Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Sad Little Tale of a Little Girl and her Sad Book

On the way out from the Library today (we signed up and checked out books. I got three cookbooks - I love perusing cookbooks to get ideas) we saw a couple shelves of old books from the Library for sale. Lydia saw Goodnight Moon on the bottom shelf, lying slumped over and upside down, and called out in excitement, "Goodnight Moon."

We stopped in shock and surprise. This may seem an odd reaction to you, but Lydia has never seen Goodnight Moon before. Ever. We don't own the book, we've never read her the book, in her memory the only people who have babysat her at all are family, whom we know also don't own the book. Either she can read upside down, or there is some inherent gene in little children that recognizes that this book is a good book to read about 80 times in a row and really annoy your parents with (the reason we've had no traffic with this book heretofore, although I know it's great for kids).

Lydia was just so excited about it, though. She called out again, "Goodnight moon!" We couldn't take it. I gave her a dollar, and we went back in and bought the book.

Lydia held her Goodnight Moon book close to her chest all the way to the car. She held it in the car. When we went to try out a restaurant here (because it was already so late, and we had run out of food at home) we brought it in to distract her from her growling stomach. She loved it there.

Truly, Goodnight Moon and Lydia were meant to be. How could I stop the forces of nature just because I don't like doing the exact same thing, like reading a board book, over and over and over until any intelligent brain cells in my head have either died in exhaustion or moved to Bermuda? (Yes, I don't know how I'm going to get through being a mother either). Simply, it must be Lydia over my brain.

We drove the three blocks home (that's my kind of local eatery, and it was also amazing, with homemade noodles, homemade sauce, homemade massive slices of eggplant parmesan), and as I got out, I noticed that my to-go box balanced precariously on the edge of the trunk, where I had set it momentarily while placing Elisheva in her carseat. Just like a year and a half ago, when I went to Hagi Babas in Mesa with our dear friends the Reeds and the Schencks to escape being Medieval for a night in favor of yummy Middle Eastern food. I ordered two baklava to go, because I love the Middle Eastern way of making them, with pistachios and a suger syrup, instead of walnuts and honey. Sadly, I set the two to-go boxes down on the pavement beside the car while I strapped Lydia into her car seat, and mindlessly left them there as I drove back to Estrella. Tragic. Clearly to-go boxes and my children do not mix. Except at least this time, my Eggplant Parmesan had stuck with me! The wonder, the excitement!

Except, wait. Lydia's new Goodnight Moon had also been on top of the to-go box. And it hadn't stuck with us in the three block drive home.

Avram, determined to not break our daughter's heart, retraced our route home on foot. Soon he came home with the remains. It had dropped of in the first turn, in the middle of the intersection, and now resided in four parts. Lydia didn't quite comprehend what had occurred, and sat sorting the pieces of the book between her hands, going, "One! Two!"

What a little girl, and a sad little book.

We're planning to buy tape and tape it back together; now that Lydia has found her true love of books, we can't just abandon it, even for my brain cells.


  1. my kids love that book. we have it in english and spanish. porter wanted it read every night for about 18 months... hmm wonder why his first words were light and balloon 9 well actually they were luc and globbo which is spanish for such words) anyways i was so glad when he didnt want to read it three times a day anymore. fast forward a year... and its theo's most favorite book ever. I can not find the english one right now but thats okay because i can read the spanish on and use all english since i memorized the entire thing by no choice of my own. I assume theo will start to lose interest in it about the same time Preston starts to like it. I see many years of me reading that book *sigh* we also have such classics as the hungry caterpiller and the cat in the hat memorized. good times. cant wait till they are old enough to read interesting chapter books to!

    and your story made me so sad for lydia i think you should just go buy the book. seriously. I will send you 10 dollars and you can say it was from me for her birthday last year or something

  2. Willow's favorite book was Where the Wild Things Are. Getting to the point where it was memorized actually made reading it a lot faster because I could say it while I turned the pages. She loved it to death, at least to cover-less-ness. Luckily she didn't go through a "read it 70 times in a row" stage, just once a night.

  3. Has she ever watched PBS? Reading Rainbow? Sometimes they profile popular kids' books on those shows. (Either that, or she's a reading prodigy, or has ESP, or one of your friends or relatives owns it and you just didn't realize.)

    I never minded reading that one, but I never had to read it many times in a row. Actually I haven't read to my kids nearly as much as you might guess from their literacy levels. And now my older kids will read to my younger ones -- awesome.