Mindy Kaling found an easy way to freshen up storytime.
Throughout the quarantine, the mom of two, 41, has done a lot of reading at bedtime with her daughter Katherine "Kit" Swati, who turns 3 on Dec. 15. So much, in fact, she says she had "all these books memorized by heart" — and found a "selfish" yet creative way to reinvigorate the tried-and-true tales her daughter loved.
"I read her stories every night and I usually just read them verbatim, and now because I see her so much, we started doing a thing where I'll start a story and then I'll just stop and be like: 'Kit, what do you think should happen next? Like, there is what the book says, but what do you think should happen next?' " Kaling said during an Instagram Live chat for a LEGO partnership last month.
"It's kinda nice because, honestly, you can get really bored as a parent reading the same stories over and over again," continues Kaling, who's also mom to 3-month-old son Spencer. "It sort of pushes her to be creative instead of being passive; she can actively be participating in storytelling."
"And she's 2, almost 3 years old, so it's just fun, and it makes a ritual we do every night … it livens it up a little bit. For parents out there, I think that's been a fun little tip," she adds.
Kaling also admits the extra time at home means entertaining a toddler nonstop: "I have to be this party planner all day!"
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The Office alum recently told Travel + Leisure about the destinations she looks forward to visiting after the pandemic, mostly to places where she can finally introduce her newest addition to family.
“I have family on the East Coast that my son … has never met. So, right now, I'm excited to go to Bethesda, Maryland, and Cambridge, Massachusetts," she told the outlet, adding that she also is eager to: "having a picnic, having people over to the house, picking up other people's children and hugging them — that kind of thing."
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Back in September, Kaling opened up to PEOPLE about isolating at home with her daughter, saying the time together "bonded" them closer. "A lot of the stuff I thought was going to drive me crazy about being cooped up with a 2-year-old for seven months has actually bonded us really close together," she said at the time.
"My child was supposed to start preschool this year. And we were so excited. She was going to go to this school that I love," Kaling added. "Now I have the writers' rooms filling up for two of my shows on Zoom, while I'm also leading my child through her day-long preschool."
"I'm so lucky because I have help," she continued. "I'm at home all the time, and I don't want to eat takeout every single night. I have to be a full-time single parent who has to make the money for this household. So it's been challenging."
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