Friday, December 5, 2008

Virtual Shower for Antigone!!

Imagine yourself entering the ultimate baby shower (really! Click on the envite and meet the lovely hostesses! See the other attendees!). . . No, I'm not talking a pepto-bismol explosion, or a light-blue dump-truck-pacifier-dripping afternoon. No pastels. No baby name contests. No stupid games about due dates. No need to feel like the biggest rainbow-painted elephant in the room because the room is full of technicolor elephants just like you. There's the most delicious cake you could imagine free of baby-esque decorations (unless you count overturned wine bottles and perhaps some four letter words running down the sides). There are lovely conversations about . . . how much things like this usually suck and made your blood pressure rise. How you usually toss out the invitation with a hard roll of the eyes before going to cry in the bathroom. And you all remember babies lost, and find a few moments to revel in babies found.

No. This shower is wonderful and full of snark and frostiness and good-old-fashioned macabre overtones:

It's Antigone's Virtual Shower!! Right here! On line! See? Welcome.

I know it's really fucking hard sometimes to get behind (fully behind) subsequent pregnancies in this corner of the 'verse. Really, I do. BELIEVE ME. But sometimes when the universe dumps an extra load of shit on someone already down, it's hard not to rally around them. And not only do I want Antigone's pregnancy to work out, I want her life to work out. She kinda deserves a good-feeling gifty-type shower-thingy anyways, baby notwithstanding, don't you think?

Because I'm a last-minute kinda gal, and an academic at heart, I always give books at showers. And I'm pleased to announce that this here, right here, marks the first time I have bought a mom and/or baby a gift since Maddy. Which is a big deal, I think. So here's the lineup that Antigone and Perseus will be receiving from the Awful household:

From Me:

I used to give this book to all the new moms -- until my kid died and theirs kept living. I'm glad to revive the tradition here. It's a delightfully snarky and hilarious and utterly practical book that I think will fit Antigone to a T. It's hard to resist a book with chapters like, "Child Labor: Not Just for the Third World!" and "Bedtime: Is Five-Thirty too Early?" It taught me that sometimes grandma can take a hike: put the video camera down, and just enjoy and be with the moment. It also taught me that a child gets enjoyment out of a martini shaker, too. Not as much as mommy perhaps, but sometimes small tasks can be fun for everyone. Truly a great life lesson.


From Mr. ABF:

We bought this stunningly illustrated book for Bella and it quickly became Mr. ABF's favorite. Mr. ABF's favorite story within changes and depends on where he is in his personal "journey" ("car wreck"?) -- like I suppose all things Zen should. We've found it comforting and thoughtful both before and after the great divide in our lives. Oh, and Bella finds Stillwater cute.


From Bella:

Pinning Bella's favorite book down is a tough endeavor. On any given night, her "favorite" could involve a young, Hispanic animal rescuer, a talking train, or god forbid, Barbie. I was told by a good friend who happens to have a PhD in library science that one should never deny a kid anything they want to read (well, you know, within reason -- and I don't think Barbie is quite obscene enough to warrant expulsion when she's off saving her sister and not complaining about math or throwing up her lunch), so I endulge and we do it all: the classics, the award winners, and the sheer and utter crap that stores peddle under the guise of children's literature. Right now it's the words and meaning I want her to focus on, and I have no doubt soon she'll have a filter and understand that there's great stuff out there, and then there's beach reading. And there's a time and place for all.

Where was I? Oh, Bella's favorite book. I thought about what book(s) she first really responded to, and I kept coming back to Sendak's "Night Kitchen" and "Where the Wild Things Are." I settled on "Night Kitchen" since she loved the little sound effects (from very early on she began interjecting the "Mama! Papa!" etc.), and eventually the recitation: "Milk in the Batter! Milk in the Batter!" And honestly I have no idea why this book was considered so controversial since Bella has never, ever, now at four years of age, asked me why Micky is naked, and at one point after our 10,000th read she said, "So, this is a dream, right mom?" And people thought this was nonsense? Hmph. Anyway, cheers Perseus.


From Maddy:

We tapped the Jon Muth well again the week Maddy was born, and decided to take this back to the hospital with us, and read it to her the week she was alive. Used to be because of this I couldn't make it through the story without sobbing. Not to mention it involves a hurt mother and saving a baby and, well, ugh. Tough. But it's beautiful, and Bella made me keep reading it despite the fact that I could barely finish, and now I can. The last line simply kills me: "That is why we are here." And I'm still trying to figure out how this relates to the child I originally read it to. I'm apparently destined to keep reading it until I figure it out. Perseus, hopefully someday you'll come to some conclusion on this issue yourself.


And finally, because Max, Buddy, Tucker, & Kirby insisted Sothis needed something as well:

A really lovely read narrated by Touche the dog, who can't quite understand the new dog, Jo, who doesn't have a tail and (egad!) goes inside the house. Charming. I know you don't get it either, Sothis, because really, why does she need another one of you? But you'll soon become fast friends and it will all make sense. Really it will.


And now for the fun party games! (You didn't think I'd let this go by without games, did you?)

The first three people to comment on their favorite book will have them included in my order -- from them, to Antigone and Perseus. One book per, please. My only stipulations are that they need to be available through the etail place named after the river that starts with an A (not a subsidiary, please!), and that they're respectful of both mama and baby. Antigone is not eligible. Quick quick! (Runs off to eat cake while people comment . . . . )


Dara said...

My favorite book is 'You are My I Love You' by Maryann Cusimano. My mother bought it for my sons on their first birthday. She passed away unexpectedly a month later.

It has been hard to read to them, but I try to do it every day. It is a beautiful story about how the child is everything to compliment the parent: "I am your parent, you are my child. I am your quiet place, you are my wild". We love this book.

loribeth said...

Hmmm... my favourite book to give to little girls would be "The Paperbag Princess" by Robert Munsch. A wonderful feminist twist on fairy tales, especially at the end. It probably wouldn't hurt for little boys to read it either. ; ) Actually, any Robert Munsch book would probably be fabulous. Although caveat emptor for "I Love You Forever" -- it's a tearjerker that people seem to either love or hate. Sidenote of interest to DBMs: Munsch wrote it as a tribute to his two stillborn children.

loribeth said...

P.S. What a great idea this shower is! -- & thank you, Tash, for including us!

MC said...

In case I am number three, I will say my favorite is 'Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.'

YAY for Antigone and Perseus!

MC said...

Okay, am I three, since loribeth commented twice? As the third independent commenter? Just wondering...

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this! You're awesome. My favorite books for kids are Love You Forever, Corduroy, and God Bless the Gargoyles.

Tash said...

I am completely mortified that I have never heard of any of these wonderful sounding books. Antigone and Perseus will now also be receiving:

From Dara: "You are My I Love You."

From Loribeth: "The Paperbag Princess" (some fancy-shmancy edition that tells the story behind the story!)


From MC: "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel."

Thanks for playing!

Julia said...

Damn that advisor and my 8am meeting with him. I missed being in the top three, though Loribeth got one of my favorites and first?, I believe first book Monkey read in English all by herself, which makes me feel all included and shit.

I will have to go to that retail thing and order the book I was going to comment about if I was one of the three-- Melanie Watts' "Chester." I see we have a Canadian author thing going here. Pssss, Tash-- you might want to get Chester for Bella too. Make Mr.ABF read it to her with different voices, you cocktail in hand-- it will be rollicking good time. Promise.

Aurelia said...

Hmm, well anything by Dr.Suess, you had to know I'd say that, right?

Some other goodies, anything by Eric Carle is great because he does beautifully illustrated board books and for babies, those are great.

And for Sothis and Perseus together, "Walter the Farting Dog". As a mom of boys, truly, fart literature is the sine qua non. At least this one is award winning fart literature.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm too late, but I wanted to throw out there "I Love You Through And Through" by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak. I have it memorized, as does my son, and he will ask for "Love You Through" at bedtime.

janis said...

ack, too late, too late! But I do also like "Paperbag Princess" and "Love you Forever" and I LOVE all your picks.
Honestly it would be hard for me to pick a favorite... great game, great idea!!

Megan said...

I'm too late but my favourite (and a Canadian-kids-of-the-'70s classic) is Garbage Delight by the poet Dennis Lee.
It's funny I HAVE a baby – but I will never, ever go to an IRL baby shower again.
Warmest wishes to Antigone on the occasion of her virtual shower, though!

Delenn said...

Happy Shower! I love the books mentioned...some of them are our favorites. I think I will pick up the martini one myself.

Congratulations, Antigone!

k@lakly said...

Figures the first day I am actually up and out of the house with my leprachaun in tow before 9 am I miss out on a fun give away...damn it. Paper Bag Princess is Great! One I usually give to moms of girls too. So hard to narrow down books, it's what makes roaming in bookstores so much fun, the endless possibilities. I love al your selections and hope Antigone, Perseus and Sothis enjoy them. (And remember Sothis, books are for reading not chewing or burying:) Good Boy!

Antigone said...

You guys have impeccable taste. Now to train Sothis to read...

Unknown said...

what wonderful books, tash! very sweet.

missing_one said...

You are a creative genius m'dear!!
you rock!

JW Moxie said...

Wonderful books, Tash. I might have to purchase those for my tribe. This was a great way to honor Antigone, Perseus, the memory of Henry, and their fuzzy friend Sothis.

missing_one said...

I think my favorite it the illustrated adaption of the poem "the moon" by Robert Louis Stevenson and pictures by Tracey Pearson.

My son is also obsessed with moon..and I am obesesed with the poetry. so we like it.

Reese said...

I am partial to the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books. There is something to be said about a woman who lives in an upside down house....

Kristin said...

All the Walter the Farting Dog books are a must for Sothis. One of my favorite children's books is "Guess How Much I Love You?" It is such a sweet book.

Foreverloves said...

I have not bought one gift willingly for anyone since my sons passed away. Just like you - when mine died and theirs kept on living...well, there you go. Still, I am drawn to Antigone's story, as a recent reader, I feel unqualified to comment much, but I follow as often as I can. She is one of the few that I TRULY wish well for.

What a sweet gesture you've done for her!!

AnotherDreamer said...

I'm totally late for the shower!

and ashamed to say I've never read any of those books :(

Happy baby shower to Antigone!

Anonymous said...

We love "Night Cars" by Teddy Jam, "In the Night Kitchen" (my favorite), "The Little Train", "Stellaluna", and Tikki Tikki Tembo (although, I'm regretting introducing this one).

This is so great - I've been looking for more books that I can stand to read again and again and again (and again).

Aurelia said...

Forgot a great one so I'm coming back. Carl the dog. Reminds me of Sothis and Perseus stories. Heh

Magpie said...

On your offhand recommendation at Niobe's, I just bought Zeralda's Ogre for my child. I liked that you said it had foodie overtones.