Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Three Little Pettys and How they Grew...

Well, the title is really The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew, but who's counting?  This is what my post is about tonight.  If you are one of the very fortunate ones who have heard of this book, then keep reading.  If you have NOT heard of this book, stop reading and go look it up. You won't regret it.  It is just an astonishingly adorable literary work.  What's wrong?  Can't I say "astonishingly adorable" to describe a book??  This is a blog, remember?  I can say whatever I want and it automatically sounds good because it is a blog.  RIGHT???

Seriously, though, I have been making a point to read aloud long chapter books to the children this school year.  So far, since September, we have enjoyed Matilda, and The Tale of Despereaux.  Our current literary entertainment is entitled The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew, by Margaret Sidney.  I must say that this one is a bit harder to get through. First of all, it is much longer.  Secondly, the language is a bit difficult to read aloud.  And lastly, I am exhausted!  I realized that it takes much more effort to read aloud to my children.  It is much easier to put on PBS Kids or Netflix and then go pour a small glass of wine and relax.  Not that I DO is just an example! 

Tonight, at dinner time, I asked the three little Petty's if they would like to hear some "Peppers".  Bright eyes, loud gasps, and big "yeses" told me that I had definitely suggested the right thing!  However, I took one look at the kitchen and then said, "I will clean up the kitchen first while you are eating and then I will read the Peppers."  I stopped for a moment and thought about it (insert emotional movie music right here).  I have heard parenting advice about this... the housework can wait...spend time with your children...that is more important....

And so I did.  Against all my inner desires to clean the kitchen (yes, I just used "desire" and "clean" in the same sentence), I sat down with my children and read the next chapter of The Five Little Peppers. And what an enjoyable experience it was!  

Even John, 18 months old, laughed and laughed, when he saw his sister and brother and I laughing at a funny part in the book.  No, of course he didn't get the humor, but the amount of learning taking place in those moments is amazing!  John is learning all about human behavior and interaction, social cues, pleasant feelings, manners, being attentive, and the list goes on!  Carmen, just five years old, even asked me to read a little bit slower next time so she could understand ALL of the story.  I wasn't sure just how much she was picking up, but what an attentive listener and communicator she has proved to be just in asking me that question.  And Emmett, those eyes, staring straight forward in complete concentration to the next part of the story that will come out of my mouth.  He hangs on every word like he hangs from the monkey bars at the park, trying eagerly with all his might to get to each one.  To think I wouldn't have experienced any of this wonder in my sweet children if I had chosen the housework instead.  There is absolutely no doubt that watching my three little Pettys grow is WAY better than cleaning the kitchen.

In conclusion, since I know you are wondering about the housework, our after dinner clean-up time went better than usual and I had plenty of time to clean the kitchen. Oh, and create a new blog post...


  1. Reading out loud is one of my favorite memories of raising my children. When they are not watching a video picture of a story, they learn to see it in their imagination, and develop invaluable listening skills. And its just fun! We read the entire Little House series out loud together and as adults, they still remember funny bits and quote them at odd times. Like Mary, you definitely chose the better occupation! Bravo!

  2. How exciting! My first comment on my blog. :) I wish I had a prize for you! Yes, what a joy it is to read aloud and experience adventures of the imagination with children. So glad that this blog post brought up good memories for you of your own children. Thanks so much for sharing!