Little House in the Big Neighborhood

Good Valentine’s Eve, peeps. I apologize again for the lengthy dry spell on this blog. I have found it difficult to type what I didn’t find interesting. Tonight, however, my son made me laugh pretty hard, so I thought I would do a little Ode to Mama’s Boy.

A long time ago, when Mama’s Boy was barely 4 years old, if that, and had a tiny, raspy little Linus voice, we were sitting across each other eating lunch. He was eating something ridiculous like chicken nuggets, I feel sure. I was eating a bowl of tuna. He looked up from his food and very seriously asked me, “Mama, what if everyone in the world was named Uncle Doo Doo?”

I spit out my bite and started laughing. And I didn’t stop for about 10 minutes. Because I was picturing the world he had asked me about. How very confusing. And backwards. But it was fun to imagine. He laughed, too, after a few minutes, but only because I was laughing and he got caught up in the moment. He really had no idea that what he had said was funny.

Tonight was like that.

We are about 60 pages from the end of Little House in the Big Woods. We read most of this series a long time ago, but we are re-reading it as a family and getting a whole lot more out of it this time around. Tonight’s chapter was about the dance at Grandpa’s house. Grandma was tending to the maple syrup on the stove while everyone else danced. And when the syrup was ready, people would file out into the clean snow, put some snow on their plates and file back in to have some hot syrup ladled onto the snow. The syrup would harden into candy and everyone would lap it up and go for more. There was a whole lot of description about this process that, frankly, I didn’t think they would find interesting or even listen to. But as I was finishing up this section, Mama’s Boy rolled over in his bed and said with a dreamy tone in  his voice.

“What if all that syrup was Jolly Ranchers and those people were me? I would love that.”

As we were finishing up, I told them where we were in the book and what the remaining chapters were titled. One of them is called “The New Machine.” AG thought that chapter sounded intriguing. I commented that the Ingalls were on the brink of the Industrial Revolution and that machines were starting to come into play a little bit. To this, Mama’s Boy responded, “I bet it was a peanut butter and jelly squirter. Those go good together.”

I think he went to sleep hungry.

I am thankful to live among weirdos, where I feel like just one of the gang.

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