And that’s when I first saw the bear


Not literally, just literarily.  Here’s the song reference.  It’s dreadfully inappropriate (and really more of a spoken word piece than a song), but it’s the song that popped into my head as the “blog moment” happened.

We had a mellow sort of rainy day around here; I baked bread, read stories, slogged through five loads of tiny laundry, tried to create a little order in the chaosium of our kitchen, enforced naptime, that kind of thing.  The morning’s big bright spot was the discovery of Bugaboo’s toy computer, which had been missing and missed for almost eighteen months.  Somehow, it turned up under my nightstand.  She and Beanie celebrated by playing games on their respective “computers” for about an hour until Mr. Man and Baby Guy awoke, at which time there were waffles all around, followed by paint for the ladies, a dry erase marker book for Mr. Man, and lots of blocks for both boys while the girls got up to mischief with their fairies in their room.

Bugaboo didn’t nap with Beanie and the boys, but she was very good about observing quiet time.  When she tiptoed from the girls’ room, I told her since she was doing such a good job with her listening, she could have a special craft project all to herself.  Quickly gathering some toilet paper roll cores, fuzzy yarn, scrap paper and glue, I showed her how to make a dog with the assembled supplies.  She was delighted, and set about creating a veritable kennel of cardboard canines.  When Beanie arrived just as the last roll core had been covered in fuzzy yarn, she was a little distraught, so I grabbed our last Zoo Pals cup, squirted glue around the rim, and told her she could make the snake into a wild thing — then quickly explained to Bugaboo that since she’d had a craft all to herself, she needed to let Beanie have her own craft, too.  There are pictures in the gallery.  Disaster was thereby averted, and Bugaboo wandered off to see if Smudgie wanted to be brushed while Beanie cheerfully adorned her cup with strands of yarn.

After naps, dinner, dessert, and a very enthusiastic welcome for Daddy, we tried to settle the tribe in for some family story time.  Mr. Man wanted some Daddy time to himself, however, and the girls had to be sent off to their room to clean up the results of their attempt to create a snowstorm in their room with a very large canister of baby powder (I opted NOT to photograph that).  Baby Guy, finding himself minus both his big brother and Daddy, became distressed, wailing and crying.  Milk didn’t help, hugs didn’t help, singing didn’t help, so I opted for the last resort that, in my five years of motherhood, has failed but rarely.  I grabbed the nearest board book, nestled him snugly into my lap, and started to read.

Baby Guy saw the picture of the bear and immediately quieted.  I read that book, which has been a favorite of each of our little blessings, at least three times in a row, with our small, chubby son cuddled against my chest, his eager fingers reaching out to touch each of the animals.  When we finished our little story interlude, he wriggled off my lap, pulled himself up using the edge of the couch, and reached for what appears to be his new favorite tale.  I handed it to him, and he plopped down on his plump rump, staring at the book with a cheery little smile.  As he waved his treasure in the air, he burbled, “Bow bay!  Bow Bay!  Bow Bay!”

I suspect the day is not far off when, if Baby Guy is bored, sad, or in need of a Mommy moment, he’ll adopt his siblings’ habit of meandering around to all the bookshelves until he finds something he’d like to read, then climbing into my lap for a snuggle and a story.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for my parents, who taught me to read and to appreciate books before I could talk; thank You for the grace to recognize their wisdom and pass that teaching along to Your blessings.  Thank You for the means to build Your blessings a library that enlightens and entertains them, and for strong eyes to read to them.  Thank You for Your early disciples who compiled Your love letters to us into a book, for those who preserved those early manuscripts, for those have labored under Your guidance to translate them into modern languages, for those who have made faithful renderings of Your parables and the stories from Your life and illustrated them in a way that makes them beautiful to children.  Thank You for brown bears, yellow ducks, and green frogs, and for giving us enough imagination to find the fun in the thought of blue horses and purple cats.  Thank You for little blessings whose favorite way to spend time together is snuggled up around me with a pile of books, and for the stories they invent on their own.  Please help me teach them that if they choose their books well, they will always have a way to find entertainment, information, or wisdom — and please help me teach them the difference between the three.

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