Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gunning For Mom Of The Year

I'm a good mom. Generally. Most of the time. In fact, I have people say nice things about my parenting skills sometimes.

But I have a secret.


Sometimes, Little Miss asks me to read a book, a certain book. A book that involves Thomas the Tank Engine, and I groan. Now, this isn't an ordinary Thomas book - that cheeky engine who loves to be a helper. No, this is a book that comes from the genre invented by someone who has no children.

This is one of those books that has sounds. Every third word, there is a picture, and a corresponding button that Little Miss is supposed to push that makes a "cute" sound.


Since Little Miss doesn't know how to read (yet!), nor has she memorized where the sounds go, she simply starts pushing them as soon as I turn the page. Then she can't hear what words I read. So she makes me repeat it. Except then she starts pressing the buttons again. And my headache begins.

Sometimes I tell her that Mommy has to work and so can't read to her (even when I've finished working for the day). Sometimes Mommy hides the book for a few days to get a respite. Sometimes I decide that naptime needs to be moved up by a half hour, and unfortunately that means the book can't be read right then. Now that Mister Man reads fluently, sometimes I ask him to read it to her -- and then I go hide elsewhere.

It isn't that I don't enjoy reading to her. We read regularly, and we read all sorts of books (except Barney that I banned from the house). We read together, and we tell stories about what we think the books could be about.

But ohhh those books that make sounds.

The good(?) news is that the batteries are starting to run low. I say this because when batteries in a sound activated toy start going, the sound quality deteriorates (further). That oh-so-adorable noise of Thomas's broken whistler now sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. The cheerful peep of James is quite mournful. And the thrumming of Harold the Helicopter sounds ... more like paper ripping. And that might be generous.

I keep praying that the batteries will finally conk out. And I keep hiding that book, but somehow it keeps appearing on the bookshelf.

Do you think she'd notice if it was permanently "lost?"


Brittany January 7, 2010 at 9:33 PM  

She will probably notice, but I don't have kids...but I can only imagine your pain. I have a huge fear that I will never be able to entertain my kids like they should be entertained which includes reading to them! Good luck!

Unknown January 7, 2010 at 9:38 PM  

Oh we permanently "lose" things all the time. Accidentally of course :)

Unknown January 7, 2010 at 10:30 PM  

I can guarantee she'll notice. And that you'll feel guilty enough to restore it. {*grin*}

Cookie January 7, 2010 at 10:31 PM  

Oh, I hate books like that too! I told my kids those aren't story books, those are noise books. So I let them play with them, but wouldn't use them for story time. Having the book permanently lost might be a good thing ;)

Connie January 7, 2010 at 11:08 PM  

Get her really interested in another book that's noiseless and that she wants to read day after day then when Thomas de-rails, she'll be fine!

Jules AF January 7, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

I agree. They will be banned when/if I have children.

Alexis AKA MOM January 8, 2010 at 12:36 AM  

We have that SAME book! I have sad nope no more pick another ... LOL

I know the boys are so sad but I just can't do another sound book :)

You rock as a mom, we all have our point ;)

Clueless_Mama January 8, 2010 at 12:52 AM  

That is so funny! We have the same book in our house. My son loves everything Thomas. My husband and I used to laugh because he had to bring that book in the car. He would sit in his carseat and hit the buttons over and over!!! We were trapped:) LOL

Unknown January 8, 2010 at 6:56 AM  

Hahahaha, batteries, just take them out. Then when she catches on, explain that Pa needs to buy more batteries, which he never will because, well because, I'll leave it at that LOL Then you're happy, and she'll forget about the batteries for a few.

Unknown January 8, 2010 at 6:57 AM  

Wait, you have no Pa, just pass the buck to any other adult LOL

Pat January 8, 2010 at 9:00 AM  

There should be a law against books that make sounds, they are so annoying! It seems like a great number of toys my grandsons have make sounds, which, I think, takes away opportunities for kids' creativity somewhat. I, too, always loved reading to my boys---sometimes, though, if bedtime was upon us, I'd read every other sentence.

