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Monday, January 16, 2012

Yertle The Turtle on Christmas Morning.

Lily likes to rip paper.  You'd think, therefore, that she must love opening Christmas presents because they're wrapped in the stuff.  This should be win-win for her.  Right?  Tons of presents, tons to rip open. . . but Lily doesn't like ripping the paper off the package.  She just likes to rip paper.  It's an important distinction (for her).  Even if we start the process, ripping off a little edge of the paper and allowing her to go to town. . . she'll rip off a little more then lose interest and wander away.
I am sooooo busted.

I even wondered if it was just the idea that we spend so much of our day telling Lily to be careful with books and pages, and not to rip, and taking books away when she's not gentle enough that perhaps she was conflicted.  

"I know I'm not supposed to rip. . . why are they fucking with me?"

But we found, on Christmas morning, that once the wrapping paper is removed from the packages, she's back in paper ripping mode.  Whatever it is that intrigues her about the process. . . perhaps it's that she can hold both ends, whereas it's harder when it's a box. . . I don't know. . . it kicks back into gear once it's just paper and not "wrapping" paper.

"Go to town," I said.  And she did.
So, on Christmas morning, after Lily had long since grown bored and antsy from the process of "opening her presents", we gave her paper and let her rip until she was content.  Emma facilitated the process.  Lily had two major entertainments on Christmas morning (neither related to opening her presents).

1)  Ripping paper
2)  Removing paper from the garbage bag.

Lily would rip, then Emma would retrieve and throw away, then Lily would remove paper from the garbage bag to rip again, and so on, until the paper was shredded and Emma would whine, "Again?"


After recovering from a tougher day at my parents house (on Christmas Day a little later, with all the grandkids and Aunt Dawn and my folks and my in-laws. . . maybe just too much activity?), we took Lily to Leslie's parents house for post-Christmas Christmas Day.  Applying the paper ripping principles we learned on Christmas morning, we let Lily loose on the wrapping paper.  With that to occupy her attention, she entertained herself for quite a while and stayed relatively happy. 
Garbage Angel




The floor was filled with ripped paper, and any time Lily found herself empty handed, someone was shoving another piece inside it until the big pieces were little, and the little pieces were confetti, and Emma laid on the floor and made garbage angels in the detritus.  While Lily sat atop an overturned wicker basket and it reminded me of Dr. Suess's Yertle the Turtle.





"I'm Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!"


Oh Marvelous Me!
If you're willing to deal with the mess (as my in-laws so graciously were), it's a nice way to occupy your disinterested kiddo on Christmas morning and keep her out of trouble while you open the rest of your presents.


Though it was almost its own blog post, the above is short enough that I'll sidebar it here.  


Lily had a great Christmas.  There were several things she latched onto straight out of the gate.  That almost never happens.  Even when we "know" Lily is interested in something, there's no guarantee that will translate into her liking it when it's opened.  This Christmas she received a bunch of different things that she immediately took a liking to:  A play piggy bank, wooden eggs with "emotions" painted on them and a story book to accompany, "Jingle" (which was actually a birthday present, but it all sorta runs together when you have a December birthday), and a grocery cart with various boxes and plastic foods inside to name a few.













22 comments:

  1. What is it about paper? But as long as she has a good time - that's all that matters.

    And I can't believe I've never read Yertle the Turtle. I'll have to buy it, I like the marvelous me line :)

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    1. It's a Suess story with a message. Sorta like the Sneetches and some of his others.

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  2. I can relate to that - I love getting the rip as steady and even as possible, which isn't so easy if it is on the gift! I've never read Yertle the Turtle either. I'd better go and find out what it is!

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    1. what the. . . all these people (two so far) who haven't read Yertle the Turtle???

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    2. Well, I just went and found out it is by Dr Seuss, so that is a start. My kids have grown out of Dr Seuss. That makes me feel sad. Still, Abi is 11,only another 13 years and she'll be the age I was when I had her. Maybe I'll just have to hold on for grandchildren? Joking, joking!!!

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    3. The kids may have grown out of it. . . but Dr. Seuss isn't just for kids. There's a lot we adults can learn from stories like "The Sneetches" and "The Lorax" and "Yertle the Turtle".

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  3. I want to hang out with your kiddos. Ripping paper and garbage angel? Clearly they know how to have a good time. Next year I'm asking the husband for paper. Nothing else.

    Seriously though, that sounds like an amazing stress reliever.

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    1. Sorta. . . except that because so much of her paper ripping is related to the pages of her books? i have an almost pavlovian response to the sound of it. The second I hear paper ripping, I immediately feel the stress hit. We can be out to dinner and the waitress can rip the paper off her order pad and I'll break out in a cold sweat.

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  4. Alex still likes to rip those perforated magazine adds that come in magazines. He hit the lotto one day went the mail had coupons that were perforated. I gathered as many as I could from neighbors and friends and he was in Heaven. HEAVEN.

    I'm glad she had fun and your family went with it.

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    1. man, when you find something your kids love. . . go ape.

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  5. I love yertle the turtle. And I love this post. I know, I know I practically say the same thing every comment that I leave...but I feel like I can relate. and that I am doing something right with my N-Zilla. Thanks.

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    1. one thing the blogging community is good for. . . finding things we all have in common with our kiddos and how we're trying to raise them!

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  6. We actually had a rippy-bits (our lingo for Little Miss's shreds) wadded-up paper pelting spree with the leftover wrapping paper. Little Miss just laughed like a crazy person as my dad and I took turns pelting each other and then my mom. The things we do to delight our kids, huh?

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  7. It's all about the boxes at our house, and the bigger the better. Glad she had a great Xmas and you found a way for her to be happy and entertained.

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    1. Yeah, she likes to stand in boxes. That's it. Stand in 'em. She really really likes standing in them, but don't try to do anything else with that box. No interest.

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  8. I hope that the picture of Lily sitting amidst all that torn to bits wrapping paper is never lost. I hope you have it printed out somewhere. It just says so much about her.....

    My Lily would've LOVED to join your girls in the paper spree. Thinking I might get one of those enormous Christmas bags (that you put a bike or something in) just filled with paper for the Bird under the Tree next Christmas. Could you please send me a reminder email in November 2012?

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    1. Yep. . . lots of pictures like that one. I'll send that reminder.

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  9. I've heard so many ripping paper stories. We don't have any. My kid is all about the loot now. Seems he is missing out on some good stuff.

    You see, it's just all in the perspective of it...

    And yay that Lily found some great stuff to latch onto - other than paper!

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    1. ripping paper is fun! But I do have a horrible pavlovian stress response to the sound now, since for a long time the only papers being ripped were her (or our) books.

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  10. I love the garbage angel picture! Maybe one day Lily will be a confetti mogul.

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    1. usually it irritates me that the iPhone's camera blurs most movement because the shutter speed (or whatever) isn't fast enough. But in that picture it shows the motion, which ends up being sorta cool.

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