Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Toddler Lunaticitis: Tales from the Darkside
(Tale #1 in a Series)

Like many of you, I love to read. Love. to. read. I majored in English so I could read for fun during college. I like to hang out in the libary. If I had to choose between reading and having sex, I'd probably choose reading half the time. (No offense to Husband. It's me. Not you.) I know that most, if not all, of you can relate to this love of literature because bloggers are writers and writers are book lovers.

So, given my love of reading, I was not surprised to see Little Guy sprouting his own love for the written word at a fairly young age. As soon as he could lift his little head off the ground, I would find him half-crawling, half-dragging himself across the floor to open a book and turn the pages.

In fact, he was so fond of books that he would even try to ingest them from time to time.

But as time wore on, I noticed that Little Guy was slowly giving up his interest in eating reading books.

I became worried. Would he not be the lover of literature that I assumed he would be? My future plans for tucking Little Guy into bed each night after reading him a chapter from The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia suddenly appeared to be in jeapordy.

Time passed. His first birthday came and went and no sign of any literary interest. How could this be happening? I really became concerned. But it appeared that nothing I did made any difference.

And then it happened. One day, almost overnight, he went from no interest in reading whatsover to becoming completely and totally obessed.

I like to call it Book Obsessed Toddler Lunaticitis. Apparently, any toddler can catch it. At any time. And he had it. Bad.

All of a sudden, all he wanted to do was read books. His thirst was unquenchable. And if I didn't read to him immediately, there would be consequences. Oh, would there be consequences!

It would go down the same way every time.

First, the approach (innocent enough). He would bring me a book. His favorite book. The book we had read 25 times that same day.

Trying not to show my terror, I would realize I was trapped. Again. And if I tried to do anything but head directly for the couch to read that book, he would follow me everywhere, book in hand, red-faced and screaming, as if I had abandoned him, forsaken him - as if, if I didn't read him that book RIGHT THAT VERY SECOND AND NOT A SECOND LATER he would die right there on the spot.

Oh, the horror.

The horror!

In desperation, he would fling himself down upon his book, sobs racking his wee little body.

It was an awful sight to behold. I have nightmares about it to this very day.

Soon, I found myself praying every night for him to stop. Just for the love all things good and pure, STOP with the books already. I was getting to my wits end. I would fantasize about digging a great big hole in the backyard and burying all the books back there. These were horrible, horrible thoughts that I couldn't believe I was thinking. And yet I was. It was getting that bad.

And then, as quickly as it started, it stopped.

Only about three months after book demons took over my son, they left him. And as much as I love reading, I am so friggin relieved that he's been exorcized from this affliction that I'm practically throwing myself a celebration party.

Now, like I said, I love books as much as the next blogger. But if my son ever, EVER goes through a phase like this again, I think I'll kill myself.

The End.


Anonymous chelle said...

hehe been there! The phase comes and goes at our house. I have stopped asking Becca what she WANTS to read because it will always be the flavour of the moment .... over and over again!

Sounds terrible that we grow weary of our child's love for reading, but a little variety is all we need to survive!

12:32 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

I love to read. Nathan's still in the book-ingesting phase, though.

And those photos are priceless! The pain of being a toddler...

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup. We want our kids to enjoy reading as much as we do...then...if I have to read that friggin' Backyardigan's book one more friggin' time, I will spit all over it.

4:38 AM  
Anonymous snarflemarfle said...

We're still in the let's-lick-the-pictures stage over here. I'm ready for less licking and more reading...but apparently that can go overboard!

Love the pics of the little guy!

4:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just find it really amusing that instead of reading to him, you took pictures of him gettting more and more upset. LOL. You're such a blogger mamma!!

5:33 AM  
Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

I want to stuff Richard Scary's "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go" book down a deep and dark hole, but I know The Mayor will find it. Gah!

p.s. Me too on the English Major thing.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

great post! And what good pictures along with it, he has the most beautiful curly hair!!! He is a doll!

6:37 AM  
Blogger Pendullum said...

