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Bob the Tomato, Books, and "Benja!"

I'm ignoring Avee's squeals from her bed. She's happy, she's not climbing up my backside, I'm typing in peace---why tamper with something so beautiful?

Before Benja was born and even shortly after, I heard my cousin refer to Veggie Tales on more than one occasion. She thought they were funny and would sing the songs periodically. I didn't know anything about them, so her reference to them was lost on me, and not recorded in my short term memory. A few months ago Chic-fil-a started giving out Veggie Tales CD singles in the kids meals. I heard some SUV song and thought it was hilarious. I have since acquired 3 videos. I have put them on in the recent past for Benja, but they have never held his attention. Until last night. If I had let him, he would have watched it over and over into the wee hours of the morning. Instead I made him stop and play trains with me and I had to listen to a broken record of "Caw-da-reeeee, celereeeeeeee, VEGGIETALES!" If it weren't for the inherent therapuetic qualities of pushing Thomas the Train over and over around a track, I may have lost my mind.

Of course, first thing this morning came the request, "If I promise not to get into the fridge, can I dit up and watch Veggie Tales". I put in a different one, in hopes of another loop being repeated incessantly. Benja has interrupted every activity we've done or attempted, to say, "But, we forgot to watch Veggie Tales!" We didn't forget, we just aren't remembering to watch it 47 times today. One of those activities was SCHOOL.

Since the public schools started here today, I started school with Benja. My friend told me about this cool preschool site and we did it for a little while last Spring, but there wasn't a whole lot of interest on his part. It was amazing to see how dramatically his interest and attention span has changed in these few short months. I also see this earnest desire to do it right and the delight when he does and the frustration when he doesn't. What happened to my kid who shamelessly smeared his own excrement on his bedroom walls? When does this awareness of "doing it right" kick in? It was very enjoyable for me to work with him. I always feel entirely incompetent when it comes to "teaching" but today was good. And the pupil was adorable.

I was inspired to blog by the books we read. This curriculum comes complete with book suggestions for each week. I can go online, reserve the books and pick them all up at the same time. I always wonder if that's annoying to librarians, (Emily?) but it is SO convenient for me. For some reason I can NEVER find children's book. I can be right in the PRI's and there will either be no PRI's whatsoever or the entire P section is on vacation. Probably over at the ZYT's.

We read 3 books, all of which I enjoyed thoroughly. Which is rare. I find many children's books mind-numbingly dull. Yesterday at B and N, reading to the kids, I was appalled by some, nay, most of the books that were pulled off the shelf. I guess touch and feel pictures is the new "intelligible sentences and worthy of print".

"How to Make an Apple Pie" was pretty much over Benja's head---but he liked the idea of being read to for school, so it didn't matter. And he is SO his mother's son, at the end he wanted to go make an apple pie for dinner. Not sure about copyright laws and whatnot but the jacket reads: "It's easy to make an applie pie! Here's how: Pack one suitcase--Add a shopping list---Hop a steamboat to Italy, then gather two armfuls of superb semolina wheat....
Isn't that enough to show it's going to be a good book? I think my 4, 5, and 6 year old nephews would get a kick out of this book. Plus I learned that cinnamon comes from the bark of a kurundu tree. And those are found in Sri Lanka.

The other one made me laugh out loud. It's called "Animals Should Definately Not Wear Clothing" It was an okay read and then I got to this page:

because it might make life hard for a hen,

And then the whole rest of the book seemed very funny. Good book.

On another note, Avee has one particular behavior that is puzzling to me. When I say her name, most of the time she ignores me. If she doesn't ignore me, she's just busy putting distance between us. Whatever I have in mind, she wants none of it. Sometimes when she is being naughty, I will say her name sharply and every time I truly anticipate it startling her. She doesn't blink. Doesn't budge. Doesn't stop her misdemeanors for a second. However. When she is nearby and I call for Benja---for any reason, she FREAKS OUT. She does this yelp and mad scramble, usually up my front side as though she desperately needs protection. I can't figure out why she does it. Because I'm just this kind of mom, I spent half the morning calling for Benja, just to see her do it. Is she afraid of Benja? Does she think her name is Benja? Does she have a parole officer named Benja? I have no idea. If you ever come visit me, I'll show you.

Oh, and this is another thing that makes me laugh and it's random, but I do want it recorded for posterity. A few months ago, Benja was really into praying. He wanted to say every prayer everytime. It was cute for a while, and then I felt that we had been sufficiently thankful for our good days, and that we were bound to sleep well that night for all of Benja's supplications. So I stopped letting him dominate prayer time. After a couple of nights, he was over it. And now he almost never volunteers. But the other night he started this bizarre thing. It's something akin to one trying to sing along with a song they don't know. Only it comes out in these gutteral moan-like noises with a slight tilt of sing-songy at the end. Uhhhhhhhh-ehhh. About two sentences into J's prayer, I was laughing uncontrollably. Our little mute boy trying to talk.

Again, not real sure on why he does it.

Oh my gosh. That picture of a chicken trying to lay an egg while wearing pants just makes it all worth while doesn't it?

What a great site. Thanks for writing about it. I want to try doing some of that letter of the week stuff with Sophie because she's so interested in reading and the alphabet, but I'm just not sure what to teach her. Thanks!

I have a hard time with hens wearing wife-beater T-shirts. It messes with my head something fierce. Don't even get me started on the pants.

What a good mom, doing preschool. I haven't even tried it... maybe when school starts, Carter and Roz will enjoy it.

Thanks for all the enlightening information! Wow, we're just trading today, aren't we?

Nothin like waking up to a good hearty laugh right away. Slowly scrolling upon the chicken pic was priceless. The sad thing is I have seen that before at work:) TMM u is a funny lady too.

That's a great site! I'm going to start doing it with Ellie when school starts on the 21st.

I love that book. Quinn always does the gutteral laugh at the woman dressed like the elephant on the last page. And the moose, we like the moose.

To answer your librarian question: No, we actually like it just fine, and we do it for ourselves too. It's convenient! We're librarians for a reason... we're huge nerds. Helping people find books is truly a pleasure. The only thing we don't like is when you request thirty books, we go and find your thirty books, and then you never pick up the thirty books. Don't do that. It's sort of like slurping your tea while dining with elderly Japanese... or something.

And back to me being a huge nerd? Give me a favorite topic or a behavior you want to eliminate or even a rough age, and I will find good kids books. You might want to be careful and start slow though, because I have a way of getting carried away.

I'm homeschool and love checking out those preschool sites! :)
That's such a sweet picture of him!

Gotta love those Veggietals...and the little jokes that go right over the little ones heads and aims for the parents! :)

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