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet January 8, 2010 at 9:40 AM  

LOL! I can totally understand. ;)

septembermom January 8, 2010 at 12:03 PM  

You should see what toys and books I hide. You crack me up with your prayer about the batteries. One time, three of my kids all were playing really loud and annoying toys. That night I took out all the batteries. The next day they were surprised to see that all of their toys mysteriously conked out at the same time. Too bad that the oldest kid chimed in about changing batteries. It was quiet for 5 minutes at least :)

Viv January 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM  

When my oldest daughter was born...9 years ago, we got my oldest son a Thomas book just like you describe, as a 'big brother gift' and now, 9 years and four more children later, it STILL roars to life, and the little ones always love it.

angela | the painted house January 8, 2010 at 9:05 PM  

Oh, I've never been guilty of that! Shame on you! (wink-wink)

That is totally from the bag of sly mom tricks. "Oh, Honey, we must have lost it! Hmm, where could it have gone?" :)

Thank you for the welcome back! It is nice to be back again!!!! Happy new year!

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom January 8, 2010 at 9:53 PM  

Oh no! I hope it doesn't start acting possessed like some toys do when the batteries go! Is there any way to get the batteries out?

Wishing you many quiet story times in the near future ;)

Karen January 9, 2010 at 7:04 AM  

You know once those batteries die, they are completely irreplacable, right? And you know that while they're not replacable, they're removable, right? I speak from experience, and I feel your pain.

Simply Valorie January 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM  

My mom "lost" something of mine like that when I was a little. It was this little stuffed bear that talked and made all kinds of forests sounds. I thought it was wonderful when I was little, and even now that I see it as obnoxious and understand why my mom wanted to get rid of it, it took me until I was about 16 to get over the trauma of losing it. I'd be careful about taking it away if they realllly love it. Hopefully they'll grow out of it soon. :)

Also, "(except Barney that I banned from the house)." That's awesome. Barney gave me nightmares as a child, so I give props to anyone that bans him. :)

Jen January 10, 2010 at 8:28 PM  

You might be interested in this article/web-game related to Thomas...

Thomas has been a godsend to many families!

But...I won't tell the Miss if that book suffers mysterious water damage after falling into the open dishwasher -- by accident, of course. If you are truly my friend, you will never buy my future children anything that makes noise. Sign the pact now, or I buy a drumset for the next child's birthday!

Michelle February 26, 2010 at 9:32 PM  

Brittany - Oh, I know she'd notice. Unfortunately. So it sits in the book case. Still.

Laura - Maybe I can talk her into giving it away to a less fortunate child somewhere....

Dan - I think you know me too well. And there's no way I'm spending good money on a horrible book like that :)

Cookie - Oooo good strategy. Unfortunately it's a little late for that, I suppose!

Connie - Yeah, we've tried. She likes other books and reads them, but she always goes back eventually to that Thomas one!

The Boob Nazi - Ban them. Don't even let them in the house. That was my mistake.

Alexis - Oh you feel my pain....

Megryansmom - Nope because they even know what drawer the batteries live in. And that when batteries run out you change them. *sigh*

Pat - AMEN! We play with as few battery operated toys as possible. In fact, now that I'm on LOA, my goal is to do a sweep of the house and get rid of all the toys that they don't play with often, especially any with batteries (Craigslist, here I come!).

Sherry - Be grateful that you can only understand and aren't actually living it, too.

Kelly - You hide? Unfortunately I've impressed upon them the joys of putting everything away and how you can search for things that way. And I may have taught a lesson about perserverance, too. Why do I keep teaching them?

Viv - NINE years? Oh, I so didn't need to hear that ;)

Angela - Oh I see how you parent... what other tricks do you have in that bag?

Steph - Yes, there's a screw holding the battery plate in place. But ... it's not really fair to do that, is it?

Karen - Uh-huh. Actually, I'm thinking that we've yet to replace a battery in a book. Maybe I can say they don't have batteries and just broke. Hmmmm....

Valorie - And this is why I haven't done anything. Thank you for the reminder.

Jen - Water? Wow, you are evil! And no, no noisy toys, I promise!

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