Over breakfast this morning, while the girls ate frozen blueberries in their hot oatmeal (they always beg me not to stir in the berries—they like them cold and crunchy, ugh), I read half a dozen poems about snow and winter from our battered, treasured copy of Helen Ferris’s Favorite Poems Old and New. Shakespeare’s owl called out his merry tu-whit, tu-whoo, oblivious to the discomfort of poor red-nosed Marian and cold-fingered Dick. Robert Frost’s pony shook his harness bells inquisitively in the frozen woods—but I suspect that poem’s tone of quiet contemplation was lost on the girls, since their daddy interrupted my reading to recite it in Monty Python fashion, booming and overblown. They’ll be surprised, one day, to discover it’s a serious poem instead of the kind that makes you choke on your frozen blueberries.
Later we laughed over a poem Rose pretended to “read” out of a dictionary when she was not quite three years old:
Slip on ice?
Me know what, me know what—
Me go eat my lunch.
I came across this little gem the other day in my file of funny kid stories, along with its prequel, Rose’s first joke.
Me: What kind of cereal do you want today?
Rose: Snow Flakes!
Obviously she has her father’s sense of humor.
“It butters no parsnips.”
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He holds him with his glittering eye
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