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Can I be honest here? Sometimes, I get....down. And being me, I sometimes wallow in my down-ness. Sniff, sniffle.... So this weekend I was down-ish and I didn't want to "do anything". My Hub was tolerant - at best - but I knew I'd get no pity from him. He has lived with me too long.
So I have decided on a new tact when this down-ness hits. It is the advice my mother, - long may she reign! - gave me when I was an eleven year old. Do Something!
Here's the thing. Once I start Doing Something, I suddenly find so many things to do, I no longer have time to feel down! Amazing! Like weeding! and a weeded bed looks so nice, who can stay down? Or FINALLY turning that old towel into reusable mopping cloths as per Michele over on Michele Made Me. (Hers look nicer but mine work just fine.)
What about replacing the foam cushions in our old sofa with foam from the cushions in the attic? Or writing up directions on how to make Bead Bugs, or sending cards to my friends, or shortening the curtains, or working on that song I wrote or practicing the piano or the accordion or the guitar.... Oh no! Now I feel down because I have TOO MUCH TO DO. Just kidding.
Or I could work on the Craft Fair, October 13th, 2012! Here is Genevieve at last year's Fair.
So I will make a list of Things to Do When Feeling Down to keep with me at All Times.
I am not feeling down today but here are some things I hope to do: Go to Quaker Meeting - It is First Day after all. Practice the accordion!! Yay! Make a bath puppet from another old towel. Because puppets are so much fun and easy to do and I don't really need a pattern. Write - a poem, a story, directions for a craft, a letter. Send e-cards to my sister and brother who share a birthday - eight years apart. Maybe even straighten up a room or two.
Todd Parr lives near San Francisco but grew up in Wyoming. He likes to paint, but failed art class. Now he creates books for kids and has a TV show called ToddWorld. His books talk about love, kindness and are sometimes silly. He loves the fog, the sea lions, dolphins and macaroni and cheese. He also loves his dog Bully.
About the book:
Do you feel silly? Do you feel lonely? Do you feel like dancing? Open this book and find out about all the different feelings you can have.
My take on the book:
I’m a huge Todd Parr fan and I’ve already introduced many of his books to my 22 1/2 month old daughter. She also loves Todd’s books and our latest addition to our home library, The Feelings Book, is no exception.
The Feelings Book is an excellent introductory book about feelings for toddlers and preschoolers. I like that it’s not the typical book about feelings where there’s simply an introduction to four or five feelings. Instead, The Feelings Book is full of all different sorts of feelings while at the same time letting kids know it’s okay to feel any of these things. I also love the message telling kids it’s okay to talk with others about their feelings.
As my daughter is starting to acquire more and more language, I’m glad there’s a book like this which introduces feelings in a fun and light-hearted way. I highly recommend this for parents of toddlers and preschoolers.
I know people call them the "Terrible Twos," but I love this age. The world is a magical place to them, and they are so joyful about discovering new things. Imagine, you walk into a small room, the doors close behind you, and when they open again, you're in a whole new place! Magic! (No, just an elevator.)
This is also the time of passionate feelings, intense and sometimes uncontrollable, made all the more so by the inability to express them in words. We can help with this. These little ones are acquiring words incredibly rapidly. I've read statistics that say a typical 18 month old knows eight to ten words, and by 36 months knows 1,000. Phenomenal! This is obviously a time when we can help them match words to these feelings. When your toddler wants something she can't have and throws herself on the ground in hysterics, tell her "I know this makes you feel frustrated and angry, but I want to be a good mommy so I can't let you have a doughnut instead of lunch." When your little guy thought he was going to the park, but it started to rain and he cried, tell him "You must feel so disappointed. We'll go after it stops raining."
When your toddler has heard these words repeated many times, you can ask her/him next time these intense feelings crop up, "Are you feeling mad? Are you disappointed?" And your child will feel better knowing he/she can communicate those feelings.
I love this photo, and if had started reading at his age, maybe my whole life would have been different. As it was, my life is more complicated than I ever thought it would be. That is, because I wear many hats in my so-called "retirement."
We all wear different hats in life, especially as weget older. My hats include those of a husband, father, grandparent, uncle,friend, teacher, essayist, instructor, tutor, performer, golfer, biker,children’s poet, and an adult poet.
Over the pastthree decades I have written many children’s poems. During that time, I sometimes have playedthis recording in my head, “Someday I am going to get more serious aboutwriting adult poetry and join an official writing group.” Now I feel old enough, and I have taken theplunge. I am more than willing to share my poetry for adults and chase aroundfor publishers.
I feel passionately about poetry, whether it’swritten for children or adults. Exactly how passionately? Well, I have strongbeliefs about the value of poetry. I am working on a poetry handbook forhomeschoolers, and what follows is an excerpt from the introduction:
“Poetrycan help you understand the world better and yourself better. Poetry canprovide an avenue for you to untangle mixed-up feelings. Poetry can make youlaugh and encourage you to take problems in stride. Poetry can give you wordsof courage to remember in times of stress.
Poetrycan be a friend that goes wherever you go. Poems can be tucked into your bookbag or your brain matter, and taken with you on any journey, short or long. Inother words, poetry can play an important part in your life as a road map tocourage, compassion, laughter, fun, success, and self-knowledge. This willbecome clearer as you read on.
