My almost 6-year has been wanting a bookcase in her room for…oh…awhile now. I have been putting it off for several reasons. But the major reason: she is just too junky to handle it (or, so I thought).
Kate is the kind of girl with a ton of energy, a ton of creativity, and too many ideas for her own good. I had visions of her scaling the bookcase to get to the top shelf of her closet, to create a hide-out or something. I feared she would dump all of the contents of to the floor and refuse to pick them up. There I would be, unable to find my child in the sea of books that flooded her bedroom floor.
I would ask her, “Kate, can you please pick up these books?” and I would hear a very muffled, “No. I can’t even find my bookcase…”
Then I would ask again, “Kate, can you please pick up these books?” This time, she would respond with something like, “Not now, I’m building the Eifel Tower with the books/creating a slide/a dollhouse.” Because she is just that kind of kid.
But that’s not how it happened. She had all of these ideas about how to decorate the shelves…placing a framed photo of she, her sister and dad in the dug-out of the St. Louis Cardinals (where we’re originally from) plain and center. She started plopping other honored treasures–the 100th day of school bookmark and hand-made craft–in the new digs.
“No, no…we’re putting books in there!” I had to remind her. She hopped up and into our guest room where I keep all of the kid books (that’s me being overly tidy and organized–which is getting to be a tad too-much–I forget what I have). Together, we filled the new bookcase, categorizing books by theme, shape, author, etc. I felt good about the process and the mother-daughter bonding, plus the end result: a tidy bookcase which will hopefully encourage her to do more than just memorize those pages!