I’ve been thinking a lot about Dr. Seuss recently since the announcement that a new manuscript, What Pet Should I Get?, has been found and will be published posthumously. I’ve found that parents either love or hate Dr. Seuss’s books for their kids.
Personally, I rather enjoyed them for my preschoolers, and one of the reasons why might surprise you. Dr. Seuss’s books, and other very rhythmic, rhyming books, tend to be very easy to memorize. And you know your preschooler doesn’t want to hear a book just one time, right? She wants to hear it every day, multiple times a day (which can be quite mind-numbing, as we all can relate to). Factor in that you are exhausted. Maybe you have lots of little ones and feel drained. Maybe you are pregnant and growing a baby is sapping all your energy. Maybe you are overwhelmed trying to balance work and family. I’ve been there.
This is how I coped.
I learned to read with my eyes shut.
Reading to my child, I found, was a restful time for both of us. I could sit, not worry about my little one getting into things, and enjoy relative quiet in the house.
And on those very worn out days, those Dr. Seuss books were my salvation. I found that the books we read over and over, I no longer had to “read.” I had memorized them. I could just sit back, close my eyes, and turn the pages when I knew I should. This was the best way I found to rest with a little one who only sits still when being read to.
Here are some of my favorite “read with my eyes shut” books:
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury (not a rhyming book, but it is repetitive and rhythmic, which helps in the memorization.)
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson (I adore this book!)
The Nose Book by Al Perkins
All of Baby, Nose to Toes by Victoria Adler (One of my favorite board books!)
Ten Apples Up On Top! by Theo. LeSieg (i.e. Dr. Seuss)
And I can’t forget I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! (why yes, yes I can) by Dr. Seuss
It’s been a few years since I consistently felt worn out enough to need to employ the “reading with my eyes shut” technique, but I bet I could still quote large chunks of many of these books.
If you are a tired parent whose toddler insists on hearing the same books over and over, why not make it books you can easily memorize. Then read them with your eyes shut! Hope you enjoy a bit of rest from this technique!
Do you have a tip on how tired moms can read more? I’d love to hear about it!