Before I could write a word, I took some writing classes. The first thing I learned was “if you can talk, you can write.” I could talk. That led me to have the confidence to write … which I did about this and that. My experimentation took me to write some poetry and essays and eventually it led me to write my memoir, “Becoming Alice.” But one thing a teacher of mine said has stuck with me over the years and has come back to me often. He said the most difficult thing to write about is love. Love! It is what everyone wants. It is what not everyone can give. It is something which is hard to describe, yet many people feel. Now it seems to have become measurable. How often have you heard, “I love you more?” I guess that means ” I love you more than you love me.” How can you tell?
There was an interesting study done recently which was televised. I found it most interesting. It about a young couple who had recently become engaged and felt themselves “head over heels in love.” A brain was done to see if anything unusual would show up on the film. In fact, some areas did show some differences in color. This couple was followed over a several years and were studied again. They professed to be still very much in love. However, their repeat brain scan showed a dimished brightness in the areas which had been so vivd before. How about that? Is “love” then a physiological state of mind, or just a depth of feeling, as we had always thought of it? I like to think of it more as a feeling, even if it does change the colors on a brain scan.
And then there is this business of depth of feeling. “I love you more (than you love me.)” I think that could be true. I think that not everybody feels love to the same degree as the next person. I think some people may not even be capable of feeling love. Just as we are not all born with the same genetic material … just as not all people are as smart as others … some people may not be able to feel as deeply as others.
So often people will profess to be in love for alterior motives … money, status, admiration, subsituting their love object for another, etc., etc.
I like most people fairly well. But there are some whom I like much less and some whom I like much more. I think it is very much the same with love. In my mind, one must first have the ability to feel deeply; then the depth of that feeling is dependent on all the other variables.
Christopher Aslan is the award-winning author of Lilly and Lucy’s Shadow and Wenda the Wacky Wiggler. With Dude, he was inspired to create a fun and cool way for kids and adults to experience feelings – even the sometimes ignored and icky ones. Christopher loves the art of visual storytelling and extends his passion in many areas of picture book publishing – from art direction to character development, he enjoys a truly collaborative experience. When he’s not creating picture books you’ll find him writing screenplays, T.V. scripts, or developing ideas for animation.
About the illustrator:
Emily Mullock was born and raised in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia and grew up experimenting in the arts through finger painting, crayons, and mud. She graduated to other, tidier, mediums, taking art courses at UCFV and later, completing the 2D Commercial Animation program at Capilano College. Her work experience in the animation industry includes art direction, and design. Other published works include a colouring book for BC’s Children’s hospital.
About the book:
Dude, where one simple word and a cool little kid take us on a fun-filled journey through the world of feelings. You can start at the beginning or open the book to any page and see if you can guess what Dude might be feeling.
My take on the book:
We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” but have you ever thought about a word being worth a thousand feelings? In Dude, Christopher Aslan and Emily Mullock team up to on 27 illustrations with the intention of welcoming us to the world of Dude; one word, many feelings. It is then our job as readers to figure out what Dude is feeling and even what we might feel in the same situation.
I love this book! It was so much fun to read which sure sounds a little weird since it’s only the same word on each page. Maybe I should just say how cool it was to try and guess what the Dude’s feelings were in each picture. There’s an answer key at the book for checking your answers. There’s also a neat little poem at the very end which ties everything together quite nicely.
Christopher Aslan likes to individually choose the illustrator for his books and he made a solid choice with Emily Mullock. The illustrations are brilliantly done and really make this book special.
I can see Dude being a really good asset for child therapist’s or for classroom use as well. Way back when I was a teacher, I would have used this book for writing lessons by having a student write a story about what’s going on in one of the pictures. As a dad, I’ll definitely use this book to discuss feelings and about how the same
Of course, I get angry. Of course, I get sad. I have a full range of emotions. I also have a whole smorgasbord of ways of dealing with my feelings. That is what we should give children. Give them ... ways to express their rage without hurting themselves or somebody else. That's what the world needs. Fred Rogers
I hope that you explore many ways of dealing with feelings with your craft today and in the days to come. For me, books were the key. I learned to navigate my emotions in the pages of books. I hope you take your work seriously and give it the time and attention it deserves. Think about the implications -- your work is going to steady the future of many children. If you don't do it, some child might be less. That ought to light a fire under you.
Here's a little message from one of my life-long friends (I didn't really know Mr. Rogers; watch the video and you will get it.)
Last of all, think about attending the Seattle Kid-Lit Drink Night...
"Did you do Molly Blaisdell’s Golden Coffee Cup Challenge? NANOWRIMO? Did you make any kind of writing and/or illustrating goal in November?
If you hit the jackpot…if you plodded along…even if you didn’t take a single step…come to celebrate and hang out with your peers at our own Kidlit Drink Night! November 30th at Broadway Grill in Seattle (on Broadway in Capitol Hill, across from the QFC – 328-7000) at 5:30pm. Cash bar. Molly will be giving out the Golden Coffee Cup awards (Don't worry if you're from out of town, you don't have to be present to win. "
Street parking is available, or you can park at QFC for a small parking fee (or get your ticket validated by making a purchase).
by Charlotte Zolotow pictures by Ben Shecter HarperCollins 1969 Another book that has the familiarity of being from my childhood, though I'm not really certain I actually did read this before. It feels familiar, which is to say that it taps the same areas of nostalgia that other books from the late 60s and early 70s leave me feeling.I hate hate hated my friend.The book opens with this line,