Thursday, October 18, 2012

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Looking at Me...

The other day, Abby picked up her copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and began to "read" it aloud.

Her version was as follows:

Purple Cat, Purple Cat, looking at me. I see a white dog looking at me.
White Dog, White Dog, looking at me. I see a black sheep looking at me.
Black Sheep, Black Sheep, looking at me. I see a goldfish looking at me.
Goldfish, Goldfish, looking at me. I see a teacher looking at me.
Teacher, Teacher, looking at me. I see children looking at me.
Children, Children, looking at me.
Where'sa Teacher?
Book broke.
Don't break the book!

Perhaps I should explain.

Abby's copy of the book is, quite literally, now a lesser version of its former self. Pretty early on, she ripped off the cover. Several months later, more pages followed, including the very last page. Therefore, she did not start with Brown Bear, since his page is long since gone. And though she has an incredible memory, she cannot accurately recite the contents of the book because ever since she ripped it apart, I have refused to read it to her, citing it as an example of what happens when she "breaks" her books. (Mind you, these books are not falling apart due to wear and tear over time. As much as she loves to read books, Abby also loves to deliberately take them apart, in tragic and permanent ways. It drives me nuts, and breaks my heart.)

As for the teacher, she is the last participant listed on the last page of the book (a review page which, apparently, is not present in all versions), which is also long gone. It seems that Abby reached the end, noticed that the teacher was missing, and realized that it was because she had broken her book.

Cause and effect. You'd think that would mean we'd made some progress, no?

No. Another of her books was finally sentenced to the trash bin today when she grabbed the half of it that was left, and tore the paper covering off of the cardboard backing behind it.

I really want to buy more books for her- she can never get enough of storytelling- but I feel like a Murderer of Books for even considering it. And I tremble with fear when she holds a library book in her tiny hands. The two we have out at the moment we've set aside for bedtime only so that she can't get her hands on them during the day, and we've found that we can't even let her hold them during story time. There are two fresh rips in the pages as proof of that lesson...

So, Mr. Brown Bear, what would you do? If a breaker of books was looking at you?


By the by, I promise that I did not forget about Michael's big day- he is now officially nine months old! However, I hosted a playdate this morning, spent the afternoon recuperating from the three hours I had to spend cleaning prior to it (yay for extreme procrastination borne of utter exhaustion), and had our neighbors over for dinner this evening. Needless to say, "month" pictures have not yet been taken. Hopefully tomorrow, if Michael is not too put-out by his nine-month well-visit and accompanying shots.


  1. Oh man. Well at least she wants to have the books and read them. What does she say when you ask her why she rips them? (probably not much, I realize). Hopefully she will grow out of it! Until then ... buy used books! :)

    1. Getting used books is probably a good approach. :) Though, actually, many were acquired used (by me, as a child), and due to their sentimental value, it kills me most to see those meet such an end. Heh. I've learned to hide the ones that remain away for a later date. I'm not sure that Abby even understands why she destroys them. Certainly, she looks at me like I have two heads when I ask her why, as though it's a rather irrelevant question. Like so many of the things that she does, I think it's motivated by curiosity about how things work and what will happen if she tries to do a particular thing a particular way. I just hope that she starts to understand soon that certain actions lead to certain undesirable consequences. And that it happens before every single book that she owns is reduced to pulp.

  2. This is so funny. I am a huge book lover too and am already introducing books to my son. Like you, I do cringe at the thought of my son ripping his books apart when he is of the age. My friends lament about their children causing their books to meet their ungodly end as well. I think kids, that age, are just naturally curious and like the sound(?)/feel(/?) of ripping pages.

    1. I agree. The sensation and sound of ripping up pages is probably as big a draw for her as it is a peeve of mine. Now the question is, how to bring her around to my way of thinking? ;)