at my feet. you get a lot more interruptions when you have more than one but...it can be done!

sUdH said...

You sound interesting. I'm moving to Barcelona in a month with my husband and 16 month daughter. I'm from Athens Ohio which is the Ohio equivalent of Bloomington. Tons of people move her from there and love the free spirited artsy community. At any rate I'm trying to reach out to moms in Barcelona. I'm not sure if you are interested in new friends. I'm married to a Dutchman and I find that women in cross cultural relationships tend to have a lot in common. Email me if you'd like to meet up sometime, we will arrive at the end of august. Btw my iPhone saved my sanity when I was nursing I read a lot if articles online and stayed up to date on current affairs it kept me from feeling like I had nothing to talk about.

Robin said...

Sara---that is good news, indeed!
sUdH--New friends are always good! Sounds like I'll be gone by the time you arrive, though, since we're heading back to the midwest for the fall semester. Maybe in the spring or next summer?

Amanda said...

And just to encourage you, I have more than one friend with a "large" family who swear that "after three they raise each other" - I wish I'd had a passle to verify that!