Monday, March 5, 2012

Stumping Mom

My daughter, the book lover.  Last week, we went to the library and rediscovered James Marshall.  Zoe's friend Cameron (and my friend Marisa, Cam's mom) introduced him to us via the George and Martha series.  If you've never heard of them, like I hadn't, you really should check them out.  They are simple, sweet, funny and really fun to read.  Anyway, Cam and Marisa let us borrow their treasured "Complete Collection" book quite a while ago and we eventually, reluctantly returned it to our friends after at least a month of enjoying it.  When Zoe saw the books at the library she got so excited, she grabbed every George and Martha story off the shelf (plus a couple other James Marshall stories) and RAN to the check out, she was so pumped to take them home.  We've been reading them all at least twice a day since then, and I know it's going to be really sad when the time comes where we can't renew them anymore and have no choice but to return them.  It's been funny reading them over and over because as an adult, they seem so simple....the first 20 times or so, Zoe would just quietly listen and giggle once in a while.  Then, she started asking questions and I realized there are a lot of phrases and words in the stories that are totally new to her.  Here is a list of words/phrases she has asked me to clarify for her.  Some of them are easy to explain, but some are absolutely NOT...when reading this list, really take a moment to try and imagine how you would explain them to a 4 year old, keeping in mind that you basically get one shot at it.  If the first words out of your mouth are completely ridiculous and confusing and you try to start over, you can forget about it.  You lost them in the middle of the first might seem easy at first but you'd be surprised how often you can't do it...either because the word itself is main part of the definition in your mind or because the explanation of the word or phrase is just as, if not more, confusing to a kid Zoe's age than the actual word or phrase...anyway, like I said, really take a moment to try and imagine how you would explain it without the aid of the internet...just you and your 4 year old sitting in a recliner in your living room, quietly reading together:

-...lost all her confidence.
-have some consideration
-I'm not the nosy type
-silent treatment
-...he gave Martha quite a bawling out
-green thumb
-misunderstanding (the difficulty of this one in particular took me by surprise)
-hypnotize (and this one just sounded creepy when I said it out loud)
-George had broken his promise (another surprisingly hard one to clarify)
-Martha decided to swallow her pride (forget about this one..she still asks me every time we read it because I haven't found a good way of explaining it)

Before I typed this up, I expected it to be much longer because sometimes I feel like all I do while reading these to her is stop to try and fumble through an explanation.  I guess that's because there are also lots of questions about the subtleties of the stories themselves...anyway, it's been really funny to me lately....

...and just because we had a nice are a few highlights:

Nathan had a crazy, busy work week and had to stay at the library until it closed every night so the kids and I were on our own.  Although traditionally Zoe has rallied in times like these, she lately has become particularly helpful.  She has been saying "How can I help?" and then actually DOING the thing I come up with in answer to her question.  Lots of times though she'll ask if she can do something and I'll reluctantly let her try after she insists and I end up pleasantly surprised and grateful for the extra pair of hands.  One of those things has been helping to get Owen ready for bed.  One night she did it all by herself but usually she needs a little assistance from me...either way, I appreciate her help though.
I tried so hard to get a good picture of her getting his PJ's on one night but this was the best I could do...he loves his sister so much.

Silly, grown up Zoe
Proudly wearing a necklace she made from the beads she got for Christmas from her cousin, Alex
Our new end of the week, pre-preschool tradition:  Jamba Juice Thursdays!
Enjoying the BEAUTIFUL weather we had today...spent all day long outside--yay!

1 comment:

  1. Brian and I often say to each other, "Have some consideration!" I had my Mom read them to the kids when they visited awhile back, and she was hee-hawing at some of those stories. ;)
    And I have to concur, Zoe is super helpful. She really does quite an awesome job at buckling Liesel in her carseat and closing my door for me!