I spent most of today helping the Bee clean her room. There seems to be a bout of cleaning energy going around, and I was partly inspired by reading about Phil’s and Mary’s similar endeavors. The Bee is a clutter-y person (hmm, can’t think where she got that from), and about once or twice a year, we go through the whole collection item by item to try to cull some of the mess.

She donated quite a lot of stuff to Goodwill, trashed a huge amount of old paper and broken toys, and handed down a bunch of books and a few stuffed animals to her brother. I was really happy about the hand-me-downs, until I realized that one of the books she gave the Potato was my most-hated Elmo book ever, a book the Bee herself demanded endless readings of when she was three. Sure enough, the Potato asked me to read it to him before dinner, and then informed me that he would have daddy read it to him at bedtime.

This is really the first time we’ve done an exhaustive going over of her library since the Bee moved away from picture books and toward reading chapter books. I suggested to her that we shelve books by the same author together, and she got really into the idea. After we finished sorting out the pile of Junie B. Jones, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and E.L. Konigsberg, she decided that she wanted to categorize all the other books. These were the categories she came up with: animal facts, animal fiction, biography, fairy tales, fiction about people, and poetry. Somehow, the two or three Barbie books she has didn’t seem to fit into any category. And yet, they were reshelved anyway.

It was kind of a pain to do all the sorting, but in the end, I had fun doing it with her. Plus, I get the joy of knowing that someday she too will spend hours drooling over Kimbooktu, or writing to Doppelganger with recommendations for Sam. Maybe she’ll end up getting that MLIS that is my retirement dream

In other news, thanks to everyone for your supportive statements on yesterday’s post. As Elise guessed, I’m just venting, and the landismarriage is not really in jeopardy. Landisdad and I will struggle through this latest misfortune together, as we’ve struggled through many others in the past. After all, at the end of the day, who else is going to appreciate the agony of Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?


January 15, 2007. books for kids, family life.


  1. Suzanne replied:

    Oh my God, that book. It is beyond lame. I’ve actually hidden it a few times because I can’t stand to read it.

  2. Doppelganger replied:

    Awww… thanks for the shout-out.

    And what’s the freakin’ deal with Elmo? Sam has no Elmo books, and he’s never watched Sesame Street, but my sister-in-law gave him a singing Elmo for Christmas (my husband asked her if she hates us, but she claims not to) and Sam was instantly in love with it. In fact, it’s the first toy he’s ever kissed all on his own, without any prompting. And a couple of days ago, he caught a 5-second clip of Elmo during a commercial on TV, and I thought he was going to faint. It was like he’d spotted a celebrity right in our living room. What’s the deal???

  3. Jeff replied:

    A Sesame Street/Elmo book was our most hated edition during those early years as well. There were two, actually, both of the Elmo’s World series: Elmo Getting Dressed and Elmo Gets Clean. I know the author too, but even that personal connection did not make reading them hundreds of times any less annoying.

  4. Vicky replied:

    I always hated the books based on TV series when my kids were younger (Read Barney again! Read it again! Now read it once more!). The stories were pointless. I also found that we had a lot of books based on the Disney movies and we never cracked them…the kids already had the movie memorized.

    My favourite books were rhyming ones: Sitting on the Farm, Chicken Soup With Rice, etc. We also had two that we read again and again: The Real Story of The Three Little Pigs (as told from the Wolf’s point of view) and When Vegetables Go Bad.

    At least now there’s no more repeat readings as we are into novels like Harry Potter, Roald Dahl and the Theif Lord books.

  5. Phil replied:

    I’m just trying to get a jump on spring, because when the warm weather comes I do not want to be inside the house cleaning!

  6. Comfort Addict replied:

    You are so lucky to have a daughter who is an avid reader. It gives me hope for the future.

  7. Daydreams and Musings replied:

    Wow – am I the only person who doesn’t hate Elmo? I do, however, hate Barney with a passion and was so relieved when we escaped toddlerhood without too much of the hated purple dinosaur. I also (rather irrationally) refuse to allow my kids to watch Ed, Ed and Eddy because I think it’s stupid. Other than that, I probably exercise less oversight on their tv watching than I should (although they really keep to Nick and Disney so it can’t be that bad, can it?)

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