For eight years children’s books have ferreted into our house. They’ve hidden in purses, and laid-in-wait in backpacks. They’ve popped out of parcels and tumbled out of envelopes.
More than once I’ve given the stink-eye to a cover only to find a magical land hidden in the pages. Rarely have we found a book that no one likes. Having written that sentence, I’m actually not sure if we’ve ever found a book that absolutely no one in our house will touch.
While Miss Q hunkers down with stories of magic, unicorns, friendship, and animals, her younger sisters are all over the map.
Thanks to Miss Q, Miss S and Miss C were introduced to heavy subjects like Harry Potter and Monster High early in life. They’ve listened to Charlotte’s Web, The Wizard of Oz, and multiple Judy Blume books long before they knew how funny Fudge’s mum’s declaration of “eat it or wear it” really was.
The first series of books Miss S really sunk her teeth into was The Sister’s Eight. These nine books by Lauren Baratz-Logsted are about sisters, octuplets, born on the eighth day of the eighth month, whose parents disappear. Each month one of the sisters gains a power. Each book covers one month and captured Miss S in a way only she can explain.
Miss S was so smitten by these books that on her last school report card she gave her birthday as August 8th – the same day as the sisters.
Now that the series is over, Miss S has been flitting around our library, bouncing from Wonder Woman to Little House on the Prairie. But, what none of us knew is she was holding out.
There was one book Miss S secretly hoped would arrive. One book she’d seen on a book fair flyer, mentioned to me in passing, but never seemed truly serious. Yet, all along, it was the one book she knew she had to read.
Enter Captain Underpants.
Yes, sigh, how could we have gone eight years without this beaut crossing our paths? Eight years of potty humour freedom down the drain.
My mum broke the seal, arriving last night to babysit with six gently used books in her hands.
Miss S’s eyes almost fell onto the floor with her mouth. “CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS,” she cried, taking the four underpant books.
“You have to start with the first one,” my mum encouraged.
To be fair, my mum had asked if I wanted the books before she came over. I typed, “Sure!” Not realizing four letters and an exclamation mark of permission would lead my middle daughter down the path to cray-zee.
I returned from 1.5 hours of work to find my Miss S sitting on the couch in her underwear.
“Well, we read the whole book,” my mum said.
“I know what I’m bringing for show and tell,” Miss S told me.
I apologized in advance to her teacher this morning.
“Why, is her show and tell alive?” Mrs. P asked suspiciously.
“No, she has Captain Underpants in her bag.”
Turns out, Miss S is on trend with the boys in her class who have recently learned to spell. Pictures of poo and the word poo are rampant in division nine.
Books two to four sit on our coffee table, and I see there are another seven in the series by Dav Pilkey. Clearly we’ve got a lot to learn about Captain Underpants, Professor Poopypants and the rest of the rag-tag crew. One can only hope The Captain is flushed from our systems by the time Miss C reaches kindergarten.
If not, I will take pride in the fact the littles love books; and find comfort in the knowledge gleaned from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: Well behaved women seldom make history.