Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rereading and Resting Your Hands

Tonight, we were talking about how readers re-read books they love over and over again- even chapter books.  I talked about how growing up, I read Charlotte's Web at least 15 times and the Ramona series over and over and how I've read the Trixie Belden books more times than I can count. Then I did the math (with Fran) to realize that I have read HP books on a minimum of 34 occasions*. This amazed him. I may now have bad-ass status to him.

Fran only knows Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (both book and film) so far, but he is still a huge Harry Potter fan.  As he grows older, we'll dole the books out year-by-year until he can't stand it anymore and plows through to the end.  (Hopefully, he will not fall into deep despair at the series being over like his mother...)

Then Fran and I had this conversation:
Fran: So, is the Harry Potter author writing any more Harry Potter books right now?
Mary: Well, I think she's busy doing other stuff.
Fran: But is she writing more Harry Potters now?
Mary: Hmm, I think she needs a rest from that.
Fran: You mean, like her hands?  She needs to rest her hands- and her wrists- from all that writing. (Nodded knowingly.)
Mary: Yes- I think that must be why.

So that must be it, people. J.K. Rowling is resting her hands.

*34 books read, not reading the series 34 times.  I do take time for basic hygiene!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Vegetables or TV in the Car

Well, we finally did it. We let the kids watch TV in the van. I know they would've been fine without it, but we did it.  Having intentionally purchased a vehicle without a DVD/TV, this involved hooking the I-Pad to the driver seat and running an audio cord through the car stereo. Not complicated, but I feel a little conflicted about it.

We're not crazy; I think a little TV every now and then is fine. Goodness knows I have no room for judgement here, considering I have been streaming "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" on Amazon Prime on the laptop while cooking dinner lately. During the school week, the kids watch absolutely nothing; we don't have time. On the weekends, they'll watch a show or two if Blaine and I are sleeping in on "late hockey" days.

I was proud we weathered the 12 hour ride to Atlanta without the video distraction this summer. But in planning our trip to Joplin, a 14 hour car ride each way (with 10 hour and 4 hour legs each way) is well, 14 hours plus stops- each way-so 28 hours total- which is more than an entire day. (That's a long time to be restricted in a 5-point harness in a car seat.) I'm making excuses- and we did it.  We did turn it off in between shows (often at the kid's request) to listen to Christmas songs, play "6 Things" or "I Spy," read books (they can read in the car without getting sick!), play action figures/babies, or draw. But we did it.

I want to be able to say something philosophical about it, but I think it just is what it is. I would never ring my hands if I slipped in a kid show for those jokers to watch on a sick day or to give me some cooking space on a hectic dinner night. I do wonder why I think it's so terrible to use it as something to do on a 28 hour plus car trip.

On the plus side, I did see my kids negotiate taking turns picking the show,  Fran being a caretaker and screen-tapper for his sister, the kids learning more of the words to the songs in "Free to Be You and Me," and the kids being good sports when we turned it off to do other things.

But I'm sad that every car trip now has the decision to make: "Do we watch or not?" Still, using a portable device means I can leave it in a bag and pull it out of a bag of tricks if the tricks are needed, like I do with food, stickers, or a new book.  Also, as Claudia gets older, she'll be able to sustain other travel games better, like magnetic checkers and travel Blokus and hopefully, she will share our love of Harry Potter so we can do audio books. We love HP audio books!

Maybe I'm really just upset that this morning when we loaded up the van to ride to brunch in Chelsea, Claudia asked if she could watch Olivia on the way.* We said no and explained that we only use the I-Pad for watching if it's a really long ride.

I don't know, it depends on who you ask, but some people do think Chelsea is pretty far.

Claude was playing babies and Fran was doing a sticker book while the video plays.
Phew, no one is staringslack-jawed at the screen.
But they are learning that "It's Alright to Cry," which clearly they already knew.

*This could be about Olivia- not just TV in the van-she loves that pig!