Books for Three Year Olds are Difficult to Find

I really want my daughter to enjoy books and to love reading as much as I do. To this end I have been exposing her to lots of picture books, however not all children’s books seem to be appropriate for my three year old. In fact a lot of books seem like they would be good but aren’t for one reason or another.  My daughter gets upset easily and is very engaged in stories so if its too scary or too exciting it can be problematic. Playing out the actions in books we read is a common thing around our house. Sometimes this is a positive thing and it can broaden and deepen her play, but I can tell when a book has confused her or has upset her when she will talk about it and hit things or require hugs each time she talks about it.  So I prefer books that spend more time with characters achieving things than dealing with difficulties. For example, in “Cat’s Colors” by Airlie Anderson the mother cat collects colors on her fur and then has kittens in a rainbow of colors. The book is not terribly wordy, it is bright and colorful and there is no conflict, my daughter loved it.

Another great book was called “Little Bunny” by Lisa McCue. It asks “where are you going little bunny?” and suggests a bunch of different places but finally figures out that the little bunny is going to his cozy burrow to sleep with his brothers and sisters. No conflict, and my daughter read it over and over and asked “where are we going?” during play and on trips for months after reading it.

Because my daughter tends to act out the events in books I try to avoid books with violence both physical and emotional. An example of book that sets a bad example is “Solomon Crocodile” by Catherine Rayner where all the animals yell at Solomon crocodile “you are nothing but a nuisance”. Which of course my daughter has taken to saying to people.  It’s a beautiful book and for older children who can reason, it might be alright but for a three year old is really inappropriate.

I find it very difficult to vet books around my child so we have some bad moments where she wants the book and I say no, or I have to scramble to change the words as I read.

It often seems to me that children’s books are written not for children at all but for their parents. Which I suppose is reasonable from a sales standpoint but I do find myself wishing that there were an easier way to find the kinds of books I want.

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Dilemma–Save Money or Health

My allergic reactions to perfumes are becoming more dramatic. Also we have realized that some of the migraines that my mom suffers from are at least in part brought on by environmental allergens such as cleaning chemicals and possibly perfumes. It’s very difficult to pinpoint environmental allergens but I think we have different triggers. Often one of us will be sick and the other will be okay only to have the reverse happen the next time we go out.

Many different places bring about problems. Some stores are constantly bad because of piped in scent but generally speaking my worst reactions are to casual air contact with the scents and chemicals that people wear. This means that I am constantly playing Russian roulette when I leave the house. On days with an inversion I can have a bad reaction just from going outside to my mailbox forty feet from the apartment. Actually I can have a reaction from the air import vent to my apartment which is somewhat depressing. But going outside is never a guarantee of a reaction just a possibility. It’s nice to be lucky but not so nice not to be.

I actually love chatting with people and so I feel weird that I always have a sinking sensation when I realize I will meet people anymore. Especially at the park. I am so tired of spending half an hour at the park only to spend the next fifteen hours dealing with the nausea and exhaustion that the short encounter triggers.

For me I think there is a cumulative effect going on as well. One run in will be less bad than than several. But less bad is still bad sometimes it just depends on what stuff I run into.

Obviously I don’t like to be sick and I have mentioned before now that what with my moms retirement we are trying to save money. However at this point we are often finding that these two goals are often at odds. For example, we wanted some dry erase markers and an eraser. Online at Amazon it was between $7 to $12 for a set. Or we could go to the local dollar store and spend $2 plus tax.

In this instance we decided to go with the dollar store and ended up being sick for several days.

Another example is when I need new clothes. If say I need new button down shirts I can spend $20 to $30 per shirt on Amazon which are usually fairly scentless, or I can go to the local thrift stores and spend $20 or $30 for a whole bunch of shirts and then spend 6 months airing them out in my spare room. Sometimes no amount of airing will remove smells and I will not be able to use the clothes at all. I have chosen to do both options and in the future will probably be sticking with Amazon because I was not only sick from the store I was sick from the clothes I bought as well each time I checked them to see if they had aired out.

Obviously each instance has to be assessed individually and I make decisions based on what seems best but I really wish I could spend less without compromising my health.

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Hair Color and Malnutrition

When I was a child my grandfather showed me how the cat that he adopted, had red patches in his dark fur. He then told me that this was because of malnutrition. Sure enough after a year of being taken care of, my grandfather’s cat didn’t have those patches anymore. I have noticed those red patches on many cats since, usually street cats.

It might be hard to believe looking at me now, but when I was a child I had very light blonde hair.

My hair then darkened up during puberty. I wouldn’t have minded except for the fact that it looked slightly green in certain lights. I thought it was hideous and the minute I could, I dyed it a better color.

I gave up dyeing my hair when I returned home in my early thirties because it was a pain and expensive. After I gave up eating oils I noticed that my hair lacked the green tint. In fact it became a very pretty color.

Hindsight is 20/20 I suppose. I believe the oils were causing malnutrition and making my hair a funny color.

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