Book Hoarding Penence

I hoard children’s books. I love them. But the more I read and study, the more I observe human nature of a small child, the more I realize that more is not better.

It is sad to say, but …
I’d like to be sitting in the middle of these

Have you ever noticed that toddlers want you to read the same book over and over again? I have “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” memorized. Sometimes I have read it 5 or 6 times in a row, and heaven forbid I suggest another book. “No! Bear book!”

I love the Waldorf method of telling the same story for 2 to 4 weeks at a time. So this year I’m doing it. I am weeding Kymee’s books down to only SIX books in her room. The rest will be placed in my “library” to be rotated out at a future time.

I’ve put a lot of thought into my 6 books. Believe me when I say it is EXTREMELY hard for me to pick 6 books for the year. So here were my standard’s for choosing.

  1. I have to want to read the book over and over again and still enjoy it. 
  2. Kymee has to like it. At this point she likes to look at books and doesn’t particularly want me to read them out-load. She wants to “Do it myself.” Which leads me to the next standard …
  3. They have to have beautiful pictures worthy of looking at without the words
  4. They have fit my focus of the year, which is poetry, nursery rhymes, and seasonal. I believe that giving 3-year-olds poetry enhances their language through rhythm and rhyme. 
Kymee’s 6 Books: (I have to make a confession here and say I cheated. Many of the six books have multiple “stories” or “poems”)

This is the Bible book I’ve been looking for. I wanted something to teach Kymee who God is and what it looks like to have a relationship with Him. I didn’t want Bible Stories which focus more on people and what they do for God. I’ve been reading Psalms straight out of the Bible to her, but this is such a sweet translation for her age (I haven’t found anything blatantly unbiblical yet).

    1. Psalms for Young Children
    by Marie-Helene Delval
    illustrated by Arno

I plan to read one Psalm a night for a week at bedtime. 
2. Prayers for Children
by Eloise Wilkins

This would not have made my top six. I already have a Bible book. However, Kymee loves it. She carries it around, she takes it in the car for journeys, she sits and shows the pictures to her baby bear. Little Golden Books were geniouses in designing books just the right size for toddler hands. That being said, it is a really sweet book, which includes classic prayers like “Now I lay me down to sleep.” There are morning prayers and meal prayers and prayers for play.

I love children’s book illustrations and
no one draws sweeter, purer children than
Eloise Wilkins
 Great addition for the Waldorf Library, as it can be used for daily rhythm. This is how I’ll use the book with Kymee, as well as letting her continue to lug it around. 
3. The Complete Book of Flower Fairies
 by Cicely Mary Barker

    Both Kymee and I LOVE fairies. I dream of fairy gardens we’ll someday design together. She flutters around waving her arms pretending to be a fairy. I hope I’m never too old to look under flowers trying to catch a glimpse of the flower fairies. This book is a classic based on the poet illustrator Cicely Mary Barker who lived from 1895 – 1973. The book contains all of her books which are collections of poetry.

    The illustrations and words 
    are breathtaking

    I plan to use this book for throughout the Kindergarden years (for all my non-Waldorfy friends, that’s from age 3 – 6). I’ll use the poems for my yearly rhythm – reading and memorizing two or three per season.

    4. My Vary First Mother Goose 
    edited by Iona Opie 
    illustrated by Rosemary Wells

    Introducing Kymee to Mother Goose. What more can I say? This will be the core of out “literature” this year.

    Rosemary Wells illustrations are simple, fun-loving and spunky. 
    Perfect for a three year old.
    5. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes 
    by Mem Fox illustrated 
    by Helen Oxenbury

    I adore this book. Everything about it. The simple rhythm and repetition of the words. The pictures of babies from all over the glode and from different walks of life. I love how it subtlely teaches that all people are equal, whether they are born far away or close, in a town or village, black or yellow, red or white. And it’s an awesome book to have finger and toe play and teach counting.