My daughter has always loooooved books...
But Now it has changed...
My wee girl is so grown up with her own quirky humour...
She absolutely adores this series called Bone...
She giggles and squeals as she is rivetted to the page...
I have to remind her to turn out the light and call it an end to a day... and she begs for just one more page... she is at a reeeeeeealllllllly reeeeeeaaalllly good part!!!
She is off in her world...
and it makes me so vey happy...and a bit sad as I no longer am part of the process...

Cristina, I hope that you have a most wonderful Christmas... And a mostdelightful New YEar filled to the brim with blogging moments that we can all share over 2007...

Much Love,

7:04 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Oh, Pigs in Love, how I hate thee.

8:40 AM  
Blogger metro mama said...

I can't wait for our reading to become a little more advanced.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Waya said...

That's too cute!! Now, obsessed with books is way better than obsessed with tv watching, no?!

My 3 kids love books too, and the two older boys (6 and 3.5) only want me to read to them at night ("not daddy, daddy doesn't read the same way") and we would read a new library book and then the same old book EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT!! It's the "who moved my cheese for kids" book. I'm hoping they outgrow this book b/c I'm getting sooo bored with it!!

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

I do not like Green Eggs and Ham! I do not like them Sam I Am!

I will not eat them in a house.
I will not eat them with a mouse.
I will not eat them here or there.
I will not eat them anywhere.

OMG. If I ever find Dr. Seuss live and in person, I'm going to strangle him.

But hopefully Gabe will still like to read later. Because I have visions of chapters read at bedtime of Harry Potter, Narnia, and oh so many others. I plan to relive my childhood books through him. So he'd better cooperate. :)

9:37 AM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

Dude, replace your son with mine and that's my life too. Oliver is obsessed with books. It's the first thing he says when he wakes up in the morning: "Book! Book! BOOK!"

We should get our kids together...they can read to each other and we can steal away and guzzle wine...er, sip tea.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Beck's Mommy said...

My son also suffered from this affliction. I can now do dramatic recitations from memory of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?", "Chicka Chicka ABC", "Moo, Baa, La La La" and any number of other books.

I was also ambivalent. I love books. I want to pass on that love. I HATE Brown Bear,Brown Bear...

Thank god its over!

(P.S. I love the photos documenting the affliction!)

10:23 AM  
Blogger Mary-LUE said...

I guess this post falls under the "Be careful what you wish for" category!

My son (14) would always sit for books to be read to him but wasn't very persistent looking to be read to. He is a hit or miss reader as a teenager. He just started the James Bond books by Ian Fleming so I'm holding my breath that they don't actually contain graphic descriptions of all Mr. Bond's sexscapades!!!!

My daugher (6... and 1/2) was pretty resistant to being read to. When she was just a baby and I tried to set up a bedtime routine for her, it took a total of one night for her to figure out that book reading meant bedtime and she wouldn't have it. You ever tried to read a book with a sqirming, yelling baby in your lap?

Now, she always resists a book being started, but once I get her strapped in, metaphorically speaking, she settles in and enjoys it.

The picture story of your son and the book is hysterical, by the way!

11:09 AM  
Blogger Dirty Birdie said...

Aaawwww when he threw himself on the couch with his book I just wanted to scoop him up and cuddle his little cheecks and read to him. But then again, I'm not the one who had to read the same book 40 million times in one day...

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Aww. . .he's so cute! We just got through that phase with my youngest. The book of choice was TD the Football. I tried to "fumble" that book behind the couch, but my tot found it.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Richie Ann said...

I was really looking forward to reading my nearly 1-year-old son books. His favorite is about a barn at the momen. Guess I'd better be careful what I wish for.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Pattie said...

I thought this was sooo funny! Heheheh....
Mainly because I can relate. We have all been there, believe me! There is nothing that would send me over the edge faster than having to read a book over and over and over again...GAWD!
I love the pics of your son, though. I feel his pain! :(

5:05 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Oh yeah. That phase just passed, but not before I began chanting "Chicka Chicka boom boom, Will there be enough room?" in my head con.stant.ly.

Now it's the Nemo obsession. After a month of Nemopalooza I'm ready to tell the kid that Nemo died.

I feel your pain.

Love the pics by the way! He's absolutely adorable! Especially while sobbing.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

Isn't it funny how kids want their favorite thing over and over again? Aren't you glad he got it out of his system? Good to hear he's a voracious reader.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Janean said...

