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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday (Not as Dumb as I Look) Swag-urday

First, before I get carried away with today's post, let me just send a shout out to Deb Thaxton @ Web-Savy Mom. You won the Looney Tunes stuff!

Go Deb!

Okay, moving right along, so I've been accused once or twice of not actually being a dumb mom.

I'm not sure where these nay sayers hail from, but let me assure you I am as dumb (and moody, and unmotivated, and willing to tell a lie for a cookie) as I say.

I'm not perpetrating as an ignoramus just to get you to read this blog regularly (which, for the record, is not working anyway).

I really, truly am a dumb mom, as I define it.

How do I define it?


Dumb Mom (n.): a female parent who consistently fails at being awesome due to lack of effort, lack of knowledge, and/or lack of intelligence.

How's that work for ya?

I'm most notably a failure at being awesome because of the first two. Basically, my lack of effort causes me to lack knowledge that, were I to have it, could lead to my awesomeness.

I've really just never been one of those research it type people, and becoming a mom hasn't made me one.

When I was busy stocking up on baby items for #1, people were always asking me what car seat (or stroller, or infant chair, or playpen) I was planning to buy. And, once informed of my choice, they would generally ask something along the lines of, "Oh, did that get good safety ratings?", or "Is that approved by (the agency whose name I'm unaware of that's in charge of approving crap for babies)?".

I would have to smile (my response to being uncomfortable/nervous/embarrassed) and lie distract them with some other information, because honestly, I picked every last item used by my child based on a) how it looked and b) how much bank it was gonna cost me.

I wanted the cute one that was part of the set that I saw on Friends. Somehow admitting this, or that I just didn't give a care, seemed inappropriate.

Shallow? Perhaps.

True? Definitely.

And, the trend continues today.

I really don't invest much time in researching what I should buy (unless you count scanning through celebrity mags to see what Gwen Stefani got) for the dudes.

It's just not my way.

I buy what I like, because I like it (and so do other people who are cool).

Not to mention, I don't have time to comb through countless ridiculously boring information based websites to figure it all out. I figure, if some kid blew up in it, I'd have heard about it on MSN, right?

But, being a Dumb Mom doesn't mean I'm uneducated (despite how it may sound at the moment).

As a matter of fact, I often refer to myself as "the highly educated dumb mom of 3".

I've spent a whole crap load of cash beefing up my education, and not to brag or anything (cough, graduated with a 4.0 from UMD), but I was an exceptionally good student.

For whatever reason, my academic excellence has not infiltrated my motherhood as I had originally hoped and I spend an embarrassing amount of time being outsmarted by my cunning, meticulous, evil masterminds children.

But, if there's one thing my Master's degree in education has taught me, it's the value of a good book.

In my former life, I was an English teacher whose mission in life was "to create a love of reading in every child".

Needless to say, my house is like the children's section of the public library.

My kids have countless books of all genres. They have subscriptions to numerous periodicals. They have books on tape. Books on CD. Picture books. Chapter books. Books. Books. Books!

And, they actually read them. Constantly.

So, no surprise that Santa shows up with a stack of books for each one of the dudes every single Christmas.

Here are some that will be shooting down our chimney this season:

For #1. He's an independent reader who enjoy graphic novels, mysteries, books that have been adapted into films, numerous series, and choose your own adventures. He's the easiest to shop for because he is willing to try just about anything with words. He's like the Anthony Bourdain of books.

-Some book in the Magic Pickle series. He kept the first one out from the library long enough that we coulda bought the entire series for the amount we paid in fines. I think a copy of his own would be a good investment.

-Star Wars Mad Libs. These are fun so I'll get them for him and force him to do them with me.

-The Tales of Beedle the Bard. It's the convoluted fables of the wizarding world complete with commentary provided by Dumbledore which could only be loved by true Harry Potter geeks. This title has already enjoyed an expensive getaway from it's library home tucked under his pillow at my expense. Just cheaper if I buy it.

For #2. Who tries his little heart out to be enthusiastic about books solely because it is a pastime he longs to share with #1, but honestly "reading" books (in quotes since he can't actually read as he constantly reminds me in his loudest-screamy-how-many-times-do-I-have-to-say-this-woman voice: "Remember, Mom. I CAN'T READ!"), is really just not his bag. But, as it's my mission to uncover each child's inner book lover, here is his list.

-How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You. He likes comedy, and he likes dinosaurs so seeing dinosaurs doing unlikely things is the best of both worlds. Plus, he really enjoyed other titles in this series, and since repetition is the key to a preschooler's heart, I'm think this will work.

-I Really Absolutely Must Have Glasses. This is perfect for him because he has recently become obsessed with knowing the exact time and date that he will be getting glasses (and braces). Here I am trying to save my lunch money to get Lasix and he's convinced glasses are where it's at.

For #3. He's my most discriminating "reader" since he'll only look at one type of books. The rest are more likely to be used as step stools, chairs, or weapons of mass destruction.

That's Not My (Monkey, Tractor, Pirate, etc
). He obviously can't read, but he knows that I can so he brings me his That's Not My Lion (dog, or dragon) every single night to be read aloud to him while he feels each little part of it like it's the very first time. Other books just don't seem to do it for him, but he really likes these, so why not expand our repertoire a bit, just so I don't go insane looking for the dragon!

See, I'm not quite as dumb as I look, at least not when it comes to books.

But, I am still looking for suggestions, so if you have a children's book to recommend I'd love to hear it. Or, if you'd like a good recommendation for a middle schooler (since that's really my area of expertise) feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll do some research (a little, not a lot) for you!

Don't forget to enter your little munchkin in the Happily (un)Haunted Halloween Costume Contest by clicking here.


Mom of Three said...

My 6 year old loved and still loves How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You and How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night. Oh and the Charlie and Lola books. Those were his faves when he was starting to read. But you know what I did when he was too little to read - audiobooks.

Safe to buy - both the 6yr old and 8yr old love Bill Harley, and so do I. His Battle of the Mad Scientists Cd is fantastic, and the Great Sled race is one of the funniest children stories I think I've ever heard. Definitely check him out.

Mira is triplet crown said...

first, hey I have a masters in ed too! Whaddaya know? We're so like sisters (mines 2ndry ed SS). Second, my kids LOOOVE the 'thats not my" books. Pretty much anything touch n feel they love and they've started pointing to things like the mouse on every page so I know they're doing other things besides touching.

We havent moved much past that tho so no further suggestions. I have so many books too I feel like I should be checking things out from the library but I just tend to hit costco and buy anything there. Someday we'll do libraries when I can corral them more easily within...

KK said...

We all have our strengths!

Amanda {My Life Badly Written} said...

My 4 year olds favourite book which he knows off by heart now is Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman & Ben Cort.

It's funny, each page is a four line poem so it is easy for them to remember and 'read' with you and has great illustrations.

"They like them red, they like them green,
Or orange like satsumas
But best of all they love the sight,
Of Granny's spotted bloomers"

Jennifer said...

Do you get the "that's not my..." books from Usbourne? They are totally awesome. I think those are the best books ever. I love, love, love them. I bet no. 2 would like the "There's a Monster In my House" and "There's a Dragon at My School" or something like that. They are cute and funny and repetitive through the story. I guess you can tell that I love books too. Even though most of ours are packed away because I'm tired of picking them up off the floor and putting them back on the bookshelf. You know, it is totally harder to climb with the books on it. Ugh.

Giving away two copies of the movie Extract starring Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. Contest ends 4/2/10.
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