In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday today we’ve spent the week revisiting his work. I’ve been reminded of why he’s so beloved. I thought Ruth would love the books as many are new to her and she did. I thought David would think they were fun and he did. I thought John would think think they were cute but not be all that interested in listening. That’s where I was wrong. If anything, he was just as excited as the others. On the first day I had them each pick one book from a huge stack of Seuss books we have. There was much negotiating (John to David: Here, pick this one, it’s the one with the pink snow. Then I’ll pick the one with Horton. David to John: Hmmmm. I don’t know. Why don’t you pick Horton and maybe I’ll choose another one.)
As we’ve spent the week re-reading all the favorites, I’m reminded yet again why good books are good books. They endure. Lines between things like “recommended for ages 2-5″ and “adult fiction” blur and even disappear. I’m also reminded why it’s fun having mutliple ages of kids. Every few years I get to watch a child rediscover old favorites.
I don’t typically do a lot of crafts that go with our books for kindergarten. Partially it’s that my oldest has never been particularly fond of art or crafts so when we did extra activities we tended to do science experiments or field trips or games or something else. Partially it’s that we have less time now for kindergarten so mostly we spend that reading. Partially it’s that the boys do art with H. on the day I work. They really enjoy that and he does a better job than I would.
However, David really likes art and lately I’ve been thinking that I need to try and do some of the same special things with Ruth that I used to do with John and David. Things like painting and Play-Doh and singing Wheels on the Bus. I’ll readily admit that as much as I love my kids at all ages, I’m a better mother as they get older. I’m better at discussing a book than I am at getting on the floor and playing an imaginary game. However, the preschool years are fleeting. And fun. I want Ruth to enjoy hers.
I decided to do this project based on One Fish, Two Fish from Deep Space Sparkle (a fantastic website with art lesson plans from an elementary art teacher). We had a great time. It was an afternoon where John was at a friend’s house. That wasn’t entirely intentional, but ended up being a nice special time for me and the younger kids. I think David especially enjoyed that aspect of it. That sounds like it was good to have John out of the way, which isn’t at all the case. It’s just that middle children always enjoy it when they get to be in the spotlight.
To finish out the week, we’ll be having a birthday party for Dr. Seuss. We’ll eat cupcakes, read a bunch more Seuss book and play this game. A good finish to a good week with an old friend.