Reading to Your Child. Without Losing Your Mind

by Marinka on February 2, 2010

Every once in a while a friend’s pregnancy or a supercute baby makes my ovaries shriek. Usually I get over it in a few days. A few days during which Husbandrinka is petrified to his very core.
“We can’t afford another baby,” he tells me.
“We are too old,” he says.
And when I remain unpersuaded, he moves in for the kill.
“We’d have to read it those books,” he says.

That does it.
At the mere mention of children’s books, my ovaries gasp and release.
Because there are many literary masterpieces for children. But sweet Jesus, none of them can stand up after the millionth reading. Like Chinese water torture drops, each reading is ingrained in my soul.

Here are some titles that my children enjoyed. Now, with suggested subtitles!

Good Night Moon

Now Shut the Hell Up and Stay in Your Room

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Is a Huge Glutton

I Love You Forever

Which is Why I Let You Play in the Toilet While I Drink and Think About the Power of My Love

The Cat in the Hat

And Other Urban Myths

The Runaway Bunny

Starring Julia Roberts

The Giving Tree

That Takes Away Any Chance Of A Normal Childhood

What are your favorite, friends?


Don’t miss this Miss Piggle Wiggle inspired post, by my fabulous writing partner (until she dumped me and stole Husbandrinka from me and stabbed Nicki), Ann of Ann’s Rants!

One year ago ...

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Janie February 2, 2010 at 1:54 am

You always make me laugh, Sam I Am.


Sophie February 2, 2010 at 3:16 am

The Lion in the Night (aka “baby!!!”)


Mo February 2, 2010 at 3:35 am

I’m planning on writing a children’s book called “They read it one time too many” which is a sweet story about a child that kept demanding that the same story was read until it was just too much and the child chased away by a pack of hungry frogs.

Would you be interested in writing the foreword?


Scary Mommy
February 2, 2010 at 6:45 am

Children’s books are stupid.


February 2, 2010 at 7:11 am

Excellent reminder! Thank you for this post. Every now and again I start to wonder if there is time for one more, too.

ACK! I can’t bear to read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish EVER AGAIN!!!


February 2, 2010 at 8:07 am

I don’t read children books. Except for the classic fairy tales – the short version, of course. Oh, and the potty training-inspiring books I got for Stella because my head was going to explode if she didn’t stop making in her diapers.

But I agree, they make for great birth control.


February 2, 2010 at 9:00 am

great books. love them all. my son was a big fan of “Llama Llama Red Pajama,” “Pat the Bunny” and “Everyone Poops.” those were read everyday when he was younger. he prefers books on model trains now. husbandrinka and my husband should get together and go bowling. take care.


soccermom February 2, 2010 at 9:03 am

Hysterical. We too read alot of the same books. However ours weren’t read at bed time, but mostly in the potty. I know how strange, and this must seem like I was a horrible mother. In my defense, we read enough in the bathroom to cover the bedtime book time. I have to say that as much as my kids loved books and we read alot. Neither one of them as older teens enjoy reading at all now. Too sad.

Here are a couple I didn’t see on your list:
-Harold and the Purple Crayon


February 2, 2010 at 9:07 am

Absolutely love reading you blog!
This will just be added to the number of reasons I don’t need to have children. I remember all those books fondly and would like to keep it that way! Not too mention, if I ever have to read a book called “Everyone Poops” I will kill myself.


Meg February 2, 2010 at 9:15 am

Pokemon and Digimon books make me want to stab hot swizzle sticks into my eyes and the torturous writing and characters still have me waking up screaming. Now what book(s) did I love: My Many Colored Days by Dr Seuss & Stellaluna.


Jennifer H February 2, 2010 at 9:17 am

Is it just me, or could that mama bunny have saved herself a whole lotta trouble if she’s just installed a baby gate to keep that little fella from running off? Think of all the General Hospital and Real Housewives that poor mama missed! But I don’t feel the least bit sorry for her if she can’t think ahead like that. She brought it on herself…

That said, I’m pretty sure the Giving Tree was a woman.


Ann's Rants February 2, 2010 at 9:44 am

The Cat and the Hat and didn’t I teach you anything about stranger danger?


Sprite's Keeper
February 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

Monster at the end of this book. I’ve read it to Sprite so many times, she now reads it to herself. (Hey. I’m in the room. It still counts!)


February 2, 2010 at 11:36 am

Guess How Much I Love You? Not Enough To Fix My Percocet Habit.


Loukia February 2, 2010 at 11:37 am

Oh my gosh… hilarious, just hilarious. While I love The Giving Tree, aka That Takes Away Any Chance Of A Normal Childhood, I only read it to my 4 year old once, because, um, yeah, you know why. Same with I Love You Forever. While I find it emotional, it’s not a book to read to my boys. You’re so funny, Marinka!


