A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: books

Life as Pictures

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Lazy Weekend Mornings…

My three-year-old little man didn’t wake especially early, but the rest of the house was still asleep. I’d been up for an hour enjoying the easy quiet of the house…wasting time as Mommies do when no one is around. It was too early for me to be roaming the house, but the lure of no one else around was too strong, and that’s why caffeine exists.

Eventually, my son treks downstairs, eating his banana in front of the sofa where I continue to lay. Upon finishing the prelude to his breakfast, he walks to the bookcase housing almost the entirety of our children’s reading collection, and chooses his latest passionate obsession.

Image result for ping the duck book

Mr. Man climbs into my arms, snuggling close. My son has the tale mostly memorized…at least the first few pages, so he begins until it is my turn to take over. In a relatively hushed utterance I read each page, my son rapt. He periodically stops me to inquire about the illustrations…the reflection in the water…the rings around the fishing birds’ necks…asking if Ping looks happy. Small inquires like that are typical to my curious little boy. My son continued to burrow into the snuggle, telling his love for me during breaks between the repetitive story renditions.

Little Man and I agree to change his diaper after I read one of his favorite pigeon books.

Image result for pigeon finds a hot dog

But, just as the story concluded and Mr. Man sought the solitary image of the eaten hot dog among the tantalizing complete ones on the back cover, he heard Daddy stirring upstairs. The spell was broken. My son rushed to meet his hero. Simultaneously, Warrior Queen announced her awakened state with cries to join the morning rumble. I guess the diaper will wait…

Read Along

My soon-to-be-threenager loves a story. Scratch that, he is absolutely passionate about a story. It doesn’t matter the quality; Little Man does not discriminate. I read to him so often that he has the entirety of his bookshelf memorized. I don’t remember him on this front when he was Warrior Queen’s age. Newly mobile, she is too consumed with exploring to sit for a tale. My best shot is when she is partaking in a bottle or solids meal. I have her feed herself a bottle in her car seat bucket with a towel supporting the bottle for when she has difficulty maneuvering her beverage. It’s become her preferred bottle method, the independent sprite she is. I came to realization yesterday that phasing out the use of her bottle in a scant month or so will be a nonissue. My daughter much prefers non liquid foods, and would gladly do away with bottles altogether if she knew what to do with the sippy cup.

Image result for munchkin sippy cup

(We use a Munchkin sippy cup. It doesn’t cause the same transition or dental issues as a typical sippy cup.)

I imagine she will get it once the time comes. I’ve stopped fretting on such things, as my kids always manage to do things like this in their own time as long as I don’t get in the way of their progress. If I’m a strong enough Mommy to let them be independent, they usually rise to the occasion, and it breaks my heart a little every time.

But, I digress…meals are the only time Warrior Queen will attend, unless her brother is reading to her…Mr. Man will take a tale whenever. It is a common site to have baby sister in her high chair, and big brother on my lap. We will all be snacking or nibbling something, and I will be reading from a collection my son chose and carted over to the kitchen table. Little Man will have a selection of certain favorites each week. Some of the books so practiced he will “read” them after my run through. Sometimes we alternate pages; sometimes he will recite sections randomly before requesting me to continue. I’m surprised of my love for a read aloud, even when the repetitions are tiresome. The best stories are the ones with an easy, rhythmical cadence; and I have to say I’m quite a good story orator.

I’ve found that Little Man quotes excerpts from his stories randomly throughout the day. One particular prized usage is from one that is tops on my list.

Image result for the duckling gets a cookie

Basically, the pigeon in this series is a toddler…and hilarious…because I don’t have to discipline him. My son’s preferred quote to throw at me is from this book, “It’s not fair. Ducklings get everything.” Usually the life context is correct even if there is no duckling…or cookie involved. If he isn’t particularly distraught with his situation, he will continue a bit further with the dialogue.

Several months back I schlepped a box of books up from the basement. Our shelves were becoming cluttered, so we temporarily retired some of the books I read to my son when he was a baby. Since my fierce sprite is older, they were called back into service. Mr. Man was absolutely delighted and pilfered the selection on the regular for a couple weeks.

The bucket feedings, however, are the purist opportunity for me to read to a captive baby audience, even if she demonstrates no literature preference just yet. The other day is an example of a moment I want to recall easily for the remaining days of my life. Warrior Queen was in her bucket enjoying her bottle. I was sitting on the floor next to her, Mr. Man on my lap. He chose two among the week’s favorites, and as I read Brown Bear my son bobbed his head to the predictable rhythm of the words each and every time I read the story.

Image result for brown bear brown bear what do you see

When I read Llama Llama Red Pajama, he laughed to himself at each of his favorite parts of the book.

Related image

Warrior Queen was rapt on the pictures, drinking peacefully. It was such a small memory, one that would likely evaporate in my family’s story. But, I have these words, and one day when I sit with my mug of tea, I will come across this, and the clearest picture will rush to my mind’s eye. For that brief moment my children won’t be quite so independent…quite so distant.

