When I posted Nora’s twenty-seven month update a few days ago, I neglected to include her favorite books. Though it was an accidental omission, I am happy to comment more on her favorite books, as they are such a staple in the current nighttime routine.
While we read Olivia, The Berenstain Bears, Eric Carle books, and other modern classic children’s books (which she does adore), her two most favorite books are throwbacks to a different time.
She loves the Golden Books Baby Dear and Little Mommy.
We started reading Baby Dear when Carson arrived. It’s about a girl adjusting to life with a new baby in the house. The girl mimics her mother, giving Baby Dear a bath when mother bathes the baby, burping Baby Dear when the mother burps the baby (the book, written in the early sixties, refers to it as “bubbling), and even writing in a baby book specifically for Baby Dear when her mother notes the new baby’s growth. Steve and I have both memorized the book, as has Nora, who chimes in when we read the story–especially with the “bubbling.”
It’s a sweet and innocent throwback to the Mad Men era of parenting: mommy is back to her trim shape in no time, she feeds the baby bottles (instead of nursing her), and Dad is nowhere to be seen–except for when he brings Mommy home from the hospital and presents Baby Dear. While that certainty doesn’t reflect the division of labor at our house, Nora is getting a peek into a generation long before her time–Baby Dear is somewhat of a history lesson as well as a favorite bedtime story. It’s also that she can relate to on an emotional basis: She loves her baby dolls as much as the girl in the story loves Baby Dear and has experienced the transition of a new sibling just like the protagonist (if you could call the sweet girl that–maybe the new baby is the antagonist?!).
The second book–the sequel, I would call it–is about a girl who is the mother to many baby dolls and who even has a husband who drives a blue car into the city to go to work. This is a newer addition to our household–we found it and gave it to Nora for Christmas. Again, the message is from another era, but Nora, a natural mother and doll enthusiast, eats up all of the words just as she does with Baby Dear. In fact, she calls Little Mommy “New Baby Dear.”
There is something sweet about these being Nora’s favorite books at this age. If she could, she would be Carson’s mother. Instead, she has to mother her brood of babies–Tiny, Baby, Pink, and, now, Saige. And these two favorite books capture her imaginative play and emotional needs so perfectly. Maybe in a few years, we’ll have to buy Carson a blue car so he can be her pretend husband.