Monday, June 09, 2014

Three Unrelated Vexing Things

My kids have grown, as kids do, so a couple of weekends ago I took them to the mall to buy new swimsuits. My previous attempt to just buy them swimsuits without trying them on had resulted in ridiculously low cut suits that fit neither of them. (Aside: who designs a plunging neckline for a child's swimsuit? This is stupid.)

While we were there, I also thought we'd get new nightclothes, since they'd also outgrown those. We found a nightgown Pumpkin liked, but nothing for Petunia, so after much searching on Amazon, and my flat out refusal to pay $50 for a Frozen-themed nightgown, I ordered Petunia a Minnie Mouse nightgown.

It came last Monday, and Petunia was so excited to wear it! She wore it every night last week, and every night, she wet her bed. Prior to last week, it had been ages since she'd last wet her bed. She generally only wets her bed if she's getting sick or if she's so tired that she sleeps too soundly.

I can think of no reason why the new nightgown should be at all linked to bed wetting, but on a whim (or out of desperation), last night we put her back in her old night gown. She did not wet the bed.

Now I am completely flummoxed. The new night gown is longer than the old one, but they are similar material and design. If I were superstitious, I'd probably throw her new nightgown out. Instead, we'll try the old one for a few nights, and try the new one again later.


Speaking of perplexing and vexing issues for which there is no obvious answer: I wrote about the Amazon-Hachette fight over on Tungsten Hippo. My opinion is mainly based on my interests as a reader, and (spoiler alert!) I don't see either side as being particularly aligned to my interests.


And speaking of perplexing and vexing issues related to reading: Pumpkin is refusing to try new series of books and we're running out of Encyclopedia Brown books to get her from the library. When asked why she doesn't want to try any of the lovely series I've suggested, she says she is afraid they will be scary.

I have no idea what to do about this, either. She has shown an interest in reading on my Kindle, so I might try borrowing her an Ivy and Bean or Cam Jansen book there. Otherwise, I guess we just assume it is a phase, wait it out, and reread a lot of old books.


Anyone else have perplexing and vexing issues they want to discuss? Or want to weigh in on possible solutions to any of the ones I have? Have at it in the comments.


  1. Anonymous4:50 PM

    I have a big reader in my house, and the hardest thing in the world is to get him to try a new book series. There are series I know he'll like, but he just won't try it. So frustrating. One possible suggestion is to read one to her so she has experience with it, and maybe she'll be willing to read others. Or read it to yourself in front of her so you can "vet" the book and tell her it isn't scary? Eventually, they do seem to try something new.

  2. Anonymous5:07 PM

    DC1 went through *exactly* that same (reading old stuff) phase. And of course he only came out of it when a friend loaned him a book he hadn't read before.

    While he was in the "I only reread things" stage, he was willing to try reading new comics, so he read all our Sheldon comics and some Foxtrots and lots of Peanuts. (But not Calvin and Hobbes, for some reason that makes no sense to us. I guess they're not really for kids?)

    Also with the summer reading program we've let him think that only books he hasn't read before count.

    Last summer another thing that got him kick-started reading was asking him to go through his non-chapter books to separate the ones to go to his little sister. It took a few weeks because he had to make sure with almost every book.

    With the A to Z mysteries, he had them on his shelf for at least a year before picking them up and going through them. Mysteries was last summer's big thing (we'd get literally dozens of Cam Jansens from the library-- they're fast reads). He's got some Hardy Boys this summer from the library but mostly seems interested in magic books.

  3. Audrey is very, very motivated by checklists. Her school newsletter mentioned the Mensa reading challenge in passing and we went to the library 3 days earlier than I had planned because she HAD to get The Stinky Cheese Man (and other fairly stupid fairy tales) by Jon Schizka. The K-3 lust has a good mix of picture books with complex vocabulary and chapter books that are age - appropriate ie. not scary. I don't have a link since I'm posting from my phone from the patio...

    Ivy and Bean are cute. My Weird School was a big hit a couple of months ago and you can't go wrong with Wayside School is Falling Down.

  4. calee5:44 PM

    Oh, and bed wetting always happens around the first and last weeks of school around here.

  5. Anonymous5:08 AM

    I used to do the same things as a kid - reread the same books over and over. I also had some issues with worrying about the scary parts of books though probably at a younger age than Pumpkin is now. I honestly feel you shouldn't worry about it - the important thing is that she is reading at all. I know that the one thing that seemed to suddenly suck the fun out of reading was to feel that I was obliged to read a particular book. In a way rereading books is like eating comfort food. Even though you hope your kids will branch out and try new things, it's not the worst thing in the world if all they'll eat is comfort food, at least for a while. I remember those books I reread so many times in my youth way better than any of the books I read now, for one thing, and they helped form my worldview in a way that would be difficult for any book I encountered at this age.

  6. Thanks for the encouragement about Pumpkin's reading, everyone!

    Now, someone tell me why the nightgown is correlated with bed wetting, because we put Petunia in her old nightgown again last night, and again no bed wetting and this is just a weird correlation. We'll have to try the new nightgown again and see what happens... but I'm sort of afraid to do so. The laundry is so annoying!

    1. Anonymous5:02 PM

      Maybe let her wear the nightgown for a bit outside the bed (e.g. On Saturday day like a dress with leggings or something). Perhaps there is an excitement she is attaching to it or is thinking about something. Unfortunately it is just a suggestion hopefully it is a short phase.

  7. Try LL Bean or Lands' End for age-appropriate swimwear.

    The bedwetting is perplexing.

  8. Anonymous11:10 AM

    Per the book reading- can you read/skim them beforehand to reassure her they are not scary?

    Per the bed-wetting- is the forgetting to potty one last time before bed in her excitement to wear the nightgown? Have you asked her if she knows what's happening?


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