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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Voraciously Reading Children

I don't read to my kids.  One time, I tried, I got 3/4 of the way through my favorite book as a kid, "Treasures of the Snow", when the oldest was in grade school and the youngest a baby.  I don't think anyone retained anything but it haunts me that I never finished that book with my kids.  After a time, it was impossible to go back without starting over.  I finally realized, I'm not meant to read to my kids.

I see other parents rapturously extoling the virtues of reading to their kids.  Look at my darlings read, they crow, with a sanctimonious hand over the heart, and it's all due to the fact that we read to them as they were young.

Well, mine turned out just fine.  Perhaps a little too fine.  Obsessive to the point of writhing around in sheer utter agony when they do not have a book in hand.  Oh the drama, had I only read to them as children how much worse would it be?

My 4th child, who is now 7, is in love with the Kingdom of Wrenly series.  As a gift, before our Montana trip, I bought books 9 and 10.  To her sheer horror, book 9 has pages 67 - 79 cropped due to printing error so she's unable to read the story in it's complete and utter glory.  I've been reminded continuously to replace the book to the point of finally writing to Thriftbooks and alerting them to the dire situation.  I'm grateful to them for sending a replacement copy.

My 3rd child, who is now 10, is hooked on the Wings of Fire series, as is her oldest sister who got all the books for Christmas last year but refuses to let her sister borrow them.  So, while in Montana, she begged to spend her chore money to buy the digital version of book 6.

My 2nd child, who is now 12, is probably the most addicted to reading but doesn't quite realize his ability to absorb mass quantities of data in a short period of time.  Prior to the one month trip, I noticed he'd begun re-reading the Harry Potter series and helpfully suggested he take all the books.  We had room in the book box, it was only half full, he said no need.  One week into the trip and he was found listless and brokenhearted, having read every single one of his books with three weeks to go.  We scoured the local thrift stores of Polson, MT and nearby towns to no avail, surprisingly there were no bookstores.  Either no children live in that area, or they don't read books, or maybe they do and never let them go.  Just as he believed all hope was lost, we remembered that our local library offers books on an app called Hoopla, and all Harry Potter books were available.  Now he could combine his two loves, iPhone and reading and be able to do both outside of phone time.  Since we've returned he's gone through the Fablehaven books 1-3 in less than a week and was stopped only due to the fact that the library hasn't located book 4 yet.

My 1st child, who is now 14, reads at more leisurely pace than 2nd, but is also lost without 5-6 books in rotation at any given time.  She's currently reading the Aru Shah, White Bird the graphic novel, has a dog book from her birthday, and has developed a love for WWII stories.  

One of the many hurdles with VRC's (Voraciously Reading Children) is not only keeping them in books but resolving the squabbles that occur when more than one passionately loves the same series.  Who gets to read the new release first?  Should every reader have the entire series in their room?  Convincing those who are adrift when their series ends to try something new.

I grew up with two brothers and I don't think we read the same book unless it was mandated by school.  Oldest read Hardy Boys, I read Nancy Drew.  Youngest didn't like reading.  We literally never had these problems.

Perhaps the solution lies with not buying any more books?  Let all books be library check outs!  To which the two oldest, who have managed to find this blog and actually read it shall now end this post by screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO while I laugh manically in the background.

Finally, if you are still reading, and have the sudden urge to come and interrogate me on not buying any more books, there will be a quiz on some of the random words used here today.  Unless you've grown up and can now afford to buy your own books, carry on, and hopefully you have better luck with your children.  

Monday, August 15, 2022

Part 3 of our Summer Break

Part 3 of our summer break began the day after we returned from Montana.  It includes all the basic doctor appointments such as dental cleaning, eye doctor, orthodontist, and even a foot doctor to assess an ingrown toe nail.  Managing appointments for 4 kids has become a side job.

Next we will tackle school supplies which also means reconciling with the fact that the school website needs updated (another side job).

School clothes - my third child is 10 but has outgrown 10/12's, the next size is 14/16 which my 14 year old daughter wears.  They attend a private school so we buy Lands End polo's and I guess it's time to assign colors.  This tall girl needs to slow down.  No one expects girls who are 4 years apart to wear the same clothes!

At some point we really should clean the camper as we did live in it for almost a week but it's currently parked at the church because my mom had a driveway issue that needs addressed so it's been put on the get to later list but hopefully this month we can get it back to mom's house and give it a proper cleaning.

The dishwasher is making a crackling sound so we need to get those guys back to fix it.

Aisha, our black cat, and Charlotte discovered a mouse on a sticky pad in the kitchen today.  To make a long story short, we now need to search for it's friends and make sure they evacuate.  As if having a Jack Russel Terrier and 2 cats wasn't enough to drive fear into the hearts of small creatures.  I really can't imagine what the mouse was thinking but maybe, just maybe it was only one who didn't have time to facebook all his little friends and family to join our terrifying abode.  

I need to get caught up on a month and a half of bills.  Boo hiss.

One of the apartments in our rental property needs updated.  I think we're looking at 2-3 months of repainting and repairs, needless to say we'll be there every weekend until it's done.

Our lawnmower needs fixed. 

All the kids must learn to ride a bike this summer, we've simply crossed the line of reasonable timeline in which our oldest should be proficient.  Our oldest is my size, she's literally wearing my clothes and only 1/2 size smaller in shoe size and probably the same in height difference!  Henceforth, she cannot ride the medium size kid bikes anymore.  Husband has gallantly offered to build her a bike using 3 old bikes, each of which have some issue that somehow requires rebuilding one with the working parts of three.  Prior to this proclamation we had gone to a bike store and found the most basic bike to be over $600.   We've tried working with her on my college bike but the seat is too high, we can't get it any lower, and despite being almost my size she's unhappy with a bike that I've dearly loved and apparently got quite used to stopping while on the tips of my toes.  It gives me the best turning stride and I used to get every ounce of speed out of that machine.  Alas, my oldest wants to be able to put her entire foot on the ground so we are now going to build her a bike.  How will this fit into the above schedule?  Lord only knows.