Sunday, February 08, 2015

Ice cube capades and rereading books

"I not has ice!" Benjamin pouted in the middle of dinner last night. He threw such a fit about it that we knew he had to have ice or we'd just have our hands full. We read a story recently called The Baby on the Way by Karen English, and with a title like that you'd think it would have something to do with preparing an soon-to-be older sibling about their new role but it wasn't about that at all. Rather it's about a grandson who asks his grandmother if she was ever a little girl, then if she was ever a baby. She answers and tells him that she was even "the baby on the way."

So the story is the grandmother retelling the story of when her family was preparing for her to be born, which I suppose is kind of like a story preparing children for a new baby in the house, but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting from the title.

Anyway, about in the middle of the book she said that whenever she would cry her mama would tell all the siblings (there were nine of them) to "Give her what she wants," because "she was tired by the tenth child.

Shoot! I'm tired by the fourth (which I've mentioned isn't a 'large' family in my religious culture (though ten is certainly starting to sound large) but is apparently considered a large family here...and it does pull my attention in a crazy number of directions at once) so our Plan A was to give in—as soon as—to his simple request so that we could continue dinner in peace.

The main problem was that no one wanted to get up to get ice for him.

He can use the refrigerator to get ice or water depending on what setting was last used, but he has no idea how to change settings (and I'm not sure he can reach those buttons even with the stool he has to stand on to reach in the first place). Lately he's been enjoying getting water so much that every morning—almost the very first thing—he gets out five cups and fills them one by one, declaring, This a Daddy cup, this a Mommy cup, this a Shasha cup, this a Mimi cup, this a my cup!"

(And in case you're wondering his current pronunciation of his own name is "Benja-him").

Anyway, he wasn't about to get his own ice. We didn't want to disturb the girls from their plates because they were already eating so slowly. I certainly wasn't planning on standing up (I've got that fourth baby in my tummy, remember?). That left Andrew, who had plenty of ice in his own glass, which probably inspired Benjamin's little tantrum in the first place.

Andrew reached his hand into his glass to fish out an ice cube for Benjamin (he's done this trick before), but Benjamin flipped out more.

"Don't touch the ice, Dad!" he shrieked. "Don't touch it! Dad! DON'T!"

"Why not?" Andrew asked, pausing his ice-fishing expedition.

"Ice so seezing!" Benjamin explained with a rather dramatic shiver. "I hate ice!"

"I thought you wanted ice," Andrew said.

"I am!" Benjamin said emphatically, holding his cup out to Andrew like poor little Oliver Twist who only wanted "more."

Andrew finally caught hold of a piece of ice and plopped it into Benjamin's cup and the rest of our meal went smoothly. But that image of my little boy fake-shivering on the bench and saying, "Ice so seezing! I hate ice!" is one I hope I remember for a long time. He's so funny because he's so serious about everything he says—he acts as though he's bearing his soul to you every time he opens his mouth—when half the time he's not making any sense at all.

Anyway, speaking of library books that we've been reading, now that we've finally somewhat adjusted to life after holidays (yes, it took us this long, so sue me) we're finally somewhat secure in our bedtime routine again, which means that story time is a lot more reliable than it was when we first got back from vacation and it was all, "Oh, no! It's time for bed! Quick! Get in your jammies. One story and that's it! We have to get up in the morning!"

We've been working our way through our bin of library books a lot faster but I haven't wanted to increase the frequency of our trips to the library (our bag of books weighs well over 20 lbs, which means that I'm not supposed to carry it so we're a little dependent on Andrew), which means we've been rereading books. Although that's somewhat annoying for me, I hear that it's good for children.

So although I may have hid Curious George's ABC's (we've read it so many times in recent history that just the sight of it makes me shudder—which is why it's great to have other readers in the house because Miriam's been reading it to Benjamin when I've been saying "No more!") I have been re-reading some of our library books.

Benjamin has two that he picks out every night, which means it might be time to go back to the library again because I'm almost to the point where I want to hide these books from him, but you can't really hide library books because that just sounds like you're asking to lose it.

One book is Arthur's Dream Boat by Polly Dunbar. To me, the story is kind of...meh...but the pictures make up for that, so I don't mind reading it a couple times more. We keep noticing fun things in the pictures.

The other book he picks every single night is The Three Little Pigs, as told by Steven Kellogg. Now, I like Steven Kellogg (we have a few autographed books of his that my mom picked up at BYU's Young Readers conference). And this is a rather cute retelling of the fairy tale, though I am getting a little sick of it. I mean, if I have to say "Serifina Sow" one more time... *deep breath*

Truthfully, I'd probably make it through the book a couple more times because Benjamin loves it just that much. And also it's kind of about waffles as much as it is about the three little pigs, and we could all do well to live by the words of Leslie Knope: “We need to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn't matter, but work is third.”

Though in this book, waffles is work, so...

Anyway, there's one story that I'm not sure I could get sick of and, thankfully, it's one that Miriam keeps picking out. It's called, The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett. And it's basically hilarious. It's about a princess and a pig who switch places accidentally and how their two families try to work out what has happened by alluding to various fairy tales, saying, "It's the sort of thing that happens all the time in books," while holding up a copy of whatever story they're referring to.

The kids have started chanting that line with me when we read. And it's just fun. And the ending is adorable. And I'm not sure it's possible to even get sick of reading this book, which almost makes me not want to go back to the library...except that I am starting to get sick of reading some of the other books in the library bin, so...


  1. Oh, that book sort of reminds me of Cinderella's Rat by Susan Meddaugh, a book that I do not get tired of. I will have to look for it.

  2. Sounds like a cute book. Thanks for sharing about your library books. :)

    Also, you write so vividly/descriptively (?) that I can see these images of your children in my mind as I read. So funny about Benjamin's shivering. :)