Friday, November 14, 2014

Harry Potter as a Read Aloud

We've long had a tradition of bedtime stories around here. Board books, picture books, then we moved on to Ralph S. Mouse and Mr Popper, and I'd hoped at that point to try Harry Potter.  We made it through about a page and a half before Mad Natter went all squirrelly, and he wound right up like a clockspring.  It was bad.  Very, very bad. He was capable of understanding the story, but listening to tales of people and not mice, penguins, dragons or otherwise, was just beyond him at the time.  So we set it aside. Not long ago, Mad Natter got the first three How To Train Your Dragon books, and we started reading those. But, eventually, we ran out, and we tried Harry Potter once again.
It went so much better than before. It was about a difference of a year, and what a difference it made. Mad Natter is now listening to full chapters at bedtime, and clamoring for extra chapters every night. We've taken to watching the movies once the book is completed, and the interest level is astounding. He remembers almost everything, even when it doesn't seem like he's paying particular attention, occasionally reading a separate book to himself while still sitting quietly listening to us read.

This is, obviously, not the end all and be all for any bedtime woes. Mad Natter has recently decided he's going to be returning to The Big Bed, and is doing his best to stay in Mama and Daddy's room for as long as possible.  Bedtime stories don't help with that.  They do, however, help with a lot of the screaming and crying that used to come with bedtimes. It also helps with a large portion of the getting back out of bed we were dealing with as well.  It's been, generally, nice, and sharing Harry Potter with Mad Natter, even just at bedtimes, helps us all kind of reset, and pull together as a family.  It's been really nice - and it hasn't even driven his overexcitabilities up the walls.  I am, by and large, impressed. Even if it does mean my baby is growing up rather rapidly.