Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reading Obsessions of the Little Man

I felt like Maurice Sendak deserved a follow up post, mostly because Little Man is now fairly attached to Where the Wild Things Are. He pulls it off the shelf at least once a day and loves to flip through the pictures, especially the ones of the Wild Things on the wild rumpus. And it's thanks to WTWTA that L.M. learned to wave and say "bye", can accurately identify a boat, and officially tried stabbing the dog with a fork. Kidding on the last one. That was me. Still kidding! But I think in L.M.'s case it definitely isn't a case of familiarity breeding contempt. Instead, the more I forced him to read WTWTA the more he loved it. He's definitely the type to enjoy something more the better he knows it.

In the same way, L.M. has developed quite an obsession (there is really no other word for it) with the book Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Sadly, I didn't have to work quite as hard to brainwash him when it came to Mike Mulligan, which just goes to show that, in a pinch, most boys will pick mechanical things with wheels over wild things, no matter how awesome they are. For those of you unenlightened (I was before becoming the mother of a little boy and being gifted this book by my in-laws, who have four boys), Mike Mulligan is the story of an out of work steam shovel who agrees to dig the cellar of a town hall in just one day (it would've taken one hundred men at least a week--whoohoo?). He is cheered on by the inhabitants of Popperville, who obviously have nothing better to do with their day, and in consequence, Mike and his shovel, lovingly named Mary Ann, dig a little faster and a little better. It's an absolutely fascinating commentary on the industrial revolution and small town life. I have to say that after this last move, I have now officially found myself in a town where watching a steam shovel dig a cellar would count as adequate amusement. It is rather entertaining, though, how entranced L.M. is by this book. Our morning walk is now filled with shovel searching (there's always construction on an Air Force base), and his fascination with buses and trucks is unparalleled. He's also pretty much memorized the book. How do I know? The Big Man tried to skip several pages once in an effort to speed up bed time, and L.M. absolutely would not have it. He knows that book backward and forward, especially when it comes to horses, "pop" (Popperville), bikes, and the key phrase of "dig a little faster and a little better" (he only says the last word). Incredible what a little repetition can do. Next, I plan to use this most excellent of books to teach L.M. how to do happy and sad faces. At present, all he's capable of when reading Mike Mulligan is a (very) happy face. And all I am capable of is being forced to read it almost every night at bed time. And by the end of the book, which is fairly long for a children's story, my now sizable belly has been rather rudely squashed by 28 pounds of Little Man.

Speaking of which, I'm soon going to need a new name for L.M. since we have another little man on the way. I would do Little Man and Littlest Man, but those are going to both end up as L.M. which always ends up reminding me of Lucy Maud Montgomery. And while I love Lucy Maud, she has very few similarities to my Little Man. Anyway, thoughts?

Lastly, and completely unrelated, I'm currently watching The Secret of Moonacre on Netflix, and it's making me really want to read Elizabeth Goudge's The Little White Horse. Hmm... I may have to put that on my Mersmas list.

1 comment:

  1. Aki says Mike Mulligan was one of his favorite books when he was a kid. Sorry I didn't know it to read it to my 3 girls. I will enjoy reading it the end of December through January! :-)