Wesley’s Library

Little by little, we work to make our home more Wesley-friendly, more open to a little creature that crawls toward everything and pulls up on all solid matter.

Making our space as much Wesley’s as ours has required some equipment – your basic plug covers, etc. – and a little ingenuity. It’s nowhere near as open as I’d like (for instance, as of now, he has no access to the kitchen), but he does have a space to call his own.

Our generous friends Sarah and Keith let us borrow a set of gates I had imagined we could use to create a rectangle of sorts to use sporadically while I worked in the kitchen or ran to use the bathroom, but Craig is much cleverer than I and set them up in ways that provide boundaries for Wes while still giving him total access to our small apartment’s family room, his own room, a bit of section connecting to the dining area and the hallway leading to the bathroom. I think Wesley thinks it’s heaven, a handful of his favorite toys waiting for him there, spots on which to stand to spy on me as I do dishes.

There is still much to be done, but I hope we’re fostering the feeling that our home is as much his as ours. I have other ideas in mind, some inspired by Montessori principles (I’m particularly fond of How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way or The Joyful Child, published by the Michael Olaf Company). Now I haven’t gone as far as placing Wesley’s mattress on the floor sans crib, but I’d like to add a low mirror to his room, for example. In the meantime, we’re quite proud of the low book sling (smartly bolted to the wall) set up in the hallway. I wasn’t sure he’d even use it yet, but sure enough, he loves to crawl over there whenever the mood strikes, stand tall and grab a book to read. And I’ll tell y’all, he’s got favorites. The aim is to rotate the book every so often. Right now he’s got Jan Brett’s The Mitten, The Rainbow Fish, Welcome Winter, Gyo Fujikawa’s beautiful and silly Ten Little Babies, Touch the Art : Make Van Gogh’s Bed and a first book of words in Spanish (we need to add another Spanish book…) from which to choose.

Though you see him going for The Mitten in the photograph, it’s The Rainbow Fish he seems to love the best, along with Welcome Winter, its second page with crinkly snow lovingly touched each time. And he’s fond of Van Gogh’s bed itself, the tiny red felt of its covers up for grabs (be aware that this book comes with an under-3/possible choking hazard warning: each page has some element to touch and feel). I wonder what new favorites he’ll make each month.


16 thoughts on “Wesley’s Library

    • It’s from Target actually! Someone on Etsy makes some lovely ones, too, but it would have been much more expensive. I didn’t think to check One Step Ahead. Lakeshore Learning also has some nice ones, but again, SO expensive.

  1. Everytime I see the word ‘Montessori’ I think of Avenue Q! LOL Wes is looking super adorable in his library. I have a feeling he will be receiving a Spanish book, very soon! 😉

  2. LOVE it!! I am pretty sure I will be going out to buy something very similar! I want Mr.T to be such a good little reader, that I am becoming obsessed with picking up books all the time! They are all just too darn cute.

    • Right there with you. We have SO many books for Wes (and I keep adding to my wants list). Most of them are housed in a bookcase in his room right now, but I’m working on making that a music area of sorts and putting all his books except the ones in rotation in one of our bookcases.

  3. Before I gave birth, I had so many wonderful mental images of snuggling with our daughter and reading aloud. But to date, she refuses to sit still long enough for even a single page. She does sometimes pick up books on her own, but only to chew them. So kudos to you for raising a reader-to-be. I know it’s not as easy as one might think!!!

    • Oh believe me, he eats them plenty too, lol. I think it’s just lately that he enjoys turning the pages mainly. He’ll still walk away after we’ve flipped a page or two or grab another one. But then he also comes up and tries to crawl up on my lap every once in a while. It’s very sweet!

  4. I just adore this, Lou! As you know, we’ve got a bookshelf in Finn’s room which he pulls books off to “read” (and just pile up on the floor with satisfaction at his creation/destruction) several times a day, but this is oh, so much cuter! Pretty soon, the bookshelf will be full, so perhaps we’ll try this next. Wes looks so adorable smiling in front of it.

    By the way, I found a couple of little “parts” to the gates after you left the other day: some of those twisty-circles for Wes to play with and, well, pull off and toss somewhere, apparently.

  5. This is so cute! I love love love the book sling, what an awesome picture, and it sounds like you two are fostering a wonderful environment for curious little Wes! What a lucky boy! 🙂

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