By Erik Heilman
Director, Government Affairs
“Dada, book!” “Birdie book!” “Doggie book!” My 18-month old daughter loves her books. The big thick cardboard ones she can grab and hold and turn the pages. (And more importantly, not rip!) She’s figured out how to swipe and tap on my phone and tablet, and always asks to play with “Dada pone.” But no electronic device will replace the real thing.
Among her favorites are all the location-specific spinoffs of the classic children’s book, Goodnight Moon: Goodnight Washington, DC, Goodnight Denver, Goodnight Seattle, Goodnight Iowa, Goodnight Charleston
. Every family member and friend has sent us the “Goodnight” book from their hometown, and they’re all on the list of preferred reads. We’ve said goodnight to the people and icons of so many cities and states that my daughter’s geography IQ better be well above the average 18- month old! (Come to think of it, what’s the prize for winning the National Geographic Bee, and is it too early to start prepping?!)
There are so many moments I look forward to and cherish with my daughter as she continues to wiggle her way into my heart and wrap me around her little finger; none more so than reading to her before bedtime. Having her curled up in my lap, fresh from a bath, my chin resting on top of her baby-shampoo clean hair. The lights dimmed, her PJs on, pacifier soothing her towards imminent sleep. It’s always more than just story time. It’s learning time, sharing time. It’s our daddy-daughter bonding time.