Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Getting Ahead of Myself...

I've got babies on my mind. With two close friends already on their second kid (and due by the end of summer) and one friend on the brink of mommyhood (so excited to meet you #babybell!!) I'm thinking a lot about my own future children and how I shall fare with my own Mommy mantle.

This is a list of books that my mom read to me that I will read to my children to compensate for the unfortunate "distressed damsel" psychosis brought upon by the majority of Disney movies because, lezbihonest, I'll enjoy brainwashing watching those just as much as the kids. (Okay, but maybe not the 15th time in a row since 8am, I'm not a sociopath.) I'm not saying that any and every kid raised on Disney movies or the like will grow up to be a whimpering pansy waiting for their Shining Knight (Mulan, Pocahontas, Merida, Tiana, helloooo) but I am saying these books are fab.

--Little House on the Prairie series
  • I often feel guilty still when I think about how hard they had to work to live and be good people. Pa and Ma are saints and I just hope to be able to raise my children half as well as the Ingalls' did.
  • It isn't until "These Happy, Golden Years" that romance even enters the picture. She's a normal girl having epic adventures wherever she can manage.
  • She gets a job extremely young and is incredibly honest about the pros and cons of it. Instilling good work ethic? Yaaaas plzzz.
  • The beautiful frienemy-ship Laura has with her siblings. So good.

  • Comedic, whimsical, delightful, and traumatizing all in one bizarre little book. I kid you not I made my mom read this book with me probably 3 times a year until I was 10. My saintly mother. We would cuddle up in bed and drink hot cocoa just like Matilda liked to do. After we were finished I would sit on the foot of my bed and strain my eyes till I got a headache trying to produce a facsimile of Matilda's amazing powers. I'm fairly certain my awful eyesight is the fruition of those efforts.
  • The amount of questionable mini-lessons like, "encourage anarchy in your school" and "revolt against any and all teachers that don't smother you with kindness" may not be superb, but I dunno I turned out okay. I wasn't rushing to dust my teacher's boxers with itching powder or consistently rebel and get myself stuck in a torture box of horror. But enduring to the end? Family is what/who you make of it? Quirkiness is not to be ashamed of? All are lessons I'd be proud to bestow upon my kids.

--Basically everything Roald Dahl
  • That book about the Tortoise....Esio Trot? cuz it's tortoise backwards? I haven't thought about that book in forever but gosh, I loved it. It's like Dr. Seuss level ridiculous but somehow still has actual plot and meaning to it.
  • The mind that brought us Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach; if you threw Tim Burton and Dr. Seuss in a blender and baked it in the oven out would come the perfect Roald Dahl pie. (Sorry, I went a little Sweeney Todd there...random)

--Speaking of Dr. Seuss...
  • My previous "diss" was less of a "diss" and more of an admission that I'm not smart enough for Seuss-speak. I LOVE the books and will definitely utilize them in building up speech, but when I get to the end of Green Eggs and Ham I'm just hungry. I don't remember feeling like I should be a better human after reading Seuss but it DID whet my creative appetite.
  • If I was to obtain only one fault as a parent (HA!) it would be that I will probably just breed creativity. I honestly worry about having carpet in the house because I will want to paint, and sculpt, and glue, and sparkle, and constantly be creating with my kids. Which is obviously not a bad thing, per se. "All things in moderation," right?

--The Secret Garden
  • Good golly I hated Mary Lennox. This is another book I wanted to read over, and over, and over. I loved everything about the moor and the manor and the gardens and whats-his-face with all his animal friends. But the whining children spewing their arrogance and entitlement all over everything and everyone is probably what made me determined to actually be a decent human growing up.
    "I will not be like Mary Lennox, I will not be a brat, I won't!"
  • Not everybody will always want to share their story with you and you just gotta be nice and let them work it out. You don't know their life, you don't know their circumstances, kill their grump with kindness. You can't go wrong with being nice.
  • Gardens. GARDENS. 

--The Poky Little Puppy
  • And all those little books with the gold binding? Help me, google!
  • Oh, literally, "Little Golden Books". lolz
  • These were some of the first I ever started reading aloud and I loved it.

*Honorable Mentions: To be encouraged for personal reading
--Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys/Boxcar Children
--Brian Jacques' Redwall Series
--Series of Unfortunate Events
--Artemis Fowl
--Harry fracking Potter duh.
(Update: 6/24/14)
--Chronicles of Narnia (how could I forget?!)

I'm quickly realizing that this is basically an outline of my evil plan to mold my children into bookworms. And I don't even feel bad.
Because I will read whatever my little human shoves in my lap whether it's Dr. Seuss, Laura Ingalls Wilder, or a knockoff Disney reproduction that includes bogus ending lines such as "Flynn will always love Rapunzel's crown" and then I will pencil in my own ending about love and respect and disregard for material objects because WUT?? (actual quote from a coloring book I bought) (for myself)
And like I said, I will encourage those books but it's not gonna be, like, a required reading list to qualify for Dinner Rights. If they want "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" they can read that (not bashing it! Just have never read them myself so I can't say either way...). If they want comics, they can have comics. What's an appropriate comic book reading age? Like, people get murdered in alleyways, is that really okay for a third grader? I dunno.
This is quickly sliding down the rabbit-hole of "omg am I gonna be an okay parent? Will my children live? How am I going to do this??"

Basically, our house will be littered with books and I hope I can instill a love of reading in my children and help cultivate their imaginations rather than letting t.v. do the job for me. It's so hard to type stuff like this and not worry about someone on the reading end getting offended because they think I'm calling them out as a bad parent.
Literally, if your kid is alive and breathing and is nice to people, that's all the criteria I need to think you're being a good parent. And like, you aren't abusing them. Obvy.

But this is what I mean about "getting ahead of myself". Children are still a ways off; corporate still has to announce the official date for when they're closing down our office.
"Hope! Why don't you just quit now if you're so ready for kids? Motherhood is the most important always."
I know. I was going to quit in May after my anniversary date so I could sell back my vacation hours but then they announced our office was closing and there would be a nice chunk of severance but you have to stay till the close date. Which is currently projected for September. But it's "flexible" so who knows really.
So nobody get their drawers in a twist. This is not an announcement (or rather just an announcement of my battle plans) and we are not expecting.

I just like making lists.

1 comment: