Friday, January 13, 2006

Preparing the toddler for the new baby

Eric knows there's a baby in my tummy, but he doesn't really grok what that means to him. I mean he's two, I don't expect him to really get abstract concepts like, "Your baby sister is coming to live with us forever and you will have to share us with her." This is going to rock his world and I don't quite know how to prepare him.

Lately he's gotten really into our old photo albums. His new favorite thing to do is to go through the albums and say everybody's name. He particularly likes baby pictures of himself, and "baby Zaida Rosie," his beloved older cousin. So, this morning I went through the pictures with him and showed him pictures of me very pregnant with him and said "That's before you came out of my tummy." And thanks to Rich the Wonderful Father (TM), we have a real baby album of his first few months with us. So, I showed him the pictures and told him his baby sister would look like that when we brought her home. I pointed out how happy I was in those early pictures. "Look how happy I was to meet you when you came out of my tummy!" He seemed to get it. But I can tell the concept is so foreign to him there' s nothing we can really do to soften the blow.

Poor little guy. He's a good sport and I think he'll handle it well, but it will be hard on him. It was hard on Zaida when he was born, but she only had to share her grandparents, not her parents. Now they play together every chance they get, and she's excellent about tailoring her games to suit the abilities of a two-year-old. Hopefully he'll realize that this baby will be just another person in the world who loves him, just like Zaida did.

Monday, January 09, 2006

More Literary Confessions

I love to read up on what "the kids" are reading. Not just little kid stuff... Go Dog Go, fascinating as it is, doesn't hold my interest when there isn't a little dude on my lap pointing at the pictures. I wouldn't read books like that without Eric. In general I love adolescent literature. Everybody these days, regardless of the decade of their birth, reads Harry Potter.

After 9/11 Maureen Dowd wrote a column about the how the Lemony Snickett books were outselling Harry Potter. I was curious so five years later I found 1-10 of the "Series of Unfortunate Events" on Ebay and I've been reading them. And frankly,

I don't get it.

When I was a kid I LOVED orphan stories. Couldn't get enough of them. I also loved series books where the KIDS GOT OLDER in each book. But the set-up of each SUE book is exactly the same. The children go to some new place that may or may not be horrible and their arch nemesis Count Olaf comes in disguise and spoils it or makes it worse. But each book takes place over a period of about three weeks, so the children never change or get older.

I hate to say this about any book, but the movie was better. What is the appeal of these books? Three children live in a miserable staus quo, in a world where kind adults have no power to help them.