"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Thursday, March 31, 2011

arguing semantics

A few weeks ago, Max decided that he was too Big for board books. He took it upon himself to raid the various bookshelves and book baskets and book bins (we have a lot of books) around the house to fill his own Bedtime Books basket in his room. We've found a few favorites from the lot...Raffi's sing-to-me books The Wheels on the Bus and Down by the Bay were instant hits. Another good one to sing is Moo Moo Brown Cow. But the new, hands-down, favorite is Mommy Mine by Tim Warnes, illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators of all time, Jane Chapman. (Yes. I have favorite illustrators. I used to teach kindergarten. These things are very important.) If you don't know this book, you should. If you don't OWN this book, here's a little time-saver for you.

You're welcome.

There isn't a plot to the story; it's a series of animal Mommy and Baby illustrations accompanied by text that is repetitive, rhythmic, and in rhyme. The first few pages read like this: "Mommy huge. Mommy hairy. Mommy spiny. Mommy scary. Mommy flutter. Mommy chatter. Mommy tiny...pitter patter." It's really a lovely book.

There's just one problem.

Max INSISTS that the "Mommy" animal in each picture is a "Daddy." He'll listen patiently to the story but, every once in awhile, he'll remove the binky from his mouth, point to the larger of the two animals in the picture and say, "Da Da." When I say, "Mommy, honey. It's a MOMMY alligator," he shakes his head "no" emphatically and says, "Da-DEE."

It doesn't matter what the title of the book is. It doesn't matter what Every Other Word in the story is. It doesn't matter what I say about it. There is just no changing his mind--Mommy Mine is a wonderful children's book about baby animals and their dads.

Lesson Learned:
So how far do I push the I'm-Right-You're-Wrong stand-off between me and my 17-month old? Well, maybe if he would just once say the word "Mommy" I'd give in on the Daddy Mine Issue. It's not like I'm terribly offended that his first word was "fish" or that he can say "duck" and "pop the bubble" but not "mama."



[wiping the tears]

It doesn't bother me at all....because he gives the world's best Open Mouth Baby Kisses and Arms Around The Neck Tightest Hugs, which are even better than words.

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