Parenting Henri

this is about henri, and the parenting thereof

To Do (with Henri): Read “Important” Books 2009/10/19

I always wanted to read that list of the 100 most important books for a high school student, but never did.  Thus, I will live vicariously through Henri (in this, and in other ways, I’m sure…) by starting on the following list of the “Teacher’s Top 100.”  Actually, we’ve *already* started on it, unbeknownst to me or my future little reader  (see notations below).  We’re just that cool…

p.s. If you’re thinking about Henri’s upcoming birthday, this list might be of help to you!!!

9/2/2013 Update in ORANGE

Teacher’s Top 100 Books for Children

The following list was compiled from an online survey in 2007. Parents and teachers will find it useful in selecting quality literature for children.

  1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White Def. read once, maybe twice. First chapter book!!!
  2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak Check
  3. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Think so
  4. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (own, but haven’t read yet)
  5. Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown  (Check)
  6. I Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch
  7. Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  8. Oh! The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss (own?) check
  9. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
  10. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg Think so
  11. Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
  12. Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
  13. The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss (own?) check
  14. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss check
  15. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
  16. The Mitten by Jan Brett I feel like we’ve read this…
  17. Crunching Carrots, Not Candy by Judy Slack
  18. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willlems (honestly, i’m not a big fan of this book; but we will read it just to check it off the list) Probably 
  19. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (NOT NO, BUT HELL NO. if henri ever wants to read this, he can do it on his own! i refuse!!!) Emma started reading this series to Henri the summer of 2013
  20. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  21. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  22. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman (Check, thanks to Olga!)
  23. Corduroy by Don Freeman Gift from Emma- have read many times!!!
  24. Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
  25. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon check
  26. Tacky the Penquin by Helen Lester check
  27. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  28. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams I believe this was also a gift from Emma; either that, or a garage sale find. At any rate, we’ve read it.
  29. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. For sure
  30. Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin Yes, this is hilarious. henri loves it.
  31. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson Check – first read to him by KFrayz
  32. Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
  33. Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
  34. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  35. Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey Own & Check
  36. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  37. Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini
  38. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper (Check)
  39. The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone Own & Check
  40. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (own, but not yet age-appropriate)
  41. A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
  42. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett Check
  43. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
  44. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
  45. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
  46. Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann Check
  47. Olivia by Ian Falconer
  48. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  49. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
  50. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (own, but not yet age-appropriate)
  51. The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
  52. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle check
  53. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
  54. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (own, but not yet age-appropriate)
  55. Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
  56. Bunnicula by James Howe
  57. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl have read; second chapter book, I believe…
  58. Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom DeLuise
  59. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes yes?
  60. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
  61. Frederick by Leo Lionni check
  62. Frindle by Andrew Clements
  63. Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel Mark’s Uncle Lee read much of this chapter book to Henri one summer
  64. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney (check)
  65. Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
  66. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion check
  67. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss probably…
  68. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  69. I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
  70. Is Your Mama A Llama? by Deborah Guarino check
  71. Jan Brett’s books Henri loves the ones about the hedgehog
  72. Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin Jr.
  73. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (own, but not yet age-appropriate)
  74. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton check – a definite favorite
  75. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  76. My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
  77. My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss (check, thanks to K-Frayz!)
  78. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
  79. No David! by David Shannon (check)
  80. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss (own, but i don’t think he’s read it yet?)
  81. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein yes, Dada & Henri went through the Shel Silverstein books many, many time while we lived in Florida.
  82. Stephanie’s Ponytail by Robert Munsch
  83. Swimmy by Leo Lionni
  84. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
  85. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner
  86. The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
  87. The Empty Pot by Demi
  88. The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop
  89. The Giver by Lois Lowr
  90. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
  91. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien check! Upon finishing this, Henri said: “That was good. Can we read it again?” 🙂
  92. The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown
  93. The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements
  94. The Napping House by Audrey Wood
  95. The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
  96. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats check
  97. The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
  98. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  99. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  100. The Wide-Mouthed Frog: A Pop-Up Book by Keith Faulkner

Once we get done with these, the NEA also has a list of 50 Multicultural Books and 50 State Booklist.  Oh man… I’m glad Henri likes to read!


born into it 2009/10/18

it’s official (as if it wasn’t already…): henri truly is my mini-me.

we went shoe shopping, which was (more) stressful (then it had to be) because i suggested henri “try out” each pair of shoes he tried on–ended up being like 12 or so–and he took that to mean he could run away from us in each pair of shoes he tried on.  whoop-ee!

he ended up getting, yes–you guessed it–Pink Tennis Shoes.  now, either this is God’s way of reaffirming my decision to have a kid in the first place, OR, more likely, henri doesn’t yet realize that pink is for “little ladies,” as this website so kindly points out, and just really really really really REALLY loves his mom-mom who really really really REALLY loves pink, therefore…well, you get the argument i’m making. right?



