Thursday, October 23, 2008

The baby who loved books

Here's a little job-related story that is true. Well, elements have been changed because job information is confidential.

Imagine a baby girl taken from her parents. She only sees one of them a couple of times each week. The other parent is not permitted to approach anywhere near her. When the one parent who is allowed to see her has that precious time, that parent spends the entire time discussing their own ailments and problems. One comment was, "Watching a baby is so boring. You just gotta give them a toy to make them happy."

Safety is an issue during the visitation. The visiting parent has had many oops moments of nearly dropping, losing, and otherwise jeopardizing the baby's safety. Of course a crawling baby CAN zip away from its caretakers very quickly. Yesterday we had the visitation at a public Storytime event. The baby has attended Storytime before, with a different Observer in attendance. Before the Storytime began, she crawled over to a shelf of books, stood up and smiled. She took one of the books -- AND OPENED IT CAREFULLY to look at the pages. We're talking about a young child, not even a year old. This same child had, during a previous visitation, pulled out a book from the diaperbag and thrust it into the attending parent's face. The baby was ignored, the book returned to the diaperbag and a bottle stuffed in the baby's face instead.

During the Storytime the baby was very animated. Several times she crawled over to the person reading the story aloud and stood up, hanging on to her. She crawled to the table were the books were displayed and tried to take one of them. Parent scooped her up and brought her back, giving her a toy to play with. After a while of this, baby grew fretful and restless, crawling over to other children in the circle and trying to take their toys. Her parent seemed very tired and "out of it" not participating in the fun songs and games we played. Soon the time was up and Foster parents came to take the baby away. I mentioned to them how much the baby seemed to love books. They replied that they read to her and the other children and had a houseful of children's books. I was glad to hear that.

That was just one simple story of the many, many situations I deal with in my new job.

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Blogger Middle Ditch said...

This made me feel so sad. Parents please read to your children. Foster the love of the written word.

I loved reading to and with my daughters. I so enjoyed those children's books, never having had them as a child (born shortly after the war, they just were not available).

Now they are both working with children. Isn't that funny?

1:29 PM  
Blogger BikerCandy said...

Man, these stories are just so sad to me. I just think some people don't deserve to be parents. I'm glad the foster parents are reading to the baby though.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Gypsy said...

Is the child's mother just lazy or clueless as to what the child is trying to convey to her? Maybe someone could gently point out the obvious or perhaps she just doesn't care. What a sad thing to witness.

Reading my daughters a story after a long and stressful day (I had twins) was the highlight of the day for me and they loved it too.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

Aw. I read to my daughter every possible night until she was about five... I agree with gypsy - it was a form of release for a stressed out single mom.

Sounds like there's hope for the baby ... what a shame though.

(by the way I'm not leaving the blog community forever, just never know when I might have the time to add a post - thank you for keeping me as a contact!)

7:34 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Your new job sounds challenging, I expect that'll be one of the aspects you enjoy about it. It's sad to see that her parent doesn't see the same 'signals' that the rest of you do. I suspect you will endure more heartbreaking challenges as time goes on. I'm not sure I'd have the strength you do to deal with situations like this on a daily basis. I think I'd spend most of my time stopping myself from thumping some of those parents.

I loved reading to my boys, it was just a natural part of their day, and certainly their bedtime routine. I now have the added privilege of reading to Jaimee these days, and of course her younger sister when she comes along (Jan 19 and counting!)

12:01 AM  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

PBS: I appreciated your visit to my site concernng Gunner. Thank you!

1:07 AM  
Blogger PBS said...

Even though I'm supposed to "stay out of it" and be uninvolved, I've pointed out several times that the baby loves books, and would LOVE to be read to, hint hint hint... But no bite, the parent agrees and--does nothing!

This has made me wonder, how well does the parent read, especially reading aloud?

8:54 AM  
Blogger Molly said...

Its sad to see such an eager little child stuck with such uncaring parents. This story makes me think "God bless foster parents!" At least with them she might have a decent chance in life!

1:14 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

God, I just want to weep.

10:51 PM  
Blogger JY said...

That was kinda sad.... we used to read to Coffee ALL the time... now we're kinda glad that she can read by herself!!! LOL.... But reading is good bonding time with the child though....

5:11 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

This is sad for many reasons but reading to your kids is more about sharing something together and i think that parents needs to grasp that

1:57 AM  
Blogger Fizzy said...

OOOO I have been away for so long I am sorry. If I am reading ot all correctly you have a new job - If that is so I am happy for you. Sounds like you are enjoying it.
I have started posting again... if not intermittently I have a new blog link though
PLease forgive me for not being here earlier

5:11 PM  
Blogger Dotm said...

There was a time when things got real hard for us and I went back to work to help with the bills. My youngest son was only 2 years old at the time. The next youngest was 7 years old and her and the other kids were in school while I worked. Every pay day I bought a childs book for him for being so good when I was working. On my day off I would give him the book and we would sit together while I read the book to him. Sometimes his sister would hop up on the couch with us to hear me reading the book. Sometimes he would bring one of the books to me on other days and one way or another I found time to re-read it to him. He looked forward to every new book.
I can`t see how anyone wouldn`t have noticed that little ones interest in books. How hard is it to add one more child into the group.

2:32 PM  

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