“Seven Hungry Babies” by Candace Fleming or The Price of Being a Super Mom


Food is a major part of lives, indeed. In some cultures, it is even bigger than one would wish. Generally, the bigger the family, the more time we spend in the kitchen. I grew up with three hungry brothers, so my mom kept grocery shopping, cooking and baking around the clock. But this is what moms (or certain dads) do. They do whatever it takes to feed their children.

Look at this mama bird. She was blessed with seven birdies. They looked cute and peaceful when asleep, but sure they knew how to make enough noise when awake and hungry. And what would mama bird do? She would leave the nest in search of some tasty snack: a fish, a worm, a berry… Things would be easier if she could feed her children all at once, but of course the little guys had their own agenda and chose to wake up one by one. Finally, all the little bellies were filled and mama got a chance to rest. Well, not exactly. By the time the last birdie was asleep, the first one was a awake again. Don’t you know it first hand? You might wonder what  the clever mama bird did.  Of course, she woke up papa bird. After all, “it was daddy’s turn to fly.”

Whether mama’s bird decision was a conscious choice or guided by exhaustion, my point is, we should never forget that it takes two not only to tango. If you ever had a dream of being  a Super Mom or Super Dad and do everything around your children, just do yourself a favor and forget about it. Being a Super Parent is over-rated. It simply doesn’t make sense.  Seriously, once you have children, there is enough chores for both of you, and the grandparents if you (and they) wish. An exhausted parent is like a bomb ready to explode any time: dangerous to everybody around, especially children ( ask ER doctors) and spouses ( ask couple therapists).  I  learned it the hard way with our older son.  At first, my husband enjoyed the fact that he could change the channels, while I changed the diapers. He quickly changed his mind, though, after I basically migrated to our son’s room, moved from the passenger seat to the back seat and transformed from a chirpy wifey to a grumpy zombie. Now, I still let my husband sleep in on a Saturday morning, but on a Saturday afternoon, I easily send him off to the park with our sons, while I go to see Ziggy. My hairdresser.

Back to the book. “Seven Hungry babies” is a frolic read-aloud picture story, filled with amusing onomatopoeic expressions and catchy repetitions. It is  brightly illustrated by Eugene Yelchin.  A fun read for younger and older preschoolers.

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