Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Books and TV

I assumed that Coco would be our easy-going child.


But seriously. It's not that Coco is "difficult," it's just that, like her sister, she has a mind of her own, as they say. Very specific and clear opinions that are clearly expressed, in spite of that fact that her language is still rather limited. Often, these ideas are expressed by nodding or shaking her head emphatically. Other times, it's a pouty lip. Occasionally, she will throw things. And once in a while, she expresses herself by kicking, shrieking, and going boneless.

Girlfriend loves books, and she specifically loves books about Old Macdonald's farm. We have two of them. She requests them by saying, "Book? Book?" and then when I say, "You want to read a book?" she nods and said, "E-I-E-I. E-I-E-I." (It took a while for me to decipher that "E-I-E-I" was Coco-speak for Old Macdonald.)

If you are, perhaps, TIRED of Old Macdonald and his farm full of "moos," "oinks," and other nonsense animal sounds here and there and everywhere, you may try to suggest (or even insist upon) a different book. Coco will shake her head, yell "NO!", attempt to throw the book you'd like to read, and then resort to a full-out thrashing fit in your lap while she screeches for "E-I-E-I!".

So we're reading a lot of Old Macdonald these days, specifically in the form of this book and this book. (Side note: my friend Angie gifted us the poke-a-dot book and both girls still love it and are entertained by it without always requiring a parent to read it. Highly recommend!)

Her other bedtime favorites are, fortunately, books that I enjoy as well: Busy Doggies (this seems to be the newest version); the classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?and (my favorite, because it has a little bit of a plot and the most adorable illusrations) I Am a Bunny (bargain-priced and adorable to stick in an Easter basket!).

She's (finally) gotten over this counting ladybug book which is FINE, but tiresome when it comes to repeated readings.

(I will say, though, that initially the plot seemed to be surprising for a kids book--it starts with ten lady bugs and they encounter an animal on each page and then one lady bug "disappears" so you count down from ten to one. I wondered where they were going with this that didn't end in a lesson about survival of the fittest, but I can assure you it's a happy ending after all.)

When it comes to children's literature, I can appreciate a beautiful picture book, but my sweet spot is chapter books, you guys. I loved reading Little House in the Big Woods to Zuzu (animal slaughter and firearms notwithstanding). We are now reading an illustrated version of Heidi (I bought it used), which is overly simplified (in my opinion) but she loves the pictures (just as she liked the occasional illustrations in LHITBW), so I still think it's a good place to start. I'm looking forward to Ramona and Charlotte's Web and, of course, the holy grail of kiddie lit: Harry Potter!

Mickey Mouse's [Godforsaken] Clubhouse continues to rule as favorite show, but she'll also watch Sesame Street and recently she saw Super Why for the first time (it's sort of about reading, so I try to feel good about that). The thing about Sesame Street is that (unlike MM), watching it doesn't make me want to slam my head into a wall. Still, it's not like I would sit down by myself and turn on an episode.

Last week, though, I hit upon a family-friendly show that held Zuzu's interest, though I actually turned it on to watch myself.

Any guesses?

Did you guess Fuller House??? Are you watching it? Do you love it?

I heard a blurb on the radio about how they were bringing this show back and I knew I had to check it out. So Friday night after dinner when Zuzu was whining to watch a show and I was not about to sit through Mickey Mouses's [Godforsaken] Clubhouse, I popped over to Netflix and the Tanner/Fuller family.

I really didn't know if it would hold Zuzu's attention, but what's hilarious to me is that she laughs every time the 5-year-old kid, Max, delivers a line. As expected, the show is so cheesy and silly, but the first episode had all the right references and self-awareness, fourth-wall-breaking charm that it needed. I laughed out loud a few times! So it was rather pleasant to have a show that Zuzu and I both enjoyed. (Even David was laughing, after he groaned and protested having it on.) I mean, I'm not binge-watching this (although Zuzu would like to--she asked for another episode!) but it's fun to watch it with her. We've only seen the first couple of episodes, but I imagine we'll tune in again this Friday night.

So those are the books and shows we're into right now. Reading or watching anything good that I shouldn't miss? (I still need to catch up on the last two episodes of Downton Abbey!)


  1. I gotta admit, Brooke, that I did binge watch Fuller House. I didn't expect it to be so good, but I was impressed. There is adult content in it but Zuzu and Ben probably wouldn't catch on to it. I honestly hadn't even thought of watching it with him.

    1. One episode had some joke that I found funny, but it went right over Zuzu's head. She actually told me to stop laughing. She thinks Max is the only funny character!

  2. We don't have Netflix, so I can't watch it. Eventually. :)

    My kids refer to Old McDonald as "EIEIO" as well. It's adorable. But we don't have a single book and really, I failed as a parent (apparently) because my kids are terrible at animal sounds because I didn't stress that enough or take them on enough zoo trips? Whatever. I really have never loved the zoo. Hahaha.

