Recently, BB has developed a new habit. Every time sees a plush or stuffed animal, especially teddy bears, he will hug it and squeeze it. I’m not talking Lennie from Mice and Men, but a pure sweet hug/squeeze of joy. Sometimes in his room he will do a dive hug into a larger stuffy and that is pretty damn cute. However, the cutest hug he does unfortunately is bittersweet.When he is crying pretty hard and in the throws of terrible twoing, he occasionally is comforted by a teddy and squeezes while still crying and it is enough to make one forget the headache his three hour crying jag has caused and go,”awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.”
The other day, LTD and I landed on TCM showing 1933’s King Kong. I was reminded of a classic Calvin and Hobbes cartoon and told LTD that the world was in black and white until 1938. We went back and forth a bit before the jig was up, but I enjoyed having a laugh. This is a round about way of bringing up Lori Stewart’s Grandma, Aren’t You Glad the World’s Finally in Color Today! The book allows me to immerse the boys in my favorite subject, history. The tale features a rhyming historical journey through the 20th Century told by a grandmother using a photo album for inspiration. We learn how kids enjoyed entertainment back in the day and learn fun trivia (1947: Peanuts cartoon strip first appears as L’il Folks, and becomes Peanuts in 1950). The section on toys is particularly interesting especially in light of the Great Depression, but for a real contrast the differences in playgrounds and play spaces between then and now is truly fascinating. However, LTD spent the majority of attention on the pages devoted to fashion and I think he wishes we still wore the styles of yesteryear. Of course the book concludes with an image of an iPhone.
Today in America, one in every three households with children have guns. At the same time, nine children and teens are shot every day in gun accidents, often with a parent or relative’s gun.
This Thanksgiving, before you gather around the table with loved ones and friends, we at Brady encourage you to ASK the life-saving question — “Is there an unlocked gun where my child plays?”
This one simple question has the power to prevent unintentional shootings and is the centerpiece of Brady’s groundbreaking ASK (Asking Saves Kids) campaign which continues to gain momentum across the nation.
Through ASK, Brady is inspiring a new national conversation as we work to achieve a future where no child is killed by a gun in the home.
As we head home for the holidays, we should all be thankful that we have the power to keep our children safe from the dangers of unsafe access to guns.
Now that LTD is learning about chores, one of his tasks is to put his clothes in the hamper, which is something he remembers to do (after I remind him). However, one thing he has yet to master is turning his clothing right side out. You see every article he and BB take off by themselves is inside out. Everything. I know what you’re thinking? No big deal right. Wrong. When every single article of clothing needs to be flipped back it falls upon me to do it. Long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know what a clothes horse LTD is and will soon learn that he is passing the habit on to BB, with mountains of clothing needing to be correctly turned I’m getting carpal tunnel disorder. Oh, and since it has gotten cold out, LTD has been wearing pajamas under his pants and shirts which results (with underwear) in a three layer inside out sandwich. If you ever wonder why I don’t post more your answer is, that I’m fixing his and putting away the boys clothing.
In honor of the Peanuts teaser trailer’s release we have been exposing the boys to Snoopy and his friends. Three new Peanuts books cover great explorers, heroes and inventors.
What’s the Big Idea, Charlie Brown? focuses on the gang throwing a party to honor history’s greatest inventions. Of course while everyone comes up with a favorite, Charlie Brown has trouble since he can’t think of any big ideas. Don’t worry it works out (sort of) for him in the end.
Where Did You Go, Charlie Brown? deals with a day of adventuring by the Peanuts in the great outdoors. We learn about Lewis & Clark, Columbus and Neil Armstrong plus a female explorer. The book shies away from small pox and slavery, but keeps things more fun.
Who Cares, Charlie Brown? delves into civil and human rights told through the prism of a baseball game. Thankfully, Charlie Brown is manager so we don’t see him miss the ball. We learn about Martin Luthor King and Rosa Parks and that Charlie Brown doesn’t actually have to take the field to be a hero.
Each books features activity pages at the end.And yes the books maintain the traits we have come to expect from the Peanuts characters especially, Lucy and Peppermint Patty. (please note it is possible that since I have rediscovered these guys that Lucy may have borderline personality disorder).
Occasionally, when in the car, I flip on the tunes and see if LTD digs the song. I have the station set to classics from the 60s,70s, and 80s. He requests the Beatles since it is one of the only bands he has heard and remembered, but I tell him that I can’t control the radio’s playlist. However, my quest to have the boys not listen to One Direction and Miley Cyrus now has a cool new book. Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story by his son Sebastian Robertson with illustrations by Adam Gustavson provides a great gateway to get LTD to listen to some cool tunes. The simple biography follows the Canadian musician and songwriter on his journey to legend. The tale features some really interesting tidbits that I had no idea about including how young he was when he started and his work with Bob Dylan. The highlight of the book was then showing clips of The Last Waltz to LTD so he could enjoy. Of course he enjoyed them for only so long before wanting to watch what we normally watch on youtube, which is Batman cartoons. The good news is that now when we listen to music in the car he asks, “is the Robber Robbyson?” instead of the Beatles.
Good luck not rolling a tear on this one. here.
The Grandma got me something cool for the holidays but sometime there is a price to be paid for cool. She found a shirt on etsy that has a track for Matchbox cars on the back. Once you put it on you are forced to lie face down while the children drive on you. It is pretty cool and if you trick your brain enough it feels like a day at the spa with hot stone massage, however the price spoken of earlier involves the carpet not being vacuumed enough. This one of the products that I secretly hate because it falls into the category of “I should have thought of that.”
The Nana used to tell me tales of getting money and her father making her put a little in the bank. I have tried to do the same with the boys, but since LTD isn’t getting an allowance yet we he isn’t quite ready for the big schmoola speech. However, he does go to the bank with me and has a limited understanding of the concept (Daddy, why don’t you just go to the bank? is said, every time he hears that I don’t’ have any money). Wendy Bailey’s new book Alex’s Ten-Dollar Adventure with illustrations by Ernie D’Elia is part of our financial education. The tale focuses on Alex receiving some cash for his upcoming birthday and wanting to buy a toy with it. However, on his way to the store he is exposed to the concept of the impulse buy. As with all Beyond the Car Seat book reviews I won’t spoil the ending but needless to say it involves his actual birthday (another extra thick birthday envelope) and a valuable lesson (pun intended). The story concludes with insturctiosn on how to make your own piggy bank out of a plastic bottle. Or you could return the bottle for a nickel but you wouldn’t have a place to put it.
When LTD was around two we were told to get ready for a lot of bumps and bruises. This was under the umbrella of boys will be boys. However, LTD never really did get all that banged up and he wasn’t very physical in a way that would even result in the scraps of youth (telling him to be quiet was a whole other issue). Where LTD failed BB has taken on the challenge. Not only does that kid get a ton of bumps, scraps and bruises, but he seems to group them in spurts. At school we are asked to sign the incident report on a semi-daily basis, however a few of them are because another “friend” was at fault. You have to love picking him up and told that one of his friends bit him. BB’s favorite place, it seems, to get a nice bump is on his forehead or temple as he clocks himself on a table because of his near constant motion. He doesn’t really get all that banged up in the house or I would bubble wrap everything. Thankfully he hasn’t had any serious or even band-aid worthy bump, but it is sad to see how quickly his running laughter can turn to tears.