I have memories of me as a young girl staying up late into the night reading as I lay in my bed. Entranced in the world of romantic teenage novels, despite being exhausted in the morning, I would often stay up well beyond 11pm, sometimes past midnight, until my body couldn't take it anymore and I would at last succumb to fatigue.
Well, it looks like we have another book worm in the family! On many occasions Juan and I have caught our 14 month old laying in her bed, well after lights-out, flicking through pages in her sisters' toddler books. Every day I see Anabel sitting on the couch reading, turning the book's pages like a seasoned professional. I remember always freaking out when a book was nearby Vettoria or Eadith at the same ages, as I knew that Vettoria would be sure to start chewing on the corners and covers, and without a doubt I knew Eadie was going to rip out as many pages as she could before I raced over to stop her. We have countless books with scribbles and folds and teeth marks filling the pages. I was always jealous going over to my friends' houses and seeing their perfectly kept kids' books all lined up on their cute little shelves, with maybe the occasional bite mark indent on one book or, heaven forbid, a small pencil mark on one of the pages. They had no idea what it was like to live with book savages.
Well, now I know what it is like to live with a book 'appreciater'! Anabel just loves them. Numerous times we have had to go into her room after hearing her giggle for an hour, to find her laying there flicking through a Dora the Explorer book, using the outside light from the small slit in her window to see. In the past I have always kept a couple of books in the girls' beds so that when they wake up in the morning they can sit and play for a bit before feeling the urge to cry that they are ready to come out. But what I wasn't prepared for was a 14 month old who I have to ban from reading books before bed, so that she will fall asleep!
But it carries further than just at home. When we are out at friends' houses and she sees a book she likes there is NO getting that book out of her hands to go home. She will scream and kick until she is blue in the face. I am not exaggerating, I have had to ask friends if we can borrow the book for a few days because Anabel is so in love with it. Thank heavens at the library when we sees a book she loves, I have the ability to loan it with little fuss. She will however begin to meltdown when I have to pry it from her hands to give it to the lady to scan into the computer, before quickly giving it back to her in order to prevent a scene!
I have no doubt that we will be having many more "Anabel, I told you - put down that book, turn out that light, and go to sleep!" years ahead of us. The poor thing has no idea that one day karma will come and bite her in the butt and she will be the one telling her daughter, "lights out!"