So, our little girl likes to eat books. A lot. Actually, she is pretty indiscriminate when it comes to anything made of paper. Sticky notes, magazines, newspaper, credit card bills, she likes it all. It is a miracle she has not discovered toilet paper yet. But I know the day will come….
At first I thought that she had a book eating system. It seemed that she was willing to chew on the books that weren’t quite up to her literary standards. For a while, she was content to quietly flip through and appreciate the baby classics without chewing them to shreds. Her chewing seemed dependent on the book. I was so proud of my budding literary critic.
The first book she destroyed: Is there a Gorilla in the band? Not exactly a baby classic. I mean, it is about a gorilla in a band. That’s it. No meaningful subtext what-so-ever.
I was okay with it. I mean, she enjoyed destroying it so much. How could I complain? And there must be at least some fiber in the pages she pulled out and ate, right?
But with her second attack she upped the ante. She struck a classic. Sacred in the realm of baby books. Thats right, as you feared, she ate:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Kinda ironic. Didn’t she know this is a classic? We read it together at least 5 times a week. She loves it. She laughs when the caterpillar turns into a butterfly (sorry if I just spoiled the ending for anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of reading it yet).
My dreams of a budding literary critic were dead. I guess I thought since pretty much everyone on both sides of the family loves books her DNA would be programmed to appreciate books, not eat them. I have a copy of Goodnight Moon from when my brothers and I were kids and it is a little worn, but not destroyed. It survived 3 kids.
It started innocently enough. My husband passed her the copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar one day to keep her occupied. When I came into the room I said: “Honey, why did you give her that book? That is a reading book, not a chewing book!” (Wow, reading that sentence back makes me sound a wee bit crazy… but it made sense at the time.) The corners were chewed beyond recognition. It seems, once she realized that she ‘could’ chew it, she figured she would go all the way. In a matter of days she had pulled apart the pages, chewed every part she could and pulled the book in half. Tear.
What’s next? Goodnight Moon? Pat the Bunny? She must be stopped.