On January 1st, I collapsed into bed with an iPad almost a shattered as I was and embarked upon some blog banter bordering on amusing (possibly still drunk from the night before) only for my despatches to expire at the same time as my depleted battery. This has happened to me a few times and the impact is far greater than anything I might have tried to impart, creatively. It’s always so difficult trying to replicate those first efforts.

Certainly I was on a high unequal to the battleship-grey New Year’s Day weather. I cannot recall a January 1st ever getting light. If ever I have money again (unlikely, now a parent) I should make a date to holiday for New year. Usually I hate it beyond reason.

However, despite my usual desire to reach for the happy pills on the first day of the year, this year it was unusually buoyant chez bookandbed. Many books were called for, read and indeed, chanted.
Monkeyface is currently tripping on the Snail and the Whale and – following a special Christmas Eve Eve recital by Uncle Dabid – was very very keen that we read and reread and reread Hairy MacLairy (insert your own inflection here…)

Our euphoria was short lived as yesterday brought the worst tantrum I have ever seen. And I have thrown a few. It struck fear into our newly optimistic hearts and – having recently introduced and had some success with time out – I found myself in the quite horrid position of making my daughter cry by refusing to allow her to read books with me. I know. This sounds perverse, and it was a harrowing experience, but in context, she has recently started smacking to which we are (usually) calmly placing her in a chair to chill out, whilst explaining that smacking is wrong, that she needs to calm down and apologise and then we can carry on with whatever we were doing. So far, so supernanny. All had been going well until yesterday when MF just decided it was all a hoot and, despite our grave faces and hearts, she repeatedly jumped off the chair, laughed and ran away. Interspersed with more smacking (her smacking us by the way…)

Evenually she decided this was boring and in between our wrestling her back onto the chair as she beat us, she actually pleaded for Snail and the Whale. Having to deny her the reading of a book in favour of time out, after all of our struggles, broke my heart a little. Last night is not something I am in a crazy hurry to repeat. Husband and I both found it harrowing. She did eventually calm down and apologise but not before both of us were left feeling wanting as horrible parents and human beings.

Today, all back at work, my mother reports an absolutely text-book well-behaved child. Before I left for work, we did find time to read Snail and the Whale together as well as Hairy MacLairy, and we both hugged each other very, very tightly… The thing to hold onto is that knowledge that they match your love for them, ounce for ounce.


3 thoughts on “

  1. Hi, can i ask you something? I’m looking for children books with “scary” animal illustrations like Wolf (or fox) eating pigs (or seven kids or Red Riding hood or birds in Chicken Little) or being pictured with a fat stomach. Any sort of help is appreciated. Thanks in advance. Great blog, by the way!

    • Nelly
      Happy New Year and thank you for the feedback!
      So sorry for my tardiness in replying… I’ve been a bad blogger. I’m intrigued – what are you doing with them? My brain is running riot with all sorts of child-brainwashing thoughts.

      Anyway, presuming you aren’t embarking on something evil from your volcano somewhere, i can think of 2 books in which animals come to a sticky end and there’s an animal with a big tummy. I’ved blogged about both oddly enough and really like them both.
      The first is I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (which is quite new. Message – don’t lie to a bear. Dont steal his hat.) The other is Good Little Wolf by Nadia Shireen (message – a good wolf is hard to find. Even harder now.)
      Finally, as an ironic little book which leads you to think one thing but is actually about another, Foxly’s Feast has lots of full tummy pictures.
      Happy scaring!

  2. Thanks for your kind reply! No worries, I have no evil plans with it haha. I’m only helping a friend of mine who’s doing a small research about those “scary” illustrations in children picture books, especially fairy tales (with animals in it). It turns out that either a wolf or a fox are usually the “bad guy” in those stories, that’s why I mentioned them. Thanks again for your help! 😉

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