I’ve decided it’s time to come clean.
I’ve been a fraud.
Well, I haven’t committed fraud (not 100% certain what that means, anyway), but I’ve led you to believe I sit and read to my children 24/7. I’m sorry to shatter your mental image of my children begging me to read them stories, clamoring for “more, Mama! More!” Unfortunately, Mama is either lazy, trying to be productive, or scrolling Facebook, and screen time makes toddlers SO happy (and, uh, occupied). Therefore, it takes extra effort on my part to sit and read aloud. When I actually accomplish this, however, the children do seem to swarm and snuggle.
And so, let’s talk about the books that are worth talking about, especially as I had a bit of free time (aside from sleeping in and long naps while grandparents entertained the little folks) during the Thanksgiving holiday.
What Mama Recently Read
Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick
A friend of mine (hi, Erin!) recommended this book, as Mrs. Dusick and I have similar writing styles. It’s true—even I can see that, and I’m right in the thick of it. This book also reminds me of Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, except much lighter and love-filled. Also, the language is 500xs more appropriate (Sorry! I forgot to put a warning label on that last post…). Even though Amber Dusick refers to her family as “Crappy Papa,” “Crappy Boy,” and “Crappy Baby,” she clearly adores the three men in her life. They’re only crappy because she’s drawing crappy pictures of them. She started the idea with a website, in which I wandered around for way too long. I love how she writes about the “real” side of parenting without whining or tearing down her family.
She also wrote Marriage: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures, which currently resides in my Amazon shopping cart.
What Mama Reads
I was attempting to read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. It has wonderful reviews comparing it to A Man Called Ove, though I kept thinking of The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I’m sure it’s wonderful, hilarious, and thought-provoking, but I’m just not in the mood. It’s November, for cry eye! I have books to read and track on Goodreads before 2017 runs out! I kid, I kid. Mainly, I don’t have the brain capacity outside the turkey, dressing (I have an ENTIRE pan of mushy leftovers in my fridge), and Christmas lists to read anything in-depth right now. My fall-back plan? Light, clean romances. Easy peasy.
For the past five-to-eight-ish years, my favorite Christian-fiction author has been Denise Hunter. I loved (and loved again and again) The Convenient Groom, because there’s nothing saucier (but moral and pure!) than a marriage of convenience or arrangement…in the fictional world, anyway. Since that time, however, my brain has grown tired of predictable fictional romances. The characters are always gorgeous and, regardless of what inevitable drama occurs, they always get married in the end. And yet, there’s something there. I mean, why else would Hallmark movies be soooo popular (amongst women AND men!)?
So, I’m currently reading Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter. I’m sure everyone is beautiful but a little broken from past tragedies. I doubt the Gospel will be preached very loudly for a “Christian” fiction. The steamiest scene will involve how “he smelled of woods and something undefinable” and “her lips were the color of rosebuds in the spring.” Oh! And someone’s eyes will somehow communicate far more emotion than humanely possible. But, hey, it’s the holidays. Mama’s brain needs a break.
What the Toddler Reads
We’re on a MAJOR Dr. Seuss kick these days. I blame it on the repetition and how George is just starting to pick up a few sight words. Because of this, I can’t hold it against Seussy for writing such addicting books (for the younger crowd, anyway). He was hooked on Green Eggs and Ham, which was AWESOME when it came to getting him to try something new at dinner. He successfully and willingly tried a mushroom, an apple (not his first, but he’s been stubborn about it), and oatmeal. Not huge victories, but I’m counting them!
We’ve now moved on to One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, which I’m pretty sure was just a random collection of the good Doctor’s ramblings. Remember how “This one has a little star. This one has a little car. Say! What a lot of fish there are!”? Well, I found it adorable how George decided the starred fish must have a capital on its belly because that’s how state capital are portrayed. Presh.
Other Toddler Reads for Ya
So, I was feeling guilty about the unread stack of library picture books on our shelf, so I read to George for a few minutes while he did a puzzle of Asia. A day in the life, y’all.
I discovered a book that I just loved, though it’s a tad old for George:
Wordplay by Adam Lehrhaupt
Obvs, I’m a word nerd, so this was deeply exciting for me. Each character represents a part of speech. For instance, Verb is a red, pig-tailed girl who likes to do everything. Noun is a blue boy who can be anything. Tension arises when the other playground kids—Interjection, Adjective, and Adverb—start admiring Noun above Verb. Inventive story about friendship, caring for one another, and, of course, wordplay.
Other picture-book recommendations:
The Little Red Cat: Who Ran Away from Home and Learned His ABC’s (The Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli (just in case I don’t get around to a Christmas list for y’all)
Read the Book, Lemmings! by Ame Dyckman
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen (one of those “I can’t believe that just happened!” Klassen books)
What are you reading this holiday season? Any recommendations?