Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Boy's Take on Valentine's Day

Somehow I ended up with five little boys running around our house yesterday. Two were my own, one was invited, and the other two wandered in from the neighborhood. Being surrounded by little men on Valentine's Day, I got an interesting perspective on the holiday. Here is what I could glean about a boy's take on Valentine's Day.

On a Big Date:
Nathan: "I'll get a job and work lots and lots. Then I can take you to the 'bending machine' at the YMCA."

On Playing with Girls:
"We're no match for girls. C'mon guys let's guard our palace!"

On Decorating Valentine Cookies:
Boy #1: (dumping a pile of red sprinkles on his cookie) "Wow, check out all these sprinkles."

Boy #2: "It's my turn. Look, I have more sprinkles than you."

Boy #3: "Nuh uh, I have the MOST sprinkles. Look at this..." (finishes off the red sprinkles)

Boy #4: (too busy eating cookies and frosting to bother with sprinkles)

Boy #5: (waits ten minutes until the others have lost interest and goes chair to chair licking up the leftover sprinkles)

On Girlfriends:
"Ewwwwwww, gross!!!"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Top of the Pile

I didn't post our "top of the pile" choices last week, because I was too busy dispensing Tylenol, changing bedding, and cleaning up after very sick children. So, without further ado, here they are in no particular order.

Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Yellow Sled by Maj Lindman. Caleb had mixed feelings about this one, but he asked to read it several times and was disappointed when I returned it to the library. It is part of a series of stories about the adventures of triplet boys (there is a similar series about triplet girls, Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka). The books were written in the 1930s by Swedish author Maj Lindman. In The Yellow Sled Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr agree to work for two weeks to earn a new yellow sled. They do everything their mother asks (not without a mishap or two) and she takes them to the store to buy the sled.

While the triplets wait outside, they meet a boy younger than themselves who is very poor. The little boy is looking at the sled and crying because his family could never afford it. Snipp, Snapp and Snurr confer with their mother and decide to give the little boy their sled. Their mother agrees that they can work for two more weeks to earn another sled. This was the point in the story that upset Caleb. He didn't think the boys should give up the sled and was convinced that their dad (who does not figure prominently in the story) would be mad at them. Apparently, generosity is not an instinctive virtue. Ah well, that is why we read stories like this one.

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban, Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. I tried reading the Frances books to the boys a year or so ago and they were completely uninterested. I suppose it helped to reintroduce them on a gray and frigid week when we were all feeling too rotten to go anywhere or do anything. In any case, the boys can't get enough of Frances. We've read and re-read Bread and Jam. When I went to the library this week they asked me to get Bedtime for Frances and A Bargain for Frances as well. Bargain is easily my favorite. The boys got all fired up at the injustice of Thelma's tea set deal and cheered Frances when she came up with a creative solution. Very well written and fun to read!