Daddy-Daughter Book Review: I Want My Hat Back

I Want My Hat Back Cover

I spend a lot of time reading to my daughter.  It’s one of our favorite pastimes.  But despite the dozens of books we have on hand at any given moment, Audrey has her favorites.  And those favorites, well, she makes me read them over, and over…

And over again.

It can get to be tiresome.  And as a result, I have learned to be a bit critical with their content, ranking them on the following parent-centric criteria:

  1.    How fun is it to read?
  2.    What is the quality of the artwork?
  3.    How high is the reading level?

If a book scores highly in all three, I’m much more likely to indulge Audrey’s book reading whims and drive a particular book into the ground.  So with that in mind, let’s search high and low through Jon Klassen’s “I Want My Hat Back” and see what we find.

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The Love Me Tender Challenge Verdict: All Shook Up

Elvis Nixon

Last week I decided I was going to do everything I could to get my daughter to open her heart to Elvis.  Or her Elvis doll to be more specific.  While explained in more detail here, I decided to do this for my late grandmother Toots who loved Elvis about as much as any one person could.  I also did it because I hate to see a cool toy (that I bought!) go to waste.  Over the weekend I launched a three-part offensive on my 2-year-old, incorporating music, memorabilia, and movies from the King of Rock n’ Roll.

Was I successful in making the Elvis doll a loved member of our household?  Or did the experience leave me all shook up?  Let’s find out.

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The Love Me Tender Challenge: Getting My Daughter to Like Elvis

Elvis and Stuffed Animals

Last weekend my 2-year-old daughter Audrey was talking to her Uncle Eric and Grandma G.G. over Skype.  It’s a good way for the three of them to see each other face to face without traveling the necessary thousand miles.  It’s also a good way for Audrey to show off her vast assortment of stuffed animals.  She started with Tigger, showing him off happily for the camera.  After Tigger came Puppy.  Then came Momma and Baby Fox, Puppy, Lion, and so on.  It was about that time that I handed Audrey her stuffed Elvis doll to show off.  Her response?  “No,” backing away in dislike.

It was a disappointing moment for me for two reasons.  One is that my wife and I bought that Elvis doll for her in Las Vegas shortly after she was born.  We’re not big Elvis fans by any means, but the Elvis stage show was in our hotel, it was a pretty cool toy—complete with jumpsuit and cape!—and hey, why not, right?  We thought it would be a fun counterpart to the myriad of stuffed animals and baby dolls she had already amassed.  The second reason why her rejection was saddening had everything to do with my grandmother.  Toots, as we called her, was a huge fan of The King’s.  And I’d hate to think that she is looking down on her great granddaughter disapprovingly for fearing her favorite hip-swinging idol.

I suddenly saw this as an opportunity to forge a bond between their generations.  What had been broken now needed to be fixed.

In order to fix it, however, I had to figure out why Audrey hated Elvis so much.  One possibility is that I perform my Elvis impersonation—“Thank ya.  Thank ya very much,” and “Hunka hunka burnin’ love, baby.”—in a suitably deep voice.  Deep voices sometimes have the unintended effect of terrifying her.  Another is that he clearly doesn’t fit in with the animals and babies she has as toys.  It’s a man with a cape, and looks nothing like the rest of her “friends”.  A third possibility is that she has no connection to Elvis.  Who is he to her after all?  She’s never heard his music, seen his movies, or even seen a picture.  Why should she care?

Regardless of the reason, Audrey rejecting this awesome Elvis doll and my grandmother shaking her finger at me for raising an Elvis-fearing daughter has inspired me to take action.  So I made a vow:  I was going to do my damnedest to make her like her Elvis doll.

And so begins the Love Me Tender Challenge.

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Out of the House Round-Up: Video Game Addiction, Losing Cable TV & a Very Manly Changing Table

Audrey Snow Pants

All this staying-at-home has made me a little stir crazy. Let’s take a look around the internets, shall we?

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My Kid Eats Like an Animal

Audrey Eating

There’s Audrey.  Covered in hummus.  I know a lot of people like showcasing their messy child pictures, but I’m not one of them.  No, that picture is there only to illustrate an important point:

I find my daughter’s eating habits to be foul and repulsive.

Now before you get all huffy, declaring my opinion to be more than harsh, let me assure you that I don’t hold it against her.  I don’t shame her or yell at her.  She’s a 2-year-old and 2-year-olds are gross.  It’s okay.  She’ll grow out of it.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t be horrified by it all.  Hell, I’d rather watch “The Human Centipede” on a permanent loop in slow motion than see her covered in thick, slimy, delicious Sabra hummus.  But instead of dealing with an inevitable case of “Dinner Time PTSD” in the future, I’m confronting my horror directly by presenting you, my lucky readers, with Audrey’s Top Ten Most Disgusting Eating Habits.

I hope you’ve eaten your ginger!

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