|Knitting and listening to ZZ Top|
"Goodnight Moon" was written in the 1940's, and it has been used steadily by parents to put kids to sleep all these years for a reason. All babies seem to love it, I am finding in my limited exposure to my baby and a few others. You basically say goodnight to everything in the "great green room," and at one point there is a little old lady whispering "hush." When I say hush and put my finger up in the hush-motion, Erik always looks up to me for that part. It's all about routines for babies when you're putting them down to sleep, but sometimes I mix it up and go with the ZZ Top version and say she's the little old lady just looking for some tush. It's also all about keeping yourself sane.
|"Go on! Take everything! Take everything from me!"|
This kid in "The Giving Tree" is a real turd, right? Take, take, take. That's all he ever does. The rat bastard robs the tree of everything over the years to the point where the tree is just a stump and the boy sits his now old ass down on the tree when the tree has nothing else left to offer. You could just as easily have called it "The Taking Boy."
|You can't tell me that monkey isn't up to something sinister.|
|Swiper will pay for his crimes against the lemonade stand.|
I have two books with Dora the Explorer. They're cute, and I like to expose the young man to a little bit of Spanish. I will say there are a few too many words, which will lead to the baby trying to turn the page or reach for another book. This is when you have to make up a more abbreviated narrative for each page, or if you're a psycho like me, make a sick joke. For example, you'll see the picture of Dora and Boots the monkey having a sleepover, but look at the evil and maybe a little drunk look on that monkey. He's up to something just as the mom is turning out the lights. Sometimes for kicks I'll say, "Mom, don't turn out the lights for a human and monkey sleepover! That's how AIDS got started!" Yeah, I'm nuts. Sorry. Then you will see Dora and her monkey friend picking lemons to make lemonade while the evil little weasel with the lone ranger mask, Swiper, is stealing the lemons. This is when every once in a while I will say, "So for stealing the lemons, boots held him down while Dora beat Swiper about the head shoulders with a bicycle pump.
|The tear jerker.|
"And if someday you're lonely,
or someday you're sad
or you strike out at baseball
or think you've been bad . . .
just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there."
I since have bought this book for two other new parent friends of mine, and they loved it too. I highly recommend this one.
|Star Wars: A Daddy's Perspective|
A good friend of mine got Erik this Star Wars book with original artist renderings of what they envisioned the movie would look like. I spoke earlier about having to make up quick things to say when there are too many words, and here is another great example. There's almost more space for words than pictures. So, for example, in the picture above I will say, "And then the ungrateful Luke Skywalker so hastily attacks his father who had just so generously offered to rule the galaxy side-by-side with his only son." I like to give the story that daddy perspective.
|Alexander came to wish you an unhappy birthday. In Australia.|
Here is a classic that I also read as a little kid. I think it's cute that Alexander is obsessed with Australia. But I will say, he seems like somewhat of the brooding emo pessimist type. I would wager he listened to The Smiths in his teenage years. He's a good kid.
|"Try it and you will see!"|
Here is the takeaway from "Green Eggs and Ham": Sam-I-Am is the best salesman ever. He approaches a customer with a product that the customer completely hates and tries every angle to find a way to make it work for the customer, be it eating those eggs on a plane, on a boat, or (my favorite), with a goat. Cracks me up every time. What would a goat bring to the table aside from spitting, howling, and smelling bad? Yet he tries that angle anyway to exhaust all the possibilities. Without a doubt the salesman of the year over there and Green Eggs and Ham, INC.
Kids go bananas over pop-up books, but that is also the problem. In their excitement they will beat the shit out of pop-up books. Just look at that once mighty dinosaur. No match for Erik's fat finger beat-down.
|Where the jerks are|
Here is another classic, "Where the Wild Things Are." And here is another pretty awful little kid, chasing the dog around the house with a God damned fork, and hammering nails in the wall. So, his mother sends him off to bed with no supper, which is when he envisions going off to an imaginary land with monsters. There he becomes their king and sends them off to bed without their supper. Jeez. Rather spiteful, right?
|My kind of town|
We have many friends who got us Chicago related books, and those are a lot of fun for a baby growing up in the Windy City. The Cubs one is especially fun, and that "C Is For Chicago" one has amazing drawings. I only read the Cubs one after a win. S is for "sore loser."
I'm sure many of you remember "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." I had not seen it in a number of years and got to the end to find the last page was the one on the right. So, that's it? The caterpillar ate too damn much and got fat? That's the lesson for the youngsters out there? Don't eat like a pig or you'll be a fat-assed caterpillar of a kid? No, that's not how it ends. The final page where he becomes a butterfly was ripped out by my nephew. It's a darker and more cautionary tale without that last part.
Any other children's books recommendations that you care to leave in the comments?