    The babies are so charming,
    I challenge you not to smile
    as you read
    For Number 6,  I’m so cleaver at breaking my own rules. I will have one book for each season which I rotate in Kymee’s basket. This technically makes my 6 book choose, 9 books – yea me.
    6. Autumn
    Leaf Man
    by Lois Ehlert

    Fun, fun book. The words are simple and flow beautifully, “Leaf Man used to live near me, in a pile of leaves, but yesterday the wind blew Leaf Man away.” The book then goes on to tell of Leaf man’s journey across the land. 

    The illustrations are ingenious
    with landscape and creatures
    made of leaves

    This is kinda like an “I spy” book. So much to look at and admire. Great trigger for leaf talks on autumn, leaf collection, art projects which we make our own “Leaf Man.” I’m so excited.

    6. Winter
    Dream Snow
    by Eric Carle

    When choosing only 6 books, you HAVE to have one by Eric Carle. Love this one. Kymee loves the animals named One, Two, Three, Four and Five, and the tree named Tree. There’s a surprise in the end – who would expect anything less from Eric Carle.

    6. Spring
    by Bruce Degen

    I could read this all day long and never get bored. Even if you only read it one the jingle of the words will stick in your head all day long, “One berry, two berry, pick me a blueberry, hat berry, shoe berry, in my conueberry. Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam …” 

    The illustrations just pop

    Can’t wait for the first berries of the season: to pick, to taste, to make jam. Yum.

    6. Summer
    Have any ideas? 

    That’s it folks. What are your top choices of books for toddlers?

      Judgement Day

      Kymee had a melt down at the store today.  
      I had the audacity to tell her she couldn’t pull a child’s suitcase around the store and fill it with everything off the shelves. I know – I’m a horrible mom.
      She fell to the floor and started crying and screaming her high pitched wail … and didn’t stop –  I did. I stopped. I stopped shopping. I stopped breathing. I stopped thinking like a rational adult. 
      The pregnant lady,
       probably with her firstborn,
      glared at me as if she knew how to parent better than me.
      The old lady looked at me as if to say,
      “Back in my day,
      I would have picked up my kid and beat their rear- end
      if they did that in the store.” 

      And then there was the “perfect mom”
      who stooped down to her child’s level, held them by the shoulders,
       pointed to Kymee and said,
      “You’re such a good boy for not acting like THAT.”

      I tried to reason with my three year old. Disclaimer: I already told you I had stopped thinking rationally.

      I tried to hug her and pat her back. She kicked me and screamed louder.
      What I really wanted to do was sit down next to her and cry and scream with frustration. Instead, I looked around for the closest exit. 

      If I had been a part of Andres’
      “Zombie Survival Squad”
      I would have known the fastest way of escape with a screaming toddler.
      I left my cart in the middle of the isle – at this point I had to make a choice between offending the poor clerk who would have to restock my stuff or the poor customers who had to listen to Kymee scream. I choose to offend the clerks.

      I picked up my screaming child,
      headed for the door 
      I started singing the first thing that came to my head … “I’ve got peace like a river; I’ve got peace like a river; I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.”  
      We must have been a sight to see – a screaming little girl held by singing mom. Too bad no one had their phone camera on for “America’s Funniest Videos.”
      I threw her in the car – still screaming, still screaming, still screaming.  As my stress boiled inside of me ready to spill over at any moment, I continued, “I’ve got peace like a river,” I started praying in my head, “Dear God, make the river have rushing and roaring waves which engulf me and drowned me with Your peace.”
      As we drove down the road screaming and singing, God gave me peace …

       in the form of a McDonalds  

      Now all my “Food Nazi” friends can judge me – you know who you are: you are the ones who posted Face Book pictures of the inside of you fridge to brag about how healthy you eat – or to make the rest of us, who sometimes feed out kids nothing but bananas all day, feel bad. But today, God gave me peace through a McDonalds – because as soon as we turned into the drive through line, Kymee stopped crying. She sniffled and swallowed her sobs along with the French fries.

      I stopped singing. Rational thought returned. I survived to tell the tale. I survived the ridicule and stares of strangers. And I learned it’s not over til the fat lady sings, and buys french fries.

      There’s a Dragon in the Closet

      There’s a dragon in Kymee’s closet.

