Intellectual Development

My very young trainer at the mommy fitness bootcamp says to me, “In our program, we believe that intellectual development is as important as physical. Every week you should read 20-30 pages from a book. And if you manage to do it, let me know and I’ll stamp your booklet. If you need recommendations on books to read, I can help.”

I find this to be indescribably cute.


15 thoughts on “Intellectual Development”

  1. This advice would be a lot less horrifying if it were to read 20-30 pages every week to your child. In our house, bedtime is me reading for 15 minutes to my son from a book of his choice. He likes Star Wars, Bad Kitty and Calvin and Hobbes.


    1. Klara wakes up, and she’s still sleepy, disheveled, and the first thing she says in a voice that is still hoarse from sleep is “books!” I raised a little book lover. Which shocks exactly nobody. 🙂


      1. A male trainer, ok. I suppose I should know better than to assume the gender of anybody.
        Thing is, I’m:-
        A) a writer so I feel free to use the English language however I choose
        B) I’m a bit old so I don’t care if strangers judge me! They are mostly irrelevant.


  2. I wonder in which world people who can afford mommy bootcamp sessions and are in a position they need book recommendations from their trainer.

    Maybe the trainer saw the Book It program from Pizza Hut and decided “I should do that, but for abs!” Or suddenly he discovered Juvenal and wants to share this with the world (does your university train classicists?)
    “Mena sana in corpore sano, mommies, may your brain be as tight as your abs! Concentrate on your core and the Descartesian duality of Western society! Time space paradoxes are total mindbenders just like burpees induce total upchucking! You can do it! 5…4…3…2…2…4…85….!”


    1. These are mommies. They don’t get much time to read. The 5 am training sessions are all overbooked because they have no other time. Obviously, I don’t go to such early sessions. Mostly, because I stay up reading late. :-)))


      1. Books on tape and Audible. Do they have no stretch of commute time to themselves?

        I agree you might not be able to plow through multiple books as a mom of young kids but reading doesn’t really require a lot of stretches of uninterrupted time. Ask what books the dude recommends, I’m really curious.
        In my mind there’s a difference between reading a college textbook or a monograph and what typically is on the best seller list. Especially 20-3o pages.


        1. No they don’t have that time, bestseller or monograph is not the point. Being a mother changes everything including reading habits. As a teenager I could easily devour 3 or 4 books a week in addition to all my school work, but when I was a mother of three young children it wasn’t just a question of having uninterrupted time to read, although there was precious little of that. It was a question of having stamina and brain-space for reading alongside everything else. I read magazines, they don’t require much engagement.
          The point I suppose I’m making is that being mother to one child is intellectually draining, with more than one it’s all encompassing. Unless you can afford daycare for your very young children there’s little brain space available for reading, if you try, you just sleep. Most women on the planet can’t get daycare.


          1. Exactly!! Very well said. And here people are judging me from reading non-academic magazines for fun and watching Dr Phil. Sometimes, it’s all I can muster to do,so what? That doesn’t make me any less of an intellectual. I hate this kind of snobbery.

            And yes, if you do motherhood responsibly, it takes everything you’ve got abd then some. I’m not complaining, but it’s a fact.


            1. Dear Clarissa, please read whatever the hell you like, whenever you like. You don’t deserve to be judged by anybody! And watch Dr Phil, whoever he is. Just give your brilliant brain some down time.
              When my kids were young we hadn’t that much daytime TV in the UK – yes I am so old! I would read crummy magazines called Woman’s Own and She, and re-read novels from my youth because I was already halfway there with them so didn’t need the concentration. Being a mum and running a life is intellectually tough, but we just get on with it, and eventually come out the other end. I can’t answer for being a dad because I wasn’t one.


  3. So the advice is to read half an hour’s reading per week?? Actually, if I am reading Chaucer I read about a page an hour. If I am reading difficult mathematics written by a mathematician who is not a good writer, maybe three page an hour. If I am reading simpler stuff in present day English, maybe 40 pages an hour. I have never been a really fast reader. I am told that mathematicians read slowly because we carefully parse every sentence, and puzzle over the meaning of anything non-grammatical that we encounter. I agree.


  4. I just had a flashback memory about reading. The son of someone I knew slightly was taking a reading class, I think in sixth grade. The first day’s assignment was to read the first chapter of an assigned book before the next class. He instead read the whole book. He did this with every book assigned for the term. He got a grade of C. The teacher said that this was because he was not “keeping up with the class.”

    I also recall that my first or second grade teacher told my mother not to let me read so much, so I would not get tired of it.


    1. When I started first grade, I already knew how to write cursive in Russian and English. (We start school at the age of 7). But the teacher wanted us to learn to write block letters first (is that what the opposite of cursive is called?) and gave me bad grades for being too ahead of everybody. Then my mom realized what was happening and tore the teacher a new anal cavity, so she left me alone.


      1. I did not learn to write in cursive until third grade, as I recall. I always wrote very neatly whether in block letters or cursive. I enjoyed learning lettering in ninth grade, in mechanical drawing class. It was mostly review of what I had learned eight years earlier, but there were some differences in protocols compared to how young children were taught.

        I have heard it suggested by more than one person lately that cursive writing is a useful secret code for us elderly folk, since so many children and even college students cannot read it.


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