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The Lent Project: Day 23

We're weird and we're ok with that.

It sometimes manifests itself in frustrating ways like when I'm sitting at the registration desk of the hospital trying to get my daughter a chest x-ray. Explaining to the nice lady that Leda has my last name but the insurance is through their mom...who does not have our last name...because their mom works and I stay home with the kids. And I get a "isn't that great?!"--on top of the confused demographic info--surprised praise like a man staying home with his kids is something akin to a man in a panda suit selling ice cream at the fair.

Or frustrating like when you're explaining your daily routine to someone and have to backtrack to paint a clearer picture of how you have no dining room table or chairs and instead choose to eat meals often sitting on the floor of the living room. Usually healthy snack foods (we refer to as grazing) like fresh fruit, whole grain breads, cheese, or granola and yogurt. This also explains why my kids eat 7 of the 8 "healthy foods"  listed in the Sesame Street book they have...the only "yuck" being carrots. But my kids like hummus, guacamole, and vegetarian lentil soup so we're doing something right!

Other times, the weirdness is just too darn cute to even put into words. Like how my son refers to the dog as a potamus because we frequently refer to our greyhound by weird nicknames. Or how my daughter's favorite activity is sitting inside a plastic storage bin talking on a toy telephone.

Lately, the new obsession for Cole has been the closet. We've exhausted the supply of board books (as I wrote about earlier) and made a trip to the library last weekend so there are a few new, temporary choices. But the kids are hard on anything that isn't cardboard. Heck, they're hard on things that ARE cardboard...Leda can chew through solid board book in a matter of minutes so forget unsupervised paper. (Perhaps the chewing obsession and the chipped tooth are related?)

Sometimes Cole will sit quietly and turn the pages carefully...but depending on his mood it can also be tearing, bending, and overall destruction of the printed word. So the rather large pile of books that my aunt sent has lived unread on the shelf in the closet...until now.

Around our house, the kids' clothes live in drawers so it's not a door that is opened much. One night at bedtime, searching for more stories, I opened that magic door and decided to try out a few of the hidden books. Fast forward to a week or so later and it has bloomed into a full grown addiction. Books now get requested at odd, non-book hours. Usually a signal that it is a nap or bedtime, reading has become worth the risk of being told to put your head on the pillow.

The demand "closet!" has become the lad's rallying cry for new reading material. And I've been conducting my own psychological experiment along the way. At first I thought it was the pretty pictures drawing him in. Nope. Then I wondered if maybe certain repeating phrases or upbeat stories. Nope. He hates the airplane book. Loves trucks. But also, oddly, loves the book about farm animals waiting on the sun. He loves Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. And the one about how to build a house. He never asks for Llama Llama Red Pajama, but enjoys the one about the fire that ends with a lady falling down stairs with a sack of potatoes...which always confuses me because it's a bit non sequitur and isn't even a false rhyme. It doesn't rhyme at all.

To the closet! We shall read the story which has no words about a shipment of tricycles being driven across the bridge via the all-night truckstop diner!

You can't make this stuff up.


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