Saturday, February 1, 2014

Isaiah at Breakfast

An example of Jenny's happy face

Jenny, as usual, was her sunny self this morning, "Dte-Dtu!" she exclaims in joyful thanks on receiving her morning banana.

Isaiah, as usual, had to be dragged out of bed. He was melodramatic, and when receiving his banana, and accidentally breaking it, proceeded to do his ritual mourning over the fact.
He weeps, holding the pieces of banana together, sobbing and begging for "tape, tape..." to fix it.
Isaiah: Pre-Food (with broken banana)
Finally, after consuming said banana, he cheers up a bit.
A muffin also helps.
Isaiah: Post-food (consumed banana)

This morning, I decided to start my new resolution of reading the kids Hebrew in the morning.
As I launched into a recitation of the first few verses of Isaiah 40 (alas, the only Hebrew I actually memorized since college), both kids stared at me, weirded out by the non-English syllables, they seemed disturbed.
I felt the need to dispel the terror of not-English, saying as brightly as possible "Its Hebrew, Isaiah. Do you want Mommy to teach you Hebrew?"
I stared.
"...shoot birds..."
A reference to "A Fierce Bad Rabbit"??
"...and Luke Skywalker"

Isaiah has begun potty training, while seated on the green seat, he requests stories. And the great dramas of MAGGIES BIG DAY or  WHO IS PETER'S BEST FRIEND IN FIRST GRADE or BOBBY'S MOVE may be cute the first 3 times its read in a row, but by the 4th time...."Mommy, read Peter!...Again!...Again"... I start to feel claustrophobic.

Beatrix Potter has been a lifesaver. I don't know what it is, the beautiful illustrations, the well written words, the subtle humor and quirky story-lines, but somehow reading Squirrel Nutkin or The Two Bad Mice or Peter Rabbit ("Peter Jacket") over and over is a lot easier on my mental state.

But yesterday, he developed a fascination with "The Fierce Bad Rabbit", one of the simplest stories in the whole collection. It follows the saga of a "fierce bad rabbit" who takes the carrot of a "nice gentle rabbit" and who then becomes the target for a "man with a gun" who thinks its bird. The fierce bad rabbit escapes with his life, but without his carrot or his tail.
I worried why this appealed to him so much, trying to figure out if he identified with the dis-carroted rabbit or the bully, worrying that the story showed how he felt about his and Jenny's relationship.

Well, after reading it many many times on request (in rows), he began filling in words for me when I paused. He said "nice gentle rabbit" with appropriate gentleness, said "takes it!" with a little too much glee, but said "feels sad" with appropriate sorrow, so far I couldn't tell which side he was on. Then we got to the hunter, and the enthusiasm was unmistakable in "man with a gun!" I looked up and saw his little eyes lit up with joy, and they positively glowed when the gun goes "BANG!"

So now I know why it appeals to him.
It's the closest Beatrix Potter gets to Captain America.
For some reason, Isaiah thinks the threatening end of a sword is the hilt

I think I need to get him St. George and Dragon or something....

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