Habits, Goals, & Bedtime Stories

Monday, 30 January 2012

My original plan when I listed my 2012 Goals on this blog was to revisit them in February to see where I stood. It’s well known that many resolutions made at New Year’s never make it past January, so I thought looking back to see if I was on track was a good idea. I’ve decided to start my review a bit early.
I already know if I am hitting my goals or not. Some of them have gone on to become habits (yay!) and some have never gotten off the ground (boo!). I wrote 10 goals—5 relating to my home and family and 5 relating to my writing. I now plan to address one goal from the Home & Family list on Mondays and one goal on the Writing list on Wednesdays until I get through them. It shouldn’t take long. Not even five weeks. The 30-Day challenge on goals that I was doing is drawing to a close, in fact, my last day was today, and it has helped me to realize that not all of my goals are goals in themselves, some are just extensions or stepping stones leading up to the others.
I am pleased to say that one of my goals has come to fruition.
My first goal was to start reading to Hunter every night before bed.  This was something that I used to do when he was little, before the pressures of work got to me. I truly believe the best way to foster a love of reading in my children is to read to them regularly, so I knew it was time to get started again. I also wanted to make sure I started before Scarlett was born so that Hunter would not think I was doing it just because she was here. I wanted this to be something I shared with him first. He’s been an only child for a long time now and I am bit worried over how he will take not being the baby anymore.
I also wanted to read stories to him that he couldn’t read to himself. He is very interested in reading now and is getting quite good at it considering he’s only four. He read an entire book to me the other night and I nearly cried. I started with Harry Potter. It couldn’t have been a better choice—he loves it! It also helps me out since I need to read it for the Children’s Literature course I am taking.  Of course, he never makes it through a whole chapter, but I’m glad he falls asleep to the sound of my voice. It makes me feel closer to him and these days, he’s growing up so fast—too fast for my liking (tonight he made a mistake on a game and said ‘dammit’  :-o).
We are on the next to the last chapter and I haven’t decided whether to go on to the next book, or read him Eragon—he’s really into dragons right now. The only thing I know for certain is that I will continue reading to him. I have always heard that it takes 28 days to create a habit and now that I have created this habit, I can’t imagine not reading. Not that Hunter would let me off the hook, either. One night when I felt especially ill and tired I told him I wasn’t going to read and you’d have thought I told him I was giving the dog away. He went into hysterics, sobbing and pleading until I had no other choice but to cave. I’m glad I did though. He drifted off to sleep peacefully and I wasn’t far behind him.
As it turns out, it isn’t just a special time for me and Hunter. Scarlett seems to like it. She wiggles around inside me at first, then gets into a comfortable position, and calms down. I think it soothes her. Probably the most surprising—and most entertaining—reaction though is the cat’s. That’s right, the cat. Piper comes in and climbs into Hunter’s bed every night while I read. It’s a bit of a shock since she mostly stays clear of him otherwise and she never goes in his room. But even Piper has developed a habit of sharing this time with us. I never really realized how much so until we were late for bed the other night and she sat on the stairs and meowed for us to come up. She then went and stood by the bed until Hunter and I were settled in before jumping up. Who would’ve thought the cat would enjoy bedtime stories, too!
So every night, except the one night a week I am coaching until late, Hunter, Piper, Scarlett, and I read together. It’s quality time for me, the kids, and the cat. And honestly, it’s the best half hour of my day.

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