LOVE the photos. 'bout laughed myself silly over this one!

6:34 PM  
Blogger lildb said...

I seriously want to grab him and chew his sweet little face off in that last picture. he's so delicious, C.

okay, that's freaky. I don't *really* want to chew his face off. I have my own devil-filled son to chew.

maybe just a nibble, when we hang out in the spring (because we are so visiting by then)?


10:26 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

Repetition, it's a killer, and toddlers thrive on it! There's comfort in knowing all parents go through it. I'm right there with ya sista'.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

We have that book and Hailey did the same thing. Maybe it's possessed is some way?

By the way...I did it! I did the meme! You know...the one you tagged me for eleven years ago. Yeah. That one.

4:59 AM  
Blogger jo! said...

I hope you still plan on reading The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia out loud to him. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of my mom reading those same books out loud to me and my siblings. Excellent choice in literature!

As for him wanting to read the same book over and over-- I can't complain about that. The little boy I used to take care of always wanted to read the same book, but i knew that the more time we spent reading it, the less time we would spend playing that infernal Bob the Builder computer game. I still have nightmares scored with that theme song!

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Gina said...

My boy did the same exact thing! He would seriously throw a fit if we didn't plop him on our lap to read to him every single time he brought us a book (yes he had a favorite too).

Very darling photos... wish I had done that.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

The worst is when they pick a really bad book and make you read it a baziliion time.

8:02 AM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

Oh man that is SO funny! My kid LOVES to eat books, although I try my darndest to read them to him, he just really thinks they are super tasty. Hopefully he will go through that voracious phase, and I'll just take comfort in the knowledge that it's temporary.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Karen Forest said...

Too funny! I can totally relate.

The worst is when their "most favorite" book is your "most hated". You want to scream...(in a completely horror movie way)....."No...anything but THAT!"

6:37 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Thanks for all your comments! Just to clarify, the photos of him screaming bloody murder were taken in about 4.5 seconds and we read the book immediately thereafter. So there WAS a happy ending to this story...for Little Guy at least!

8:34 AM  
Blogger Petite Mom Blogger said...

I am going through this right now... :)

11:28 AM  
Blogger Jodi said...

Oh man, you and me both sista! I LOVE to read, LOVE it, but when my kids were smaller and they wanted the SAME book read to them 50 gazillion times in a row it all grew a bit tiresome.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Lotta said...

So funny! I love that you captured it on film!

9:57 PM  
Blogger Fresh Mommy said...

My daughter is obsessed, OBSESSED, with Richard Scarry's "Busy, Busy Town" right now. Do you know how many pages are in that book? A lot, I tell you! It's epic compared to a good ol' board book. Sometimes I hide it, just to keep it out of her line of sight. Does that make me a bad mom?

1:37 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

You've written some funny posts in your day... but this one is right up there with the funniest in my book. (Did I just say book?!)

As you know, I have four kids. And it NEVER stopped. The begging and pleading to read to them. All four of them ask me to read to them... EVERY. DAY. Even the nine-year-old! Their favorite books. Each different ones. Did i mention this is every day?? It's enough to drive a girl to drinking antifreeze.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Artmaker - Cecilia Price said...

Hi, I'm a great-grandmother looking for something interesting about toddlers and books, because I keep my great grandson daily while his mama works, and he just loves his books! He is 16 months old (barely) and watching him figure out stuff is just priceless! Long ago we found out that he loved books. Months ago we discovered that when he was handed a book upside down he would immediately turn it right side up. So when I was reading a book about Bambi to him the other day, we came across a page with 4 opossums hanging upside down from a tree limb. Immediately, he turned the book around so they were not upside down anymore. I was amazed! Then he looked totally confused when he realized that all the other pictures were now upside down!

Just commenting... this blog has really made my day!

Cia the great grandmother

3:32 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

I was wondering if it was just me! My daughter is constantly (and I mean constantly) bringing me a book to read. If I don't read it, she cries. If I read it, when the book ends, she cries until I read it again. If I'm reading the wrong book, she gives me the right book and snatches away the other. I'm glad she likes to read, but I'm going nuts! I feel terrible, but the though of moving the books where she can't get them has crossed my mind...

5:18 PM  

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