Parenting Guru: The carrot machine

My son was only a couple of days old when we took this picture. I tried to tell myself that I would remember every moment, every coo, every time he opened his eyes and looked at me, as brief as it was when he first was born, but as I looked through some of the pictures again tonight, I realized that after only three short years that was just not going to be the case.

There are many things that I remember when I look at this picture. First, I remember being very dirty. I don't think my wife or I showered for SEVERAL days once we got home from the hospital. Secondly, I remember how awkward it was to hold him and try and turn the pages. This was the first time I read to my son outside of my wife's belly! Before, it was a lot easier to read to him when he was inside my wife who was sitting on the couch!

Most importantly, however, I remember something akin to closure, or a part of my life coming full circle. You see, this book is Bugs Bunny and The Carrot Machine. I have no idea how many hundreds (seemingly thousands) of times I asked to have this read to me when I was little. Now, there may have been some protesting from my dad after the first hundred or so readings, but without fail, he would read it. When I was done reading, there was something on my "Being a Father Check List" that I could check off, like the first time I changed a diaper, or the first time I got up in the middle of the night to check on him. I had read the book that was read to me as a child to my own child.

Over the past three years, we have maintained this habit of reading each night as we put him to bed. Although, somewhat to my chagrin, it has morphed into something I have to now share with Momma. When he first started to want to bring Momma into the room, I have to admit I was disappointed because this was time that was just for Daddy and Son, which I didn't, and don't have a lot of. But, as with everything else, if it is what he wanted, and would make bedtime go well, I acquiesced. I'm not sorry I did, because there is definitely something nice about having that time as a family as he is getting ready to go to bed, and we are reading books. I also realize that soon he will be reading stories to us, and then won't want to do it at all, which is just a part of growing up I suppose.

But I will always cherish that time when it was just me and him, reading Bugs Bunny.

What's bed time like at your house?

Do you still read to your kids, or do they read to you?

Do you have favorite books from your childhood that you have shared with your kids?

Ryan is a newly appointed Yahoo! Shine Parenting Guru. When he's not reading to his son, he is typically trying to instill a love of college basketball in his three year old.