Monthly Archives: November 2011

Liam’s Book Club: We Share Everything

We Share Everything by Robert Munsch Illustrated by Michael Martchenko

This is the book that Liam brought out instead of Andrew’s Loose Tooth two weeks ago (oops). The funny thing about that is that on the cover of We Share Everything, the two children are holding a book which just happens to be Andrew’s Loose Tooth – something I didn’t notice until Liam pointed it out to me. That kids is awesome…and apparently observant.

So We Share Everything is about a couple of kindergarten kids who, on the first day of school, do not share everything. They in fact fight over everything. Their teachers has to tell them several times that they are in kindergarten now and “in kindergarten we share. We share everything!” After being told a few times, they finally get the picture and start sharing…a little too much.

I happen to love this particular story simply because we have problems with Liam and sharing. I hear he’s well behaved at preschool and over a year ago he didn’t have too many problems at daycare, but at home he’s a right little tyrant. His older brother isn’t allowed to play with his toys. His younger brother isn’t allowed to play with his toys. His father isn’t allowed to play with his toys. No one is allowed to play with his toys except him (and me. Granted I’m also required to pick them up…how does that work). On the flip side, everyone is expected to share their toys with Liam. My hope is that with more time in preschool and several more reads of this story, he will start to realize that sharing is a good thing. I know, pipe dream – but I should be allowed to hope anyway.

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Liam’s Book Club: Andrew’s Loose Tooth

Andrew’s Loose Tooth by Robert Munsch illustrated by Michael Martchenko

Today’s book really was Liam’s pick. I asked him which book I should write about and he told me, “Loose Tooth.” I sent him to his room to pick it out for me and he came back with the wrong book…more on that next week. This is another Munsch book – this time from a package of eight books that Liam got for Christmas last year (again from Scholastic). Not only did he pick it for me to write about, but he also had me read it to him last night.

Poor Andrew tries to eat an apple for breakfast and finds out that he’s got a loose tooth. What happens next is standard Munsch as people try progressively harder to get the stubborn tooth out so that Andrew can eat his breakfast. The Dentist’s car and the Tooth Fairy’s hammer are no match for Andrew’s tooth, but never fear: his friend Louis comes to the rescue! As always (well only sort of always because he doesn’t illustrate ALL of Munsch’s books), Martchenko’s illustrations help  add to the hilarity of the story.

I have to say, though, that when I was eight, I took a bite of an apple and my loose tooth came right out and fell on my chair…at school. This led to me not wanting to take whole apples to school for fear that I would lose more teeth.

Regardless of the memories, it’s still a fantastic book and an excellent addition to Liam’s collection (granted I would say that about any Munsch book).

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Lesson of the Day: If You Keep Doing Things for Your Kids…

Today’s lesson: If you keep doing things for your kids, they’ll  never be able to do those things on their own.

So last year, when Aiden was still new to our household, he’d take forever to do anything. In an attempt to a) make him get ready for school faster and b) make sure he didn’t look like to total miss matched slob, I picked out his clothing for him every morning while he was eating breakfast. This went on for almost the entire school year (at least I can’t recall doing it in May and June, though I might have) before I finally let him dress himself over the summer. Or perhaps that’s not dress himself as he seemed to think that it was acceptable to stay in his pajamas all day (that’s a story for another time…maybe).

I spent the summer reminding him to put on clean underwear every day on top of trying to get him to stick to his morning routine so that getting ready for school on Sept. 1 wouldn’t be so hard for him. The problem there, is that his grandmother visited for a few weeks and she often would tell him – in her own way – that it’s okay to not follow the house rules. The result is that he stopped making his bed when he got up, he stayed in his pajamas (including old underwear), he went back to complaining about meals and trying to not eat. All in all, he became more difficult to deal with again, and that stayed with him into the new school year.

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Fall Back, You’re Not So Cool

Once upon a time, in a distant life, I used to love the Fall time change. That was when I got an extra hour of in the morning or could stay up an hour later and not pay for it. Things have changed.

Now that I’m an adult with children of my own to look after, I’m supposed to be responsible. That means not staying up unnecessarily late or not sleeping in past a reasonable time.  It also means making sure the kids get to bed at a decent time and that they have breakfast when they wake up in the morning. Since Callan was born, I’ve mostly been able to get Aiden off to school and hop back in bed for for an extra 30 minutes before Liam gets up. That thirty minutes was often my lifeline to sanity. Well no more!

Thanks to Fall Back and an East facing bedroom window, I now have Liam getting up before Aiden’s finished his breakfast (and sometimes before he even starts). This, of course, means that I don’t get my little nap. Instead, I get to stay up and get breakfast for another little boy and watch as  they prevent each other from eating. This is, of course, a surefire way to turn a peaceful morning into a whiny “Stop it” fest which I will have to interrupt in order to preserve what little sanity I may have in the morning.

The early morning wake-ups wouldn’t be so bad if only ALL of the kids would go to sleep at a decent time. As it stands, Callan has been keeping me up late and preventing me from sleeping once I get into bed which leaves me rather exhausted when I get up to make Aiden’s lunch.

Maybe some year in the future, I’ll be able to enjoy that extra hour again…but this is not that year.

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Liam’s Book Club: Give Me Back My Dad!

Give Me Back My Dad! by Robert Munsch illustrated by Michel Martchenko

This – as with most of our Robert Munsch collection – is another Scholastic find. There was a little mix-up when Aiden brought this order home from school as this particular book was missing. His teacher had forgotten to add it to all of the other books in his order. When we finally got it, Liam and I had to read it right away (though not quite as right away as Chicken Cheeks).

It’s typical Munsch complete with silly problems, repetition, and a happy ending. The illustrations add to the humour perfectly, proving yet again that Munsch and Martchenko make a great team.

Just remember, if you ever go ice fishing in the best spot of the world, the fish are smart (very smart) and NEVER touch anything that they throw up out of the hole.

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Liam’s Book Club: Chicken Cheeks

Chicken Cheeks by Michael Ian Black Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

This is another of my Scholastic finds that I picked up simply because it was $5 or less. It is available in other stores but only in hardcover which makes it far more expensive. I have to admit, that I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when Aiden brought it home from school with him, but I was surprised. The blurb from the publisher starts like this: “Some bears will go to any length to get some honey. This one recruits every animal that comes along to form, well, a stack.”

So it’s a book about cooperation…as only one who can still think like a little boy can write. In fact, these men have the thinking like a little boy down so well that MY little boys loved the book to the point of making me read it several times on the day they got it and refusing to allow their father to touch it. Oh, and Liam slept with it that first night.

There’s very little text per page (just 2-5 words) and lots of blue space but the illustrations are quite well done and what text there is gets straight to the point. Really though, if you’ve got a sense of humor, this is a great little book. If, however, you find butt jokes tasteless, this is not the book for you.

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