Just now we told LTD he needed a bath and (un-ironically) he replied, I don’t need a bath, I took when a few weeks ago. In that regard, books that encourage bath time fun are always welcome. Bathtime with Theo and Beau by Jessica Shyba follows the continuing adventures of her two boys (as she calls them). I know what you’re thinking, Theo is the dog. The book is heavy on the photos, but they are so vibrant and crisp they are almost hypnotic. As we use the book to try and get our boys to take a bath there is only one problem. The story immediately makes them want to get our own dog in the tub with them. However, my often said phrase, I got enough problems will attest, that ain’t gonna happen any time soon.
As this huge storm blankets the east coast. LTD has stayed in his pj’s and used the iPad, read and colored. His brother however has chosen to make being stuck in the house as an experimental descent into madness. He is completely bonkers. We did manage to get him to take a nap (after he fell asleep eating lunch) but the nap only recharged his batteries to go more nuts. BB has channeled all his energy into not one activity but it would seem all possible actives. In theory this storm will end someday and we will be able to get him outside to drain his energy making a “snow baby” as he has been calling for, for some unknown reason.
Author Leanne Shirtliffe is an award-winning humor writer but she is also part of a movement to make children’s books more diverse. As part of that mission she created the character of Wilma Lee Wu. The second book to feature the spirited youngster is No More Biege Food. As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know all too well, BB is what they call a problem eater. So this tale of culinary introductions not only speak about interesting food choices but has the added benefit of introducing diverse characters. Wilma objects to her parents seemingly boring meals and demands more. Her mother, not to give into a tyrant, tells her to cook her own meals. So Wilma interviews her neighbors and discovers all the tasty richest different cultures have to offer. The jury is still out on how much of the tale penetrated into BB’s pallet but I will try anything to get away from 50% mac and cheese and 50$ rice and beans.
Now that BB is three, The Mommy and I figured it was time he learned to swim. Since he has watched LTD swim with goggles he wanted his own. The only issue was that even though he demanded googles he wouldn’t wear them. Of course one frustrated dad came up with a cool solution. Christian Hahn took the pain and the hair loss out of the google equation and came up Frogglez. And yes they float. Frogglez use a neoprene headstrap that uses easily adjustable velcro to allow for swimming without the screaming. Of course, I know what you are thinking, yes BB still screams in the pool but they are not screams of pain only screams of fun (fun that is for everyone outside of ear shot). Now if only the googles could teach him to swim I could save a fortune on lessons.
BB’s potty training is going well. He wears pull ups at bedtime and is even sometimes dry in the morning. He wakes me up at 5am to announce he has to go to the bathroom even though the potty chair is in his room. A fact I blame on the darkness. Damn you Fall/Winter. However, he has started to do something I can’t really explain. He will go to the potty either by asking or being told like at school and he will make peeps for sometimes almost a minute. However, occasionally about 3 minutes after he goes he says he has to go again. Oh, did I forget to tell you that if he ever asks to go to the potty that usually means he just went in his pants, the chair, the floor any surface that exists. It is really weird. While we are unpacking the potty stuff we might as well discuss his number twos. He weighs about 31 pounds and when he goes solids there is a volume issue that I challenge NASA to try and explain. Either way like all parenting issues, there are good days and bad days. I just accept that not only do I need to keep a change of his clothes in the car, but mine as well.
We were driving to one of 75 Fall festivals this weekend and I was trying to listen to The Mommy give me directions from the sweet app Waze (even if the new design stinks) and the boys were being their typical selves. I told them “Stop talking I need to concentrate.” This simple act started a chain reaction that resulted in BB telling anyone who would listen that we all needed to be quiet since he needed to concentrate. The circumstances of this announcement/whine felt random and without a true need to be silently pensive. I guess in theory based on the total number of times he told us, I’m sure at least one of them he actually did need to concentrate.
I know what you are thinking, if BB is the human tornado and the one man wrecking crew aka the destroyer of books, why would we read him a book called “I Want to Eat Your Books”? Well, frankly we are trying to distract him because idle hands etc. Karin Lefranc’s new book with art by Tyler Parker kills two birds by being about Zombies so that LTD will dig it and the message of friendship is nice for BB. The tale wastes no time in getting to the Zombie wandering around school. However, we quickly learn the Zombie is a new student. No Walking Dead references here, instead of brains the new kid eats books. As usual I won’t spoil the ending but I will hint that eventually books go un-eaten. Also in honor of the upcoming holiday of All Hallows Eve a surprise guest makes a cameo at the end of the book.
I’m not hip enough to teach the boys about Banksy, but they certainly know their Legos. Jeff Friesen’s book honoring the street artist, Bricksy, Unauthorized Underground Brick Street Art has inspired LTD and given BB a good chuckle. The thing I like best about the photos of Legos in various street scenes is that the boys learn that one can use Legos to create anything. A lot of kids simply make the X-Wing fighter or Batmobile on the box and never experiment or use the Legos to create their own designs. The book uses an original Banksy in the corner to create a larger spoof splash page. The only down side is that since LTD is an artist (as he will tell anyone who asks or doesn’t ask) he know has another tool in his toolbox to create amazing works. Like we needed an excuse to buy more Legos.
With two boys running around we don’t have a lot of princess stuff in the toy chest. Okay, we don’t have any, but usually the guys don’t play the gender card and certainly talk about Frozen when they see it. However, LTD has on occasion identified pink items to be avoided. That is why The Mommy and I encourage the reading of books with female protagonists. Ava the Monster Slayer is one such book. Lisa Maggiore’s story with pics by Ross Felten centers around the glasses wearing, stuffed animal pig carrying Ava and her quest to retrieve said pig from the dryer in the basement.The message of the book is particularity useful as LTD refuses to go upstairs alone to put on his PJ’s even though it is light out. On a side note he will request BB go with him, which I find funny because whatever is upstairs that frightens him, he thinks BB will either fight or serve as a human shield. The action is depicted with a colorful comic book style kinetic energy and while not be too scary doesn’t paint the monsters as being cute. In fact they are worthy of slaying. Of course long time BTCS readers know I will not spoil the ending of a book, but as I often write, I think you know that Ava’s piggy doesn’t get eaten by monsters.
Since it is almost time for our annual trek into NYC I thought the boys would like a pep talk for dealing with the people of said city who occasionally exhibit a less than friendly attitude. Kelly Canby’s new book, All the Lost Things focuses on a little girl named Olive and her adventures in the city. The tale centers around her noticing everyone being cranky and feeling bummed about it until she finds basically a lost and founds under the street. The art is funky with almost a graffiti vibe and features hand written text which makes the book more kinetic. In keeping with BTCS policy of not spoiling the ending I will tell you that Olive gets to take items out of the lost and found and use them back in the city in her quest to get everyone out of their stress of the city induced funk. The only challenge will be explaining to the boys that next time we are in the city they won’t find any lost and found under the streets except maybe an alligator or CHUD.