June 12, 2010


read the book
Books: the original laptops

I found an awesome collection of Bernard Waber books on ebay and they came yesterday. We tore into the package and immediately began reading.
I love all the little stories in Nobody Is Perfick. One of my all-time faves is Ira Sleeps Over (when I was a little girl, I had a blankie I slept with every night, even at sleepovers) and one of my sweet boys has something he sleeps with, too.

book snuggle

My favorite thing about reading stories to my kids is when they lean in close, whether in my lap or by my side, I can turn or bend and kiss their heads and breathe in their hair. And even this morning hubby was reading Lyle Finds His Mother to Ivy and I caught him kissing her cheek just like I do...

I confess sometimes I find myself wanting to check my phone or email too much in the presence of my children.

A must read: New York Times: The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In

I've been keenly aware of it since the kids have been off school this week and needing so much more of my attention. I want them to remember reading together, the best books, and not watching TV or getting into trouble or just flat out being ignored or dismissed while I have my face behind my laptop, or my attention on my phone instead of on their beautiful face.

Of course, I work at home, so there is a required amount of screen time, and so often I thought I was doing better than others since I never watch TV in front of them- but- I'm still plugged in.

And of course I'm sure there's plenty of people out there whose heads are about to fall off from all the nodding because they don't EVER do this in front of their kids, so, if it's not being on the computer for you it could be something else, whether it is keeping a clean home or holing up in the kitchen always cooking or watching your soaps or being too involved in your church or bible study or whatever. Whatever is stealing you away from the valuable time you should be spending elsewhere.

While not always reasonably possible every single moment (hey, nobody is perfick), my hope for my family is that there is more eye contact and physical touch and hands-on-creative time and [good] music and dancing and book reading and adventure than screen time, even in this very plugged in world we live in today.


  1. Thanks for this reminder, Steph.

  2. we love book at our house too! and yes it's so true that our "Time" could be spent on much things and sometimes our precious little one are not involved or just put aside!!!

    They do grow so fast! Enjoy "time" now :-)

  3. eeek... I'm so convicted by this... thanks Steph.

  4. What a great little reminder of how important "now" with our children really is. :-)

  5. One of your kids?! Every single one of mine has some various item they sleep with. And heaven forbid we ever lose it.

    I LOVE smelling my kids heads. (Mostly after a bath - ha) Something ya just can't help.

    This is such a great post and reminder! We don't watch tv either but there is plenty of computer screen staring. I've been a little sick this week with the eye funk and we've spent a whole lot more time on the couch hanging out. My girls call me 'Sweet Mommy' - which is an honor.

  6. We've already ruined ours. We ALL spend too much time 'plugged in' (kids included.) After a lifetime of this...not sure how you change and become the touchy-feely family. Not sure we could handle that. I agree with what you say, I just can't see that working for us. Teenagers don't snuggle so well while reading together ;)

  7. Yes, we forget *adventure* is a part of our life-blood!


  8. Great post - so true. It's way too easy to get caught up in writing emails, reading blogs, texting, etc. instead of bonding with the kids.

    I love hearing about how you snuggle with the kids and read books!

  9. Thank you for this reminder!

    I had to stop bringing the laptop and iPhone with me to bed because it was interfering not only with snuggling with the kids at bedtime but with hubby also!

  10. I seriously need to restore some boundaries in this area.


  11. Here here! And said so well...

    (and now I feel a tad bit (read: a lot!) guilty...)

    It's all about balance and really giving your all when you are with your kids, not sharing your time (like I am now, with my son leaning next to me, leaning in on my shoulder as I read blogs...oh gosh, I've got a lot of "trying harder" to do! )


  12. I read that article too & totally agree. But it made a good point in one sentence that perhaps got lost amidst the rest of it: technology (laptops, iPhones) has made it possible for many of us to work from home and be present with our children, even if some of that time is more fragmented, than if that were not an option. And I'm pretty sure that moms before us who didn't have the benefit of all the technology we do (dishwashers, washing machines, microwaves, etc.) had to divide their attention between getting their work done and caring for their children too - just different ways. Everything in moderation I say! ;)

  13. Danielle (DGVE),

    I agree! But- I know many people (myself included) have a problem with the whole "moderation" thing right now.. :) that's what I was really speaking to.


  14. oh isn't book reading the best! That has been one of my favorite things about homeschool... we sit and snuggle on the couch reading everyday! love it!

    and I must know where did you find that skirt? I LOVE the color and the fabric looks beautiful!

    traveling up north anytime soon?! Love to meet up again! We'll hopefully be heading South for the winter. :)


  15. Such a wonderful reminder that I need to hear weekly...and sometimes daily! I think its so much easier to be "lazy" and zone-out in front of the computer, TV, on the telephone, etc. I am so careful to not call friends/make necessary phone calls while the boys are awake or needing me, because I know I won't be able to split my attention into two....but I don't do this often enough for the computer/phone.

  16. Ira Sleeps Over is SO one of my favorites from when I was a kid. I used to read it to my little brothers...and yes, we would all lean in close on the bottom bunk bed and snuggle. It was so great! Reading books with my brothers, my parents, and my grandparents is one of my FAVORITE memories ever! I am trying to make it a great memory for my son too! Great post!

  17. Love this post.

    I kinda just want to turn it all off for good.

  18. love this post. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
    well said! and made me refocus my time.
    Oh... i 'had' a blankie for a very long time. very long. it may or may not still be in my bed. my 4 year old son... may or may not go get it for me when i'm sick.

    blankies ROCK!

  19. Nice post, i agree, I love reading to my kids and since I mostly work from home I too struggle with being "plugged in". Love your blog and love little Ivy's clothes! I want them all for my little one!

  20. I saw that article too. And I love that book reading time means snuggle time!

  21. My dad, Bernard Waber, is the author/illustrator of the Lyle and Ira books. Through google your post came my way. I shared it with him and it made him very happy. - Paulis Waber, waberchat.wordpress.com

  22. yes.

    even the limited amount i'm spending anymore, i want less. i always want to turn and look them in the eye with their stories. i don't want even one, "no. maybe in a minute."

    not that they should never have to wait, but they should never have to wait just so i can reply on twitter what i ate for lunch. you know? [i know you know.]

    i'm never going to get this time back and i want to live it. to be in it.

    thank you for sharing this and reminding us all.

  23. YES!!!!! I am SO guilty of this parenting from the computer or the kitchen sink.

  24. What an excellent post. I have found that because I stay at home and have horrid amounts of free time I sometimes have a hard time shutting down everything and focusing on my husband when he is home. I've been making a conscious effort to shut down the computer, put down the book and really spend some time with him.

  25. Great points, Steph! I had that same conviction when I first read the NY Times article.

    I am especially glad that you included your 2nd to last paragraph. I know a lot of people who come down on technology-users for "wasting" time when they are doing the exact same thing in some other area of their lives.

    The truth is that we all need to work on spending meaningful, thoughtful time w/ our kids. Daily.


  26. My reaction was the same as your to reading that article - lots of conviction. So I am really, really CUTTING BACK. Not cutting out. Just seeking out the time wasters and putting them in their place. Less "just a minute, let me finish reading this" and more "okay, who is ready to ______ ?"


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