    Claire loves to please, so she brings books to us and never stays to read them because she's busy "pleasing" us by bringing us more. I think SHE thinks WE like reading kid books and she's doing us a favor. B, on the other hand, has always been happily selfish and brings books for us to read to him. We're binge reading The Dr. Seuss Birthday Book (because when your birthday is within a month, you're still a narcissist) and Barbie, natch.

    We have a new favorite called In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Witek which is adorable and really great for kids like Zuzu and Benjamin. And the illustrations are whimsical. Maybe they have it at your library.

    I was reading on IG because I started following Candice Cameron Bure since because of all the press of Fuller House and people were really condemning her for her actions on the show not being wholesome or whatever since she's a proclaimed Christian. I totally disagreed with the expectations of these people (esp. being on Netflix and not prime time in the 80's!), but anyway. I'd probably be happy watching with my kids.

    We've been letting the kids stay up later on Thursday nights to watch American Idol with us. We ditched cable so we're stuck watching live TV (the horror!) and if we miss it, we watch individual songs on Youtube (which is fine). The kids love it, though, and it often leads to impromptu dance parties in our living room. :) B doesn't have school on Fridays, so I feel even better giving them that extra 15 minutes of bedtime hookie. We totally only let them have the first hour and put them to bed during a commercial because while I'm a cool mom, I'm not THAT cool. Haha.

    1. We watch Survivor and Zuzu has sort of started watching it with us. It's so amazing to have a preview of the days when we might actually have SHARED interests (like, I can't wait until we watch Gilmore Girls together).

      I did hear about Candice Cameron Bure getting some flack. *eyeroll emoji* She's adorable and the show is still TOTALLY family-friendly.

    2. In My Heart is a great book.

      We (M, me, and E) watch Amazing Race together. Actually, we DVR it and watch it when we can. It's our fun TV time as the three of us. F is onto us though, so we'll see how long she tolerates it.

      We no longer have Netflix. We watched all of Downton. We record the Daily Show and a few Comedy Central shows and occasionally turn those on while we're working on the house drawings or ironing.

      F likes Wild Krats and has also seen Miles from Tomorrowland (I think that's the name). We don't watch a ton of TV though.

      We all watch This Old House together occasionally. Got to start 'em young!

  3. Mary really likes Paw Patrol and Finn is back on a Curious George kick which I love as he enjoyed George when he was Mary's age! Rescue Bots is also a favorite in this house.

    Miles and I are finishing up season three of The Americans. When he's not around though I catch up on Downton Abbey.

  4. We went through a nearly 1.5 year long period where Old Macdonald's farm was visited in song every night. I drew the line, though: Only three animals. And usually they were lions, bears, and dragons -- quite an unusual farm.

    The farmer also went to the dell quite a bit, and I wonder what Gwen will do when she finds out that the farmer actually took a wife, rather than a mouse.

    I eventually told her I was sick of these songs and that I'd sing her ones of my choosing. Since then, we've made a steady route through all my favorite classic rock songs with a load of Christmas carols in ("Good Christian men rejoice" is a favorite, as was the Boar's Head) and a few Middle English ditties -- nothing is more fun than overhearing your 4yo sing to herself in Middle English. Unless it's listening to her belt out emo songs with sad, depressing lyrics...

  5. Downton Abbey=all the feels. I totally cried at the end.

  6. We don't have Netflix due to our shit country Internet, but do hope there will be other options to view it soon. We actually bought the entire Full House set on DVD and have watched it repeatedly, oh uncle Jesse, the middle years. Our nightly family show before that was The Addams Family which G adored. She is so Wednesday. She did not like The Munsters, and my husband refuses to let me buy the Little House on the Prairie on DVD, which I know G would absolutely love, despite the fact I've never watched it. We are also totally digging Girl Meets World. Silly, but always empathizes don't grow up too fast, which I appreciate. Also on the list; any cooking show that involves kids which I find HILARIOUS seeing that G does not like food in any form.

  7. My almost five year old still loves the counting ladybug book - that one (which *is* FINE) may come back to you, fifty or sixty times. We need to finish Charlotte's Web, and I'm thinking we need to check out Heidi before trying LHITBW.

  8. This may be where my age shows...I never watched Full House in its heyday and have less than zero desire to watch in its new form. But the fact that it's getting laughs from you adults almost makes me want to! I'm still blown away by the fact Zuzu is sitting still and able to take in chapter books already. How did you cultivate that?! Cate is still in Amelia Bedelia, Lyle the Crocodile, some of those longer text but surely still picture books. Well done, literary mama!