Books by the Banks & Mama has a Secret

The kids and I went to Books by the Banks this fall. They enjoyed the crafts and we picked up some new books.

The best part was our conversation.

When we sat down to have a snack, Calvin asked me if you could get married more than once.

I decided to take the opportunity for full disclosure.

“Yes,” I said. “You know your dad was married before and I was too.”

They know their dad was previously married  because their brother Ben is the evidence but it hasn’t come up that I was married too.

“YOU have a secret!” Max said, scandalized and excited.

“It’s not a secret,” I said, trying to sound casual. “It just never came up.”

Calvin had already turned his attention to his new book but I could tell Max was mulling it over.

“Well, then what happened?” he asked. “Did you meet Dada on a dating app?”

This is hilarious if you know Eddie.

He lost interest and went back to looking at his new book.

Kids with Ben Clanton

Meeting Ben Clanton.

A few days later, Max said, “I mean, I knew you had lots of boyfriends but I didn’t know you were MARRIED!”

What gave him this idea, I wondered, thinking this would make my friend Fernando cackle. A few more days went by and Max asked me, “Did you and this boy you were married to have a house?”

“Yes,” I said. “And you know, baby, sometimes things just don’t work out…blah blah blah,’” I tried to explain it and said way too much.

“Uh, huh,” he said, losing interest.

He hasn’t asked me about it again.

We did buy some books.

We met Ben Clanton and he signed his new book Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt. (He was super nice!) We’ve since checked out his book Rot, The Cutest in the World, about a rotten and very cute potato.

We also discovered a new series for Max: Behind the Legend Books by Erin Peabody. To date, he’s read about the Loch Ness Monster, Zombies, Werewolves, Big Foot, Unicorns. And here’s a fun fact: she’s from Cincinnati.

The holiday wrap-up: toys and tonsils

One of my favorite moments during the holiday was in the hospital.

After the usual presents, visits with friends and family, too much food, Calvin had his tonsils and adenoids removed two days after Christmas.

You may know we have a long (and fortunate history) with Calvin and Cincinnati Children’s. He went into his surgery like a trooper.

Initially, I think it was harder on Max. My husband told me, “I think he’s a little scared. And why wouldn’t he be?”

At 7, he may not vividly remember his twin’s formerly long hospital stays, but I wonder if it’s embedded deep in his memory.

So, we brought Max to visit Calvin during his overnight hospital stay.

The moment that was so nice was Max’s relief at seeing Calvin and his subsequent head-patting of his twin. “Is his heart ok?,” he asked. “What’s wrong with him?”

Calvin was drugged up but immediately perked up when Max came in the room. Even the nurse noticed. Calvin grinned  while receiving the head-pat and cuddle.

This reminded me of the power of twins and the beauty of my kiddos. When Calvin was really ill, it was Max that fortified him and us. It also reminded us that when something happens to one of them, it impacts the other.

img_5503-2

My Christmas babies sans books!

And the books

The other moment? Reading, of course! After the thrill of Zoomer kitty and chimp, legos, cars, and sugar, they secretly love their new books.

On Christmas Day, Max and I cuddled up among the chaos of toys and discarded wrapping paper and read The Day the Crayons Came Home by Oliver JeffersIn this beautiful second book about crayons, Duncan reads letters from his forgotten crayons. Both the story and illustrations are brilliant.

Here are some of our other holiday books this year – tested for you by my favorite first graders.

The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon, Kentucky’s 2016 poet laureate.  Calvin especially liked this story of a girl with double vision. (Thanks, Kate!)

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea. This book has a great sense of humor but also a sweet message about friendship.

 

Ever the baseball fan, Max received Baseball from A to Z by Michael P. Spradlin, illustrated by Macky Pamintuan. I know it’s good because I’ve found him reading it. (Thanks Lou and Lanthan!)

9781484713785_il_2_20d68

Leap your way into the New Year with Ballet Cat!

Both Max and Calvin are venturing into graphic novels. Here’s some that were under our tree:

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires

 

Happy New Year all! Lots of love and keep reading.

P.S. Calvin is slowly mending.