Last year, I took up the daunting task of reading 52 books in 52 weeks.
Day one and my two year old almost drowned the first book into the tub.
And I was convinced that this was going to be tougher than I had thought. Nevertheless, I decided to stick to my plan and wanted to see how far I would go.
I read when little I napped.
I read an extra hour in the night after she slept.
I read for a few minutes while she was busy in the garden or was singing in her bathtub.
Basically, I read in every little gap that I got.
Those gaps weren’t enough and they didn’t last for long.
Every time little I saw me with a book she either wanted me to read it aloud as if it was her book or she wanted to read the book herself.
Sometimes she wanted to sit on it and make it a chair or sleep on it and make it a pillow.
Once she turned it into a plate and served me biscuits on it.
And then she wanted to roll it, fold it or colour in it.
To finish one book a week I had to read enough pages a day. So to keep little I entertained and to continue with the task I once started reading the book as if it were a song.
Beautiful lines from Love In The Time Of Cholera turned into a nursery rhyme that did not rhyme.
Lines from The Hundred Foot Journey became a song about food and spices that no one had heard before.
Some lines were sung to the tune of twinkle twinkle little star, some tried to sound like baa baa black sheep.
I even tried reading the book aloud in different voices. Sometimes in a donkey’s voice or like a lion, and once I even tried to sound like a chipmunk.
It made little I laugh and it helped me to finish some pages.
This went on for about 12 weeks. Little I was entertained while I managed to finish 12 books.
And then my challenge took an interesting turn.
Little I started to bring to me anything and everything that looked like a book and would order me to read it.
Which meant that whatever she got me I had to read it aloud for her.
It started in a sane way with her storybooks and nursery rhyme books.
Then it moved on to other things that looked like books to little I.
Home delivery menu booklet. Read. Aloud.
Pamphlets that made their way home from malls. Done. Three weeks old newspaper. Resident notices. Instruction manuals. Picture books. Magazines. Happy Wednesday booklets distributed at supermarkets.
We read it all, aloud.
Did I mention we also “read” colouring books
My mouth hurt. Her enthusiasm grew.
I remember, once I almost told her to go and read the book herself, hoping for a miracle that a two year old would suddenly start reading.
And she got me another book, this time an old DIY instruction manual on how to assemble a cupboard and ordered me to “read!” And we did.
My challenge had stopped at 12 amazing books but the next 40 reads gave us our little stories.
And even though the task of reading 52 books in 52 weeks was officially over on 28 April 2015, I still have a few more years to read aloud storybooks, pamphlets and some more colouring books to my two year old.