Happy Birthday Dr Seuss

So this week has been “Dr Seuss week” at the boys school. I love this week every year, it combines so many of my favorite things. There’s reading, there’s silly clothing/hair/hats/socks, there’s a birthday party, and we made an entire week a holiday to celebrate a children’s author. For those of you who are not in the know, Theodor Seuss Geisel was born March 2, 1904 (I Googled Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Seuss for the exact year). I’m not sure when public schools started celebrating Dr Seuss’s Birthday week, but they were doing it when GirlChild started kindergarten, so I assume a while now. Each year they have themed days and the entire week the school collects gently used children’s books to donate to charity. It’s a fun week injected into the nasty, gray, cold end of February/beginning of March. This year we did silly hat day, Dress as your favorite book character day (the picture of the boys is them dressed as Harry Potter & The Thing in the Zoo-which is from the Dr Seuss book Put Me In The Zoo, if you don’t recognize it you should totally check it out), crazy hair day (in which I use hair gel to twist & spike my sons’ hair), wear green like the Grinch day & crazy like a fox in socks day. So what a fun week, right? It got me thinking about all the great Dr Seuss books that there are (I’m excited to see The Lorax movie as that was my mother’s favorite)and I was trying to decide which was my favorite. I can’t think of a single one I don’t like, so this was a serious list making/brainstorming frenzy. Then it came to me…   

Fox in Socks.  Yup that’s it Fox in Socks is my fave. It’s not the deepest, the most meaningful, or the most thought provoking of the Dr Seuss books, but for me that epic nonsense poem is the epitome of sharing the joy of a book with a small child. Why? I’ll take you back to when BoyChild I was about 18 months old, he speaks maybe 4 words and sometimes will go a day or two without uttering any of them. (this is 3 years before he was finally diagnosed with SPD-Sensory Processing Disorder) I was in a panicky place regarding his development, I still had Pediatrician’s patting me on my 19 year old head saying, “each child develops at different rates” and “he’ll talk when he has something to say” and the knife in my heart, “maybe you don’t enrich his days enough” . I read to him, I kept one-sided convos going constantly, I sang, I danced, I eschewed TV, all of these things I did with his big sis as well but since she started talking in sentences at about 12 months I was less concerned about her. But my sweet cherubic looking baby boy? He would tilt his head to the side for a little bit and gaze at me with those big brown eyes, occasionally I’d get a smile or a raspberry blown my way, but only for a minute, then he’d turn away or just close his eyes. He’d been like this for months and I was desperate, I tried different books, different songs, different toys. Then one day GirlChild wanted me to read to her and her Brubby (which is 2 year old for brother and buddy-I asked back then)she brought along a book. It was a tattered copy of Fox in Socks from my childhood so I sat with them on either side of the couch and began to read. Normally I am a great reader, inflection, faces, the whole nine. But I’d forgotten how crazy all those made up words were to try to wrap my tongue around and I kept stumbling. GirlChild giggled, “Mommy, this book is hard for you to read!” I replied something like, well these words are hard to say, but it is kinda fun and laughed with her. That’s when I felt a small hand on my arm, I looked into those soulful eyes and smiled, “Mommy’s having trouble talking, huh?” A nod, then a giggle, then “Noodle eat Poodle.” Huge smile with 4 tiny teeth. And then there were 7 words.

I read that book at least once a day for years, I eventually got to where we would race to see how fast I could read it out loud. I haven’t read it or thought of it in a while but today I did and it made me smile again. So here’s to celebrating reading with your kids. I hope you are having a “Noodle eating poodle in a bottle in a puddle…” kinda day. Go read some one a book, then come back and share it with me.

What is your favorite Dr Seuss book and why?

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