My baby eats books…

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.

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6 responses to “My baby eats books…

  1. Accidents February 3, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Love it.

    [We also make the “reading book” and “chewing book” distinction. And yet, the books we designate as chewing books, which are the most bafflingly insipid books picked up from the .25 bin at the used bookstore, tend to be the ones he comes crawling across the room with, shoving in our faces, plopping himself in our laps for a good read.]

    • amoment2think February 3, 2010 at 9:43 pm

      LOL- yeah, little girl is still to young to ‘request’ a particular book. She gets read what I feel like reading, AKA: the book I am the least tired of hearing myself read.

  2. Denise February 5, 2010 at 9:55 am

    You know what? My oldest ate books for the longest time and sometimes I see her sneaking a little nibble even now….just to remember the taste I guess. But it worked out in the end, she was always regular and she started reading at 3 and a half. She must have absorbed some of it afterall.

    • amoment2think February 6, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      Interesting… so as she chews she might just be absorbing the reading knowledge anyway? I sure hope so, because I am going to be spending a fortune to replace all the destroyed books left in her wake. LOL.

  3. mariah June 12, 2010 at 6:58 am

    my son eats books too. my husband has/had a massive star wars collection. all books. and within the past 5 months they have been ruined. i cant get this boy to stop. i have tried everything. i can punish him and he goes right back to eating them. at first i thought it was an attention thing. but i can be playing with my son and he will get up, run to the shelf, grab a book and start eating. is this a vitamin issue? any suggestions?

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