The Power of Song?

I sing to Mr. Man all the time.  I have a fairly terrible voice, but he doesn’t care, and sometimes it prevents him from launching feet into my chest and face while I’m attempting to change his diaper.  Little Man requests all sorts of songs throughout the day, and I love looking at his beaming smile during the multiple renditions of every childhood song I’ve had to learn throughout these two years.  Naturally, the Warrior Queen was along for the ride, unable to escape the tunes my son urged.

I’m also perpetually reading stories to my son.  All varieties from well written to garbage that I can’t remember receiving.  It doesn’t matter what it is; he just loves a tale.  When my daughter had the room to move in my belly, I often felt her flipping a certain way whenever I read a book to my son.  Once she ran out of room, such movements stopped, but I felt confident she continued to enjoy the entertainment.

Now that my fierce girl is born, it is too early to know if she will enjoy books on the level as her brother; I hope so.  But, undeniably my singing provides comfort I never expected.

My first indication was seconds after her birth, wailing as all newborns do when thrust into the outer world.  My singing calmed her so quickly it didn’t completely register at the time.  If my husband hadn’t recorded it, I might not believe it almost a week later.

As I did with my son, I held my daughter throughout those first days in the hospital singing even when she was asleep.  When she was unhappy and uttering her discontented squeaks, a chorus of some random tune would be hushed in melodic breaths, and she would settle.

One occasion occurred just after I fed her a bottle.  Within minutes of my placing her in her hospital Tupperware container, she began to fuss, clearly not ready to be on her own quite yet.  I returned her to the crooks of my arms, wide awake she focused on my eyes as I sang.  With every ounce of effort she kept her eyes open, but they became heavier as the moments passed.  My girl fought sleep as long as she could, peering through barely visible slits before losing the fight.  The slumber kept that time, but I continued to hold this sweet girl who already knows what she wants.  And, times such as these I’m only too happy to oblige.

Best Laid Plans

The other night Little Man was on the sofa with me feeling the pains of thwarted attempts to grasp the working remote and my phone.  I thought he gave up, but really he was just changing tactics, and I was late to the party realizing it.  Sliding down to the floor he grabs a couple of books he wants me to read.  He hands them to me on the sofa before sitting in his usual spot on the floor…nothing too controversial there.  He exhibits this behavior all the time; I figure he just doesn’t like me to be comfortable.  I grudgingly lever myself off the sofa, and am about to sit on the floor when he stands up and travels to the furthest point in the room and sits.  Okay?  He’s never done that before, but during his process of changing locations I had already managed to lower myself to the floor past the point of no return.  Consequently, Mommy isn’t budging.  Realizing his plot is not unfolding according to plan, he amends his scheme.  Both of us sitting on the floor in a game of staring chicken, Mr. Man stands up and begins his finest creeper impersonation.  He’s slinking along with shifty eyes, slowly making his way behind and past me to the armrest holding his cherished remote and phone.  Almost at his destination with the fruits of his labor within reach, he realized he was busted, providing me with his much practiced, “Awww shucks,” giggle and smile so that I might forget his attempt to scam me.  Should I feel embarrassed that it worked?

Story Time

My fourteen-month-old had a friend over the other day; well I’m telling him they are friends anyway.  A sweet little girl just under a year who showed great interest in eating my son’s books.  Per his usual way of requesting literary entertainment, he throws a desired book at me.  I continue to read after he walks off; I’ve come to understand he often likes listening to the story in the background while he plays on the floor.  His friend sitting at my feet, captivated by one of Little Man’s favorites.  She crawls over and pads up my leg to a standing position, holding my knee for balance, riveted by the story.  It didn’t take long for the master of the household to walk over and superimposes himself in front of his friend, claiming his mommy as his own.

I had not seen it before, but my little guy apparently has the capacity for jealousy…but not with all things.  With his true friends he is quite generous.  Among my son’s closest friends is his Kermit the Frog, who admittedly is quite a tolerant being, allowing my son to gnaw on his limbs, eyes, and face…we should all be so lucky…  Holding Kermit, he waddles across the floor to where I am sitting like the tiny drunkard he is.  Once at my feet, he hands me his truest of friends, who I reward with a place on my lap and recounting of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, bouncing the frog at all the same places my son knows so well.  My son crawls over to his collection of books, digging through the piles until he finds the very story I am reciting.  Throwing it in my direction, he takes a seat next to me and watches in rapture as I turn the pages, bouncing his friend on my lap.  At times I could swear he conspired with Kermit at the parts of the story where one would be in for quite the ride.

The story concludes, and I begin another from memory.  My son finds the story among the group as he did the first, but while he gave it to me, he expressed a strong preference for a different one.  I should have known he would like his BFF to experience Piggy Paints…  My son reclaims his seat, basking in the enjoyment he knew his friend was experiencing.  Hmmm…maybe he just doesn’t like girls…

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