The other day I picked up the latest issue of Brain, Child - my favorite magazine for mothers - and as usual it was packed with articles I was interested in reading, especially the one on "eco-parenting". So the other night, while Cora colored and watched her PBS shows, I sat on the couch reading my magazine. (Oh the bliss of having reached a stage where she can do something and I can do something, and they can be two different things!)
Of course, it wasn't long before she was climbing into my lap, wanting to see what I was reading. There aren't a lot of flashy pictures in Brain, Child, but we looked at some and talked about how there were a lot of words on the pages, and eventually she went back to coloring and Super Why.
Then, last night after dinner, while we were all still sitting at the table, she reached over to the pile of mail beside her placemat and said, matter-of-factly, "I'm going to read my magazine now." She'd pulled out a Hanna Andersson catalog (such beautiful clothes! such out of reach prices!), opened it up, and began poring over every page. And on every page she did the same thing. She would point to each clothing item in turn and say, "That's my pink shirt. That's my blue shirt. That's my black shirt." And so on.
One of the things this reminded me of was my own childhood fascination with the big JCPenney catalogs we used to get. I can remember going through the old ones and cutting out "my clothes" and toys. My stepgrandmother was a travel agent and she would send me brochures about cruises - I loved to pretend I was going on a cruise, and pick out which cabin I would be in, and then all the clothes I would take with me. What is so very odd about this, is that while I like having clothes that fit me and that I find comfortable, I really don't think of myself as being obsessed with clothes. But, perhaps I am a tiny bit obsessed with clothing options.
And I know I am obsessed with reading - about anything. One difficult thing this fall has been having very little time to read, and having to give books back to the library half-read or barely started, only to put them on my request list again and hope I remember where I was. I just had to do this today with Mary Roach's Bonk. I tried to skim a few chapters at lunch today - a completely dangerous and reckless activity as one should never laugh so hard that hot feta nearly comes out one's nose. I think I'll have about another three months to wait to get it again. Maybe by then there will be time to settle in with a book. Until then, though, I have been reading a lot of magazines and a lot of craft books. And maybe Cora is noticing this, too, and wanting to get in on whatever kind of seasonal reading plan her mama is following.
When she finished with the catalog, she set it aside with a sigh, looked around and asked, "Where's my other magazine?"