Sunday, September 04, 2005

Books, (Sponge)Bob and Bootcamp

For the past few weeks (month?) I have been reading the Harry Potter books aloud to the girls, A mostly as E is not too into listening to a book without pictures at this point. I have tried unsuccessfully to read these books to them before, once when A was four like E is now, and then again a year ago with an audiobook. I think the difference now is that A is so close to reading proficiently on her own that she finally "gets" what books are for. She has enjoyed trying to follow my progress on the page and asks often what a word or phrase says. We are a chapter away from finishing the second book. A is very excited to read the third and fourth books to catch up to the movies. When we saw Charlie and The Chocolate Factory in the movie theater last month, we saw the preview for the fourth HP movie. This got A so excited that she asked to read the books. She is planning to go and see the movie for her birthday, since it will be out in November. We should have the book finished by that time, so she will have the experience of seeing a movie of a book she has read first. We have enjoyed seeing all the differences between the books and the movies. While I am reading, she will excitedly point out that "That's not in the movie!" when we get to an unfamiliar part.

This reading has been a bedtime ritual for the past month. Since E is not into listening, she goes off to do something with Daddy while we are reading. Lately it has been to watch Spongebob episodes recorded on Tivo. I don't know what it is about the little square guy that she is soooo attracted to recently, but it is all Sponge, all the time around here. I am glad we have Tivo so that we can record the shows we want to see, but there is only so much mayhem in Bikini Bottom a mother can handle in a day, not to mention big sister! I trust that she is getting something out of this, if only negotiating skills. She has to make deals with A about how many Spongebob's to watch before A can turn the channel to watch Animal Planet or Discovery Kids. Or compromise with me when I want music to listen to instead of tv. It's all good.

Today was a bit slower than the last few days, for the kids anyway, it felt busy for me with the baby shower and some shopping I did. I am trying not to hijack this blog talking about my own life. I do want it to be mostly about them. If I do go off about myself, I hope I have some point that relates to the kids or kids in general or unschooling or something.

Like the shower this morning. It never fails to chill me to the bone how people talk about and treat children without even realizing how disrespectful they are being. It is like we all totally forget what it was like to be a kid and can only see the world through our grown up eyes, with our grown up needs and our grown up expectations. My friend, pregnant for the first time got a book, from her mother I believe, called Baby Bootcamp: A Training Program for the First Six Weeks or somesuch title. I did not look at it. I just cringed at the idea that babies need to be trained, especially in the first six weeks. I have been to bootcamp. Bootcamp, or even the hint of bootcamp, is no place for babies. It was the most inhuman, disrespectful treatment I have ever recieved. The only thing that made it bearable, and sometimes empowering, was my grown up understanding of the game to play and the goal to reach. Newborns do not share even a smidgen of that understanding to benefit from whatever training a parent imposes, and will not until they are, well, grown up. Sometimes I wonder if my own effort and example with my kids is enough, when set against the tide of humanity who believes in training infants.

No comments: