The mighty weapon of the fidgeting pirate

The mighty weapon of the fidgeting pirate

I've been the laziest mother in the galaxy this week. More sweets, longer screen time and shorter walks. That's all I did for my child, as quality time. It's Sunday and I'm running out of excuses ... I need a really good book to put us on the right track. 

The plan was great, except that my son was in the mood for science. As I was sitting on the sofa, wisely refining my reading strategy, I heard him shout:

"I want to check your teeth, mom!"

Pirate wind coming from Larousse

It’s very hard to maintain your authority, let alone utter any words, when someone is looking at your teeth. With a magnifying glass.

"Oh, bad news, mom. Your teeth aren't very white! Here, here and … here I can see some spots! They are quite big! Ooh la la! Listen to me, mom, you should brush your teeth better! Really!"

"No, look again ... Without the magnifying glass, honey bunny."

"Oh, the spots aren't big at all. Hmm, I only see one of them ..."

"My teeth are just fine ...  for my age. Give me that, please!"

"Not yet. I've only checked your upper teeth. I want to find all the spots on your lower teeth, and count them. Then I'll see which number is bigger and then ...."

Enough is enough!

I wanted so badly to tell him to stop doing that, (for crying out loud!), but it was physically impossible. My little one was firmly pulling my lower lip with his thickish fingers! Miming was the only gentle way out, so I made the time-out gesture, which normally has a success rate of less than 50%. I wasn’t counting on him actually obeying without a fight. A verbal one, I mean. I lost that battle when he was about 2 and started talking in full sentences, with a high incidence of "no" and the like.

What I counted on was his inability to talk and do some demanding physical task at the same time. Just like his mummy. You’ll never find me cheerfully chatting while stirring in the frying pan.

As I expected, the processing of my time-out gesture, which kind of caught him by surprise, made him let his hands loose.

"Why? What?"

Now that he'd let me off the hook, I gently took the magnifying glass out of his hand and smiled - with my lip feeling a bit numb, just like after a mild dental anesthesia.

High-precision damage assessment

"What do you need that thing on your head for? Are you a pirate dentist?"

"What thing?" He tilted his head a little and discovered his pirate scarf. My fancy lady scarf, to be precise. The light green one which became part of his improvised prop after three pretty pleases and a fierce dinosaur rooooaaaaaarrrr.

"Actually I wanted to play the pirate … but I saw the magnifying glass on the table. And I remembered the big scratch on the bedroom door. You know, the one I made with the vacuum cleaner pipe … while you and dad were busy talking? "I wanted to see how big it really was …"

"Quite big. As long as my finger. I knew that already, without a magnifying glass." I grumbled morosely.

"Which finger? Show me!"

Oops! Um … "My … pinkie. Look!"

"No, no, no, no, no!" I’m sure it’s much bigger, mom. Let’s check it! And give me back my magnifying glass!"

I remembered I had to camouflage that scratch. With a crayon or something. Fortunately it was superficial - long, but thin. Like a thread of hair. 

"Come on, mom! I'm waiting!"

Oh, it was so good on the sofa ... Ok, let’s get this over with.  

"There, see? Without the magnifying glass, pumpkin ..."

Thank goodness! I was right. It was indeed the size of my pinkie. Not much bigger. I could have never shown my son my longest finger.

"And how exactly did you end up checking my teeth?"

"I came to tell you about my plan and you smiled."

All I am saying is give books a chance

What I had in mind for our reading time was “The Little Prince”, hoping that I would make the impossible possible and get him into an angel-like mood. Even for only ten minutes …  Snuggling cutely next to me on the sofa. I could have been the happiest mother in the world …. But no, no, no, no, no, he wanted to play the piraaate! Aaarrrggghhh! And he wanted to play with me!

It's true that I was feeling guilty for having been inert the whole week, but I needed a smooth transition to the best version of myself. I've run and fought with sponge swords around the house so many times. Too many times ... 

Ahoy, I know how to get off the hook and still read a book. Yippee! 

I let him jump on the bed for a couple of minutes, to consume (part of) his energy. In the meantime, I found the book I had in mind - The pirates, a superb glossy Larousse encyclopedia for kids. 

I heard my son singing and bouncing on his way back to the living room. I looked up. There he was, fidgeting with the magnifying glass in his right hand, pointed at me like a weapon, and the pirate scarf hanging loose, ready to fall off his head. 

He was so chaotic, so funny and so adorable! The green scarf made the marine color of his eyes look brighter. 

"In the 17th century, the kings of the powerful countries of Europe make an alliance with these pirate bandits! In the service of the king, the pirate becomes a corsair. The pirate receives a letter of trust from the king, which officially gives him the right to plunder the ships of enemy countries, provided he shares the spoils with the king!"

This is what I read to my little one to break the ice. 

I couldn't find the English version of this book, to share this cool fact with you, so I used a Google translation instead. I admit that I wouldn't have known how to explain the difference between a pirate and a corsair. I felt that 'corsair' sounded somehow less primitive and less unethical, but I didn't know why. It's the official sanction that made the difference. But it was still plundering, wasn't it? Everything looked so different when I was 16 and the corsair was played by a dashing actor ...

There is no such thing as waste of time when interacting with a book. Fully enjoying it goes much beyond turning the pages to read and look at the pictures. A book is a mysterious object to be touched, explored and grasped.

I've always felt this way, so I give my son complete freedom in handling printed materials. I remember that when he was about one year and a half he would spot the barcodes on all his books, and then, a few months later, he would excitedly group them by the logos of the printing houses. 

Chattering and cuddling at the book club

This time he was discovering the details of a treasure map with the magnifying glass, while I was reading a few lines, from time to time, and just let the two of us ramble on. He planted a loud kiss on my cheek after I impersonated a parrot for a couple of times, and his pirate scarf eventually fell off, while fidgeting on the sofa.

The pirates is a splendid interactive book, with hidden texts, unexpected little booklets and envelopes attached to the pages, by folding and sticking techniques which I can't describe but are so cool and inviting. The covers have selective varnishing, which makes a great visual and tactile impression. This means that some of the letters and images have a super glossy coating which gives memorable glamor and satin touch to both covers.

The graphics are vibrant, with an abundance of light and dark brown tones. So vivid, so evocative, that you can almost hear the cracking of the wooden deck or the menacing tumult of riots. The pirates are depicted on nicely alternated blue and black backgrounds - on days of glory and days of gloom. 

The incredible Larousse Encyclopedia is the official (translated) name of the collection and the epithet is definitely well-deserved.

I had my about ten minutes of motherly bliss, after all. I was half-embracing my son with my right arm and his hair smelled like ripe wheat ... I can’t believe my thought was shaped with these very words.

That’s exactly what my mom used to say about my hair when I was a kid ... God, how I miss that closeness! I wonder if she remembers that feeling ... Those out-of-this-world moments, when time stands still and there's stardust and magic scent in the air ...

I was gently caressing my son's hair, with an immense unspoken gratitude illuminating my soul. It was only me and him, teleported into a fairy-tale summer version of a snow globe. A perfect time bubble with endless fluffy flakes of love ...

Hey, I'm just too grown up to cuddle up, aren't I?

Anyway, it was great to see my little boy lingering in a totally no-combat mood around such a warlike topic like piracy. He had his mighty weapon, after all. Which one? The magnifying glass, if you ask him. The ripe-wheat-scented hair, if you ask me.

I, Louis, by the mercy of God king of France and Navarre, greet all who read this letter.

This time, it was my 5-year-old son who was reading, in Romanian. Quite fluently, in spite of the vintage handwriting, with mildly baroque letters. 

I admit, in all modesty, that I was feeling kind of wow! I had to show my admiration and enthusiasm.

"You read so well, pumpkin!"

"Come on, it’s no big deal, mom. It’s for 5+. See?"

The mighty weapon of the fidgeting pirate

The mighty weapon of the fidgeting pirate

I've been the laziest mother in the galaxy this week. More sweets, longer screen time and shorter walks. That's all I did for my child, as quality time. It's Sunday and I'm running out of excuses ... I need a really good book to put us on the right track. 

The plan was great, except that my son was in the mood for science. As I was sitting on the sofa, wisely refining my reading strategy, I heard him shout:

"I want to check your teeth, mom!"

Pirate wind coming from Larousse

It’s very hard to maintain your authority, let alone utter any words, when someone is looking at your teeth. With a magnifying glass.

"Oh, bad news, mom. Your teeth aren't very white! Here, here and … here I can see some spots! They are quite big! Ooh la la! Listen to me, mom, you should brush your teeth better! Really!"

"No, look again ... Without the magnifying glass, honey bunny."

"Oh, the spots aren't big at all. Hmm, I only see one of them ..."

"My teeth are just fine ...  for my age. Give me that, please!"

"Not yet. I've only checked your upper teeth. I want to find all the spots on your lower teeth, and count them. Then I'll see which number is bigger and then ...."

Enough is enough!

I wanted so badly to tell him to stop doing that, (for crying out loud!), but it was physically impossible. My little one was firmly pulling my lower lip with his thickish fingers! Miming was the only gentle way out, so I made the time-out gesture, which normally has a success rate of less than 50%. I wasn’t counting on him actually obeying without a fight. A verbal one, I mean. I lost that battle when he was about 2 and started talking in full sentences, with a high incidence of "no" and the like.

What I counted on was his inability to talk and do some demanding physical task at the same time. Just like his mummy. You’ll never find me cheerfully chatting while stirring in the frying pan.

As I expected, the processing of my time-out gesture, which kind of caught him by surprise, made him let his hands loose.

"Why? What?"

Now that he'd let me off the hook, I gently took the magnifying glass out of his hand and smiled - with my lip feeling a bit numb, just like after a mild dental anesthesia.

High-precision damage assessment

"What do you need that thing on your head for? Are you a pirate dentist?"

"What thing?" He tilted his head a little and discovered his pirate scarf. My fancy lady scarf, to be precise. The light green one which became part of his improvised prop after three pretty pleases and a fierce dinosaur rooooaaaaaarrrr.

"Actually I wanted to play the pirate … but I saw the magnifying glass on the table. And I remembered the big scratch on the bedroom door. You know, the one I made with the vacuum cleaner pipe … while you and dad were busy talking? "I wanted to see how big it really was …"

"Quite big. As long as my finger. I knew that already, without a magnifying glass." I grumbled morosely.

"Which finger? Show me!"

Oops! Um … "My … pinkie. Look!"

"No, no, no, no, no!" I’m sure it’s much bigger, mom. Let’s check it! And give me back my magnifying glass!"

I remembered I had to camouflage that scratch. With a crayon or something. Fortunately it was superficial - long, but thin. Like a thread of hair. 

"Come on, mom! I'm waiting!"

Oh, it was so good on the sofa ... Ok, let’s get this over with.  

"There, see? Without the magnifying glass, pumpkin ..."

Thank goodness! I was right. It was indeed the size of my pinkie. Not much bigger. I could have never shown my son my longest finger.

"And how exactly did you end up checking my teeth?"

"I came to tell you about my plan and you smiled."

All I am saying is give books a chance

What I had in mind for our reading time was “The Little Prince”, hoping that I would make the impossible possible and get him into an angel-like mood. Even for only ten minutes …  Snuggling cutely next to me on the sofa. I could have been the happiest mother in the world …. But no, no, no, no, no, he wanted to play the piraaate! Aaarrrggghhh! And he wanted to play with me!

It's true that I was feeling guilty for having been inert the whole week, but I needed a smooth transition to the best version of myself. I've run and fought with sponge swords around the house so many times. Too many times ... 

Ahoy, I know how to get off the hook and still read a book. Yippee! 

I let him jump on the bed for a couple of minutes, to consume (part of) his energy. In the meantime, I found the book I had in mind - The pirates, a superb glossy Larousse encyclopedia for kids. 

I heard my son singing and bouncing on his way back to the living room. I looked up. There he was, fidgeting with the magnifying glass in his right hand, pointed at me like a weapon, and the pirate scarf hanging loose, ready to fall off his head. 

He was so chaotic, so funny and so adorable! The green scarf made the marine color of his eyes look brighter. 

"In the 17th century, the kings of the powerful countries of Europe make an alliance with these pirate bandits! In the service of the king, the pirate becomes a corsair. The pirate receives a letter of trust from the king, which officially gives him the right to plunder the ships of enemy countries, provided he shares the spoils with the king!"

This is what I read to my little one to break the ice. 

I couldn't find the English version of this book, to share this cool fact with you, so I used a Google translation instead. I admit that I wouldn't have known how to explain the difference between a pirate and a corsair. I felt that 'corsair' sounded somehow less primitive and less unethical, but I didn't know why. It's the official sanction that made the difference. But it was still plundering, wasn't it? Everything looked so different when I was 16 and the corsair was played by a dashing actor ...

There is no such thing as waste of time when interacting with a book. Fully enjoying it goes much beyond turning the pages to read and look at the pictures. A book is a mysterious object to be touched, explored and grasped.

I've always felt this way, so I give my son complete freedom in handling printed materials. I remember that when he was about one year and a half he would spot the barcodes on all his books, and then, a few months later, he would excitedly group them by the logos of the printing houses. 

Chattering and cuddling at the book club

This time he was discovering the details of a treasure map with the magnifying glass, while I was reading a few lines, from time to time, and just let the two of us ramble on. He planted a loud kiss on my cheek after I impersonated a parrot for a couple of times, and his pirate scarf eventually fell off, while fidgeting on the sofa.

The pirates is a splendid interactive book, with hidden texts, unexpected little booklets and envelopes attached to the pages, by folding and sticking techniques which I can't describe but are so cool and inviting. The covers have selective varnishing, which makes a great visual and tactile impression. This means that some of the letters and images have a super glossy coating which gives memorable glamor and satin touch to both covers.

The graphics are vibrant, with an abundance of light and dark brown tones. So vivid, so evocative, that you can almost hear the cracking of the wooden deck or the menacing tumult of riots. The pirates are depicted on nicely alternated blue and black backgrounds - on days of glory and days of gloom. 

The incredible Larousse Encyclopedia is the official (translated) name of the collection and the epithet is definitely well-deserved.

I had my about ten minutes of motherly bliss, after all. I was half-embracing my son with my right arm and his hair smelled like ripe wheat ... I can’t believe my thought was shaped with these very words.

That’s exactly what my mom used to say about my hair when I was a kid ... God, how I miss that closeness! I wonder if she remembers that feeling ... Those out-of-this-world moments, when time stands still and there's stardust and magic scent in the air ...

I was gently caressing my son's hair, with an immense unspoken gratitude illuminating my soul. It was only me and him, teleported into a fairy-tale summer version of a snow globe. A perfect time bubble with endless fluffy flakes of love ...

Hey, I'm just too grown up to cuddle up, aren't I?

Anyway, it was great to see my little boy lingering in a totally no-combat mood around such a warlike topic like piracy. He had his mighty weapon, after all. Which one? The magnifying glass, if you ask him. The ripe-wheat-scented hair, if you ask me.

I, Louis, by the mercy of God king of France and Navarre, greet all who read this letter.

This time, it was my 5-year-old son who was reading, in Romanian. Quite fluently, in spite of the vintage handwriting, with mildly baroque letters. 

I admit, in all modesty, that I was feeling kind of wow! I had to show my admiration and enthusiasm.

"You read so well, pumpkin!"

"Come on, it’s no big deal, mom. It’s for 5+. See?"

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