|Toy snake? Yes, please.|
Anyhoo, I wanted to share with you this kid's amazing, voracious obsession with SNAKES. Yes, he is a snake fiend. I remember many years ago when Mo was just a baby, I was watching some preschool kids in nursery at Grace's Musik Garden class, and there was a 4 year old boy there who knew everything about construction equipment. I was just blown away watching him point to pictures in his book and say, "That's a skid loader, that's an excavator, that's a backdumperscraperbulloaderhoe...." or whatever. It was crazy, he couldn't read but he knew all 50 or so pieces of equipment in his book - he just rattled them off, no problem. I thought this kids was some sort of prodigy or something!
Now I realize that it's more likely he just had a fascination with construction equipment and had a book about it and had parents who were willing to read that book to him 10 or 12 times a day. Every day.
I know this, because that's what's happened with Moses and Snakes. First I brought out a stack of books I had gotten at a sale and had packed away for a while. In the said stack of books was one about snakes. Moses snatched it up and