now, i know what you’re thinking: that i Encouraged him to get pink tennis shoes.  and i swear on the tattoo on my left wrist that i did no such thing.  however, i certainly showed them to him, kind of as a joke.*  the first pair of pink tennis shoes i showed him were not anywhere near as gender-neutral and he liked them but absolutely did not say he wanted to buy them like he did the converse ones.  (yes, he speaks in sentences and yes, gender-neutral is a term that applies to pink things, in my world).  i also know the other thing you’re thinking, mainly because i thought it, too, by which i mean, i said it out loud:  poor da-da.  as with all other things me & the h-man throw at mcknight, though, he took it just fine.  sure, he rolled his eyes.  but if any father can handle his 2-year-old running around in pink kicks, it’s this one.

to answer your other questions: yes, henri has been called a girl several times since this shoe-buying incident.  i have no words.  (he doesn’t even LOOK feminine!!!).  and yes, henri and mom-mom have had several well-meaning “older” women–at least 4-year-olds, if not older–explain to us that “pink” is for “girls.”  REALLY? i had no idea.  it’s not like i’ve never passed Victoria’s Secret or The Limited Too.  it’s not like i’ve tried to buy clothes for my son that aren’t blue.  it’s not like i started wearing pink the day my niece was born 9 years ago and haven’t stopped since.  i *know* pink is for girls, you little bitches/future sarah palin supporters!!!  but, guess what?  pink is also the color of Power.  in this case, the willpower not to introduce you to the powerful feeling of putting someone much smaller and much less experienced than you are in their rightful place: namely, on the ground.

but i digress.  the moral of the story is that  the first pair of tennis shoes henri picked out himself is pink.  we tried on adidas.  we ran around the store in new balance. we knocked over shoe salesman in elmo-light-up-blinky-blinky high traction/low impact etc.-etc. shoes.  i even forced his foot into a black & flame version of the very same shoe he ended up buying.  but, none of them got the elicited reaction, which went something like this.

mom-mom: (after picking up pink converse shoes that she in no way thought would ever be liked, let alone bought, by her son, who is a boy and not a “little lady”)  these are AWESOME.  don’t you LOVE them?????

da-da: rolls eyes.

henri: uh-huh.

mom-mom: (puts them on henri’s foot, despite his squirming and losing interest upon realizing they’re *very* hard shoes to put on) WOW. i LOVE them. don’t you LOVE them, buddy???

da-da: rolls eyes, begins to walk away.

henri: uh-huh.

mom-mom: are THESE the ones you want to BUY?????

henri: (after a very long hour to hour-and-a-half of trying on shoes, running around the store, and begging to ride in a tractor) Uh-Huh!

mom-mom: (says privately to da-da) wow–i can’t believe he wants pink shoes. that’s so cute. don’t you think that’s so cute? i didn’t force him into them. you saw it. he wanted them. he said he liked them.  right?

da-da: um…


*the reader will note that henri has been trying on my pink high-heeled shoes and prancing around the house in them, quite capably, for a few months now

even my ethical dilemmas have changed/are changing 2009/10/04

this past friday, the guest speaker in my ethics seminar asked the students to write down 3 ethical dilemmas in modern medicine and/or science that they might want to research.  to keep myself awake (hey–being a student is {still} boring!), i decided to write down a few of my own.  you never know: i might research something one day.

the important thing to know is that (according to the speaker) an ethical dilemma is one in which there are at least two sides to the issue, if not more.

of course, the first to come to mind was circumcision of newborn boys.  when living through this dilemma, i felt that the decision *not* to circumcise was almost a cop-out–a non-decision, if you will.  however, after thinking for just a few minutes about it in the fabulousness of ethics, i realized that i faced an ethical dilemma and made a decision, based on my ethical values.  maybe that seems like a no-brainer to you.  but it made me proud!  who know i even had values?

the second thing i thought of, which i truly would like to research, or at least would like for someone else to research because i think it’s absolutely needs to be addressed by A) the medical community and B) the world at large, was the question of a drug-free childbirth.  the question being, is it even possible in this day and age?  i know it isn’t in massachusetts, at least not for women who go over 2 weeks from their “estimated” due date.  and i certainly know it wasn’t a choice for me.  at the time, it didn’t seem like so much of a dilemma as a “give me drugs or give me death” sort of moment.  and i’m still very upset at all of the factors that went into that non-decision: including my own weakness, even if it was just a lack of preparation for what might’ve been coming.  in order to actually research this dilemma, we would first have to acknowledge it as such.  so, yeah, that could be a problem.

lastly, the 3rd dilemma i thought of is the one that every biological mother who chooses to raise her own child faces, whether she realizes it or not: to breastfeed or not to breastfeed?  even those of us for whom it really wasn’t much of a dilemma–let’s face it, there was never even a miniscule moment in time when i might’ve considered letting a tiny alien suckle at my bosom–had to not only make a choice, but defend it, lest our ethics be looked down upon.

so there you have it: i’m not just a mom.  i’m a freaking mom who can’t stop being a mom, even when considering {hypothetical} ethical dilemmas with potential in an academic mom-free environment.  *sigh* it seems the kid has finally infiltrated what was left of my mind…but hey, there’s something to be said for “going all in.”  right?