      I could attire a Uganda village of children with the clothes hanging there. Seriously. There are clothes she has never even worn and others she may have worn once or twice. And every day she pulls her silky PJ pants out of the dirty clothes pile and replaces the cute little outfit I put on her. I want to dress her in a new name boutique style outfit every day of the month and all she wants is stinky PJs. I have made the dragon into a pet and feed it regularly. 

      Daddy feeds the dragon too! 

      I can justify my glamour-girl gluttony.

      Some of the clothes were gifts, boughten by others or hand-me-downs.

      I’m an amazing shopper and I got great deals on all of it.

      I was so poor when my other little girl was little that I never got to dress her how I wanted – so now I have a new doll to play with.

      Social workers told us when Kymee was little that her biggest challenge in life was not going to be all the surgeries she’d have to endure but rather being bullied because of her scars and messed-up mouthful of teeth. In my mind, up-dressing her will make her less receptive to ridicule.

      Some may wear their pride on their sleeve – mine walks beside me in frilly dresses and converse.
      I want to glorify God with the money I have, not use it to feed the dragon in the closet. I want my daughter’s worth to rest in her being created in God’s image and for His purpose – not in the fact that she is the best dressed little girl on the playground.

      I have a plan. You can now hold me accountable to it. I have made a list of what I believe she needs for any one of the four season (or the two Texas seasons – Hot and Cold).

      Here’s the list:

      7 Play Clothes (indoor/outside)
      7 shirts
      7 skirts or shorts or tutus
      7 leggings or tights
      1 Sweatshirts
      1 Hoodie
      1 Painting Shirt or Cotton Dress (Large enough to cover clothes – so she doesn’t always have to paint naked)
      This part of the wardrobe is all about Kymee’s new-found 3 year old philosophy of life, “Do it myself.”
      Everything has elastic and she can dress herself.
      She can pick her own clothes. Everything is mix and match
      Fairy PrincessCuteAngelic PrettyFairy Kei Clothes - love for every day look
      A Japanese Princess Street Style which isn’t matchy-matchy like buying the entire “Unicorn Garden” collection at Gymboree.

      3 Nice Casual Outfts
      1 Jeans or Jeggings
      2 “Special” Shirts
      1 Casual Dress
      This part of the wardrobe is all about me, and my pride, and what “I” want people to see Kymee in. 

      Emylee feeds the dragon, too. “What
      do you mean only one casual dress?
      I buy her more than that!” 

      4 Church Dresses

      One dress a week for a month – then rotate for at least 3 months.

      This is about Kymee and me– I’m searching for “silky” dresses which feel like her PJs –  Dresses she loves to wear and are special enough to meet and worship the King of Kings, the God of the Universe.

      3 Shoes
      Dress Shoes
      Tennis Shoes

      Rain Jacket or All Purpose Jacket

      2 Cardigan Sweaters (Pastel & White – for play and dresses) 
      1 Heavy Coat

      I’m saving money by having her
      wear the coats
      with no clothes underneath 

      3 or 4 “silky” PJs

      1 Swimsuit in Fall & Winter, and 3 in Spring & Summer (There really should be a Swimsuit Anonymous for those like me who are addicted to cute swimwear) 

      “I’m Joyce Pinero, and I am addicted to buying
      too many swimsuits for my daughter.”
      14 underwear
      White & Pink nylons for church
      1 Pair White Church Socks
      5 pairs white athletic socks  (In my house socks go in the wash married and come out single – picking one type of sock means they can have polyamorous relationships)
      And of course, a tiara

      Fun Accessories (Optional – as I find them at good prices)
      2 or 3 necklaces 
      Hat – For fashion & fun, not warmth
      Knee Socks
      Leg Warmers
      Hair Bows – Kymee HATES hair bows
      Purses – Kymee LOVES purses

      I’m slaying this dragon. I’m selling everything in the closet which isn’t on the list. I will keep a list in my purse of everything I need to fill in her fall wardrobe and as I find great deals I’ll purchase them. Or maybe I should just buy her a dozen pairs of “silky” PJs and call it a day. 

      And with the money I save …
      I think I’ll sponsor and clothe a Ugandan little girl. Sign me up, Emylee.