The Diaper Diaries

but hopefully not full of crap

All in all a pretty good read (if you take out that pig bladder part) April 14, 2008

Filed under: Family,Motherhood — thediaperdiaries @ 10:12 pm

 I am a bibliophile (actually click over to that Wikipedia link, there is some weird stuff over there). I have been one for as long as I can remember. I was a very early reader and spent what feels like entire summers at the local library. Judy Blume, Ramona, How to Eat Fried Worms, Charlotte’s Web, Diary of Anne Frank. I would enter every summer reading program. I would blaze through books at crazy speed. Even in the most intense parts of graduate school, I could be found ending out my night with a novel in my lap.

Somehow, when I became a mom, I seemed to stop reading. Unless you count parenting books and my wide variety of magazines. I still gave it some effort. Picking up a book right before I went to bed, but 3 sentences in…well, I would wake up the next morning with the open book on my chest. Last year, a friend of mine started a book club and I enthusiastically signed up. It was like being reunited with a long lost love. I devour each book and can’t wait until the next one is announced.

When we had kids, the hubby and I discussed how important it was to us to instill a love of reading in our children. It encourages such great imagination and creativity. I think that might be part of the reason we are such freaks about limiting TV. I would so much rather have them curl up with a book about Dora that zone out in front of her show (although Dora at least has them yelling Spanish and jumping around).

So we stock our house with board books. Head to the book section at garage sales. Don’t even get me started on those Scholastic order forms they send home from school. We read every night before bed. We have Lily read during her quiet time. We pack suitcases full of books for road trips. We strap our children down and prey their eyes open, forcing them to look at books (ok, we don’t go that crazy).

So it came as no surprise to me that Lily is an early reader. Actually I was a bit surprised cause she was quite early, but it seemed hard wired into her DNA. You know the great thing about you kid being able to read? You don’t always have to do it for them. They can entertain themselves with books for hours and even entertain their younger siblings. You want to know the downside? You can’t skip over parts in the book to get to the end quicker. No paraphrasing either. Just one less way I can lie to my children. And isn’t lying the basis of half the stuff I do?

So I decided it would be really cool to start reading chapter books with Lily. I toyed with the idea that she might be to young, but I told her when we started that if she thought the bookwas too long or too old for her we would save it for later. I figured a chapter a night before bed time would be a really cool bonding experience for a seasoned book worm and her protege. This was one of those few and precious times I was sooo right.

I picked the Little House on the Prarie books cause I remember them with such fondness as a kid. I also stumbled on some old episodes on the Hallmark channel one day and Lily seemed very into it. Very confused, but very into it. So tonight, we began chapter one.

Here’s what I forgot. There is a lot of animal killing going on out in the wilderness. Lily finally looked up at me and said, “Aren’t they being kind of mean to all the animals?” I explained to her that, as we had talked about before, a lot of our food comes from animals. I think that fact was really sinking in and for a moment I feared I had created a vegetarian. But then I think the thought of yummy bacon got the best of her and we read on. She was completely amazed by people living in a one room house, killing and growing their own food, and not having a refrigerator. Think about that through a 4 year old’s eyes in 2008. I think I rocked her world. That my friends is the power of books.

Remember that Mary and Laura have one rag doll that belongs to Mary. Laura has a corncob that she pretends is a doll. At the end of the chapter Lily looked at me and said, “I think I want to be Laura…no wait Mary. Is that the one with the real doll, or the corncob? Cause I don’t want to be the one with the corncob doll.” Interesting point. I am so glad when discussing the toys played with in the book, we focused on the dolls and not the pig bladder that Pa blows up (I don’t even want to think about how) that they bat  around like a ball. Thankfully I don’t think Lily quite grasped the concept of a blown up pig bladder being batted around. Maybe that’s why these books are best read by the young. I am not sure I will ever think of pigs the same way. Wait…mmm, bacon. Never mind.


13 Responses to “All in all a pretty good read (if you take out that pig bladder part)”

  1. bigbinder Says:

    I loved those books!! I lived in town so it was a great exposure to how farm people lived even though it was way back when.

    A.P. read his first word two weeks ago. It was “off”. It was on a coupon. His first reading experience was a COUPON. How sad is that?

  2. Becoming Me Says:

    That was a great post/review. I have just started reading this book to my 4 year old daughter.


    I am inspired. We will be starting “The Boxcar Children” today!

  4. I started reading that series with my kids a few years ago and I thought it was over there head until my daughter tried to guess what was going to happen next and she was right! Very good series.

  5. Heather Says:

    When I was in elementary school, I used to set my alarm early, shove a blanket under the crack in my door and curl up under my small desk lamp to read these books (don’t know why I thought I would get in trouble for getting up early to read…).

    And…I still have fond memories of my mother reading to us. She read my brother the entire Chronicles of Narnia series. I was in middle school when she started, and I still loved sitting in, listening to them read.

    Read on, mama!

  6. Char Says:

    Clare has been reading for almost 2 years now, and each day she suprises me (and anyone else she’s with). We’ve been teaching her that with reading you can do anything in life you want, so it’s one of the most important skills a person can have. Keep up the reading!

  7. We read the Little House books as a family when I was young. I definitely do NOT remember the pig bladder part! Gooood times. I think you should get Lily a corncob wrapped up in a box for her birthday and see what she does. Ha ha! Messing with your kids is fun!

  8. skiplovey Says:

    I loved those books when I was a kid. But yeah I do remember thinking there was quite a bit on the business of animals.
    That’s so great that’s she interested in chapter books already. How fun for you.

  9. karenamundson Says:

    I never really enjoyed reading so that is why I too collect a ton of books for our daughter and read to her all the time so she doesn’t turn out like me. I do believe reading is so good for you. I’ll have to remember Little House on the Prairie for when she is a little older. Two might be too young yet.

  10. I can’t WAIT until I can read “real” books to my son! He’s too little right now…we’re still at board book stage.

    I lived Little House…I’ve got the whole set waiting for my Bubbalu.

  11. stacey Says:

    I was the same way! My dtr not so much, but now at 6, her reading is on target. Chapter books might be a fun summer project for us!

  12. Mrs. Z. Says:

    As a school librarian, I just want to congratulate all of you on taking the time to read with your children. I am a mom, too, and currently my daughter and I are enjoying some quiet time together while I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It’s so important to nurture a love of reading with your kids. If you make the experience pleasant and soothing, they will always go back to books.
    I loved the Little House series when I was a girl, and even bought the entire set when my girls were still babies. Somehow, we got caught up in other books and they are collecting dust on the shelf. Not for long, however! I will definitely yank them out of the cobwebs and share them with my girls. Thanks for reminding me how great these books are!

  13. Jack's Mommy Says:

    I’m an avid reader too (i started reading just before turning 3)…and with my first baby due in less than 3 weeks, I can’t wait to start reading to him! 😀

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