True Confessions of the Reading Life of a Toddler by Ezra Wyzlic
Today, we host Ezra, a 17-month old, at the Nerdy Book Club. He typed out his own post, but it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. His parents have done their best to interpret for us.
Interpreter: “Pre-birth, I knew about books. Listening to them being read to me by my dad was pretty good. Great, even. The best one was probably Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Problem is, I didn’t have the body control to cover my ears when Dad did the sing-y bits, so that kind of sucked.
Interpreter: “Learning to hold books was one of my favorite early memories. This wasn’t easy; they were often given to me, but I didn’t know what to do with them. Handling them was tough. Hard. Hands were just these floppy things that couldn’t quite grasp things yet. Don’t let that get you down, though – my parents held them for me and read them to me until I could learn to hold them myself.”
Interpreter: “Near my 4-month birthday, I was starting to hold books on my own. For real, they were my favorite toys. Very sturdy, and with bright pictures and such carefully arranged squiggles – I loved them. Now that I could hold them on my own, I was constantly wanted them. Jonesing for a book, all I had to do was cry until my parents brought one to me. For a while, books were the only thing that could really sooth me….
No. Just kidding. The thing that could soothe me was food. Next after that, though, were books.
Interpreter: “Vocabulary was starting to increase as I got to my 9th month of post-birth life. Freely squealing and playing with sounds in my mouth, books helped give me more things to try. For a time, when my parents would read me books, I would try to make the sounds they made. J-sounds were really tough; I still don’t have those figured out. Definitely, Goodnight Moon was still my favorite book (it had been since birth, really), but I was branching out to others really quickly.
Interpreter: “Books were the theme of my first birthday. Being the son of two nerds, I spent the week after my birthday at nErDcamp Michigan.
Just as I was saying hi to yet another Nerdy friend, I went completely still. Frozen. Kidding around with some teachers across the hallway was my favorite author. Giving a signed book to another adoring fan. Looking at Aaron Zenz, the author of Chuckling Ducklings, I buried my head in my mom’s shoulder. Fear of meeting him overwhelmed me, so I found myself playing with a ball instead. Kids need to play, too, after all.”
[Ezra insists that “jghfjgnkf” is meant to be read as a phonetic beat-box style free verse poem.]
Ezra’s inner thoughts: These interpretations are fun, but way off. I mean, come on. Every letter I typed is the start of a sentence? Clearly Mom and Dad don’t speak my language yet. Here’s the deal. Books are awesome. They’ve been a part of my life since the start. But I don’t talk the way those interpreters make me sound!
I remember being an infant, and Goodnight Moon was the only thing that would help me get to sleep. My parents occasionally read another book, something about “go the something to sleep,” but I didn’t really understand that one.
When I grew up and was about 8 or 9 months, I would start choosing my own books more and more. One thing the interpreter did get right was that Chuckling Ducklings was my favorite. Have you read it? “Cub cub cub cub” is just so fun to hear! And those pictures. Adorable.
But when I got older, I moved on to more challenging reads. Things like The Pout-Pout Fish, Lift the Flap: First 100 Words, and War and Peace. Basically, I surrounded myself with books.
Even my Halloweens have been book-influenced. My first one, I was Max from Where the Wild Things Are. This year, I went as the Pigeon from Mo Willems’ books. I even had a moment of full-on meta.
Now that I’m a full-on big person, at 17 months, I can make even more of my own choices. I like reading the novels my parents read, and I’m a huge fan of Jennifer and Matt Holm’s books I’m Sunny and I’m Grumpy. I still love when my parents read to me, though. I made it 3 pages into A Wrinkle in Time once.
Recently, my parents decided to move me to a larger room. The first new thing they set up for me were my very own bookshelves. They put my toy rack in there, too, but I don’t really do much with that. I mean, who needs plastic when you can have books?
I love reading before bed. Sometimes, I like to read two books at once.
I’m still not sure what those symbols on the pages mean, but books are great regardless! Seriously, have you ever played with books? The way the insides move back and forth? And there’s a new thing on every page! It’s like magic.
Books are the magic in my life.
Ezra Wyzlic is the most amazing 17-month old he knows. He likes to read, chase the cat, and laugh at his own farts. If you wish to reach him, please contact his agents (and poor interpreters) Brian and Lisa Wyzlic. He would like to add: “^+
=====dd===,,,,,,,,,..k,vm,r y5jj d s dd jkdjythfvc gph
**All photos copyright Lisa Wyzlic unless otherwise noted**