Saturday, September 10, 2011

Naughty Ghee - Mama do you Love Me?

"Naughty Bubba?" the Sprocket asks. We've had this conversation a few times now, so I know what comes next. 
"No, darling, Bubba is a good baby," I tell him.  
"Naughty Dada?" he asks. 
"No, my love, daddy is a good daddy." 
"Naughty mummy," he says.  
"No, sweetie, mummy is good too." 
"Naughty Ghee." Ghee is his name for himself. 
"No darling, Ghee is a good Ghee." 
"Naughty Ghee," he repeats. And I am filled with guilt and heartache. 
"No sweetheart, Ghee is good. Sometimes he does things that are naughty" - putting his baby sister in a headlock and wrestling her to the ground springs to mind - "but Ghee is my good and wonderful boy." 
I thought he understood, but just to be sure I searched through some boxes until I found a book I thought might help. 
Mama Do You Love Me? set in the Arctic, written by Barbara M Joosse and beautifully illustrated by Barbara Lavalee.
I found Mama do you Love Me perfect for reassuring an anxious toddler that even though the stuff he does might be naughty, and even though mummy or daddy might get cross (ahem), a parent's love is unconditional and unfaltering. 
There are concepts in the story that the Sprocket doesn't get due to the setting (putting Salmon in mama's parker, Lemmings in her mucklucks and dropping the ptarmigan eggs,) but he understands the message that no matter what naughty thing a toddler does, while there might be consequences it doesn't mean that love diminishes. 
The words, images and concepts are all delightful and make this book a treasure and a keeper.
Since we started reading Mama Do You Love Me?, the Sprocket hasn't quite stopped his talks on naughtiness, but they have become a lot less intense and regular. 

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it wonderful that we can use literature in this way? However much we reassure our kids, I think putting themselves into a book character's place somehow makes them more open to the knowledge that we'll always love them, no matter what.