February 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm

*sigh* i thought i was the only one who hated reading to my kids. right now they want the stupid book about elections from chick-fil-a (in KNOW!) read over and over. WTF?!


February 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm

ok, that should’ve said *i* KNOW… not in

my kids have melted my brain


Gretchen February 2, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I managed to get out of reading that damned Giving Tree book and that I Love You Forever thing because they both make me sob uncontrollably and I kept scaring the child.


February 2, 2010 at 2:21 pm

And those aren’t even the worst! what about books about Every.Friggin. Kind. Of. Truck. There. Is. No story, no characters, no nothing. Just page after page of this kind of truck, and that kind of truck. It’s years ago now, and I can still recite it.


Jeanne February 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm

For me, it was the game, Candyland.

I loved it as a kid, but as an adult it made me want to stab myself through the heart with a candy cane.

(I’m surprised you don’t like the Cat in the Hat. After all, it’s about a woman who leaves her two small children alone with a cat for a babysitter. How screwed up is that?)


Heather (qtberryhead) February 2, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Are you my mother?
My kids are teenagers now, but I’m pretty sure 2 minutes of meditation and I could regurgitate that book verbatum. Silly voices included.


Joie February 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I read the Spohr’s blog too…and yes, Annabel makes my ovaries scream out for a baby too…it’s irritating. I don’t have kids yet and my excuse is that I like taking naps too much. The Spohr’s have made that difficult again.


CSY February 2, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Yeah, I’m with you – I’m SO freaking happy my spawn can read to themselves and I don’t have to lift more than my wine glass! HOORAH for older kids! Now I just need them to leave my cell phone and computer alone!


Mary @ Holy Mackerel
February 2, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Thank god I don’t have to do that anymore. No favourites anymore. I hate them all.


JulieBouf February 2, 2010 at 9:00 pm

My favorite is Brown Bear, Brown Bear because my 4yo has memorized it and is content to “read” it herself now as long as I lay next to her. And it’s short.

I can’t tell you fricking thrilled I am that she started having nightmares about Swiper the Fox. The first words out of my mouth were. Oh honey, I’m soooo sorry. We’re going to have to take a long break from reading Dora stories. (although she has outsmarted me since select titles do not have Swiper in them as she immediately pointed out). If only it worked as well as when I tell her she can’t have bubbles in every bath because it will make her butt hurt.


Birdie February 2, 2010 at 9:45 pm

It was “The House That Bif Built.” A bookcase full of books, but every night, no matter how many choices I offered, it was “Bif!” Oh, how I hated Bif. Then he became fascinated with a big picture book about the Titanic. It was for older kids but he still wanted it read to him while looking at the illustrations, and you couldn’t cheat and skip some pages, he knew every one. So here’s this little kid listening to the story and looking at illustrations of the sinking of the Titanic, night after night. I’m happy to report that he grew up to be completely normal. I, on the other hand, still have nightmares about Bif, the Muppet falling off the roof of the house he built, and the musicians playing as the Titanic sank.


anna see February 2, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Oh my gosh, this is hilarious! Thanks for making me quit pining for a baby.

LOVED reading Love You Forever to my kids, even though the mom is a creepy stalker.

How about:
Go Dog Go


February 3, 2010 at 10:22 am

I will vomit if I EVAH have to read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See”. Guess I better get a pail, I’m sure when this baby is born he’ll love it too.


February 3, 2010 at 11:17 am

I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Giving Tree…but for a different reason. The first time I ever read it was in a college ethics class (we were studying The Ethics of Caring). It takes on a whole different light when read under that pretense. I bought it for myself and gave it to my daughter when she was born. I also give it as gifts now 🙂


Jamieteethree February 3, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Ugh to, “Big Dog Little Dog” which should be subtitled “Where did that effing bird come from?” I keep trying to give it away but my daughter’s friends’ moms sneak it back in!


Sherrie February 3, 2010 at 8:59 pm



the mama bird diaries
February 3, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I’m buying Mo’s book.


February 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Blueberries for Sal…cause her dam mother couldn’t freaking go to the store like the rest of us.

If you Give a Mouse a Cookie…you are a dumb shit, because it will spawn fifty-two baby mice in seconds. Get a cat. The end.

I sadly could go on forever, because I have to read those books again. In my next life, I need to space my kids more close in age. Like Stacey’s.


Kate Coveny Hood
February 6, 2010 at 9:05 am

Even the loveliest of children’s stories gets old after the 587th reading. For my television 24-7 household – it’s the DVDs. I hum Wiggles tunes in my sleep and quote Thomas Train dialogue like an understudy. Lately my strange children have become enamoured with the baby show Calliou and I think I’m going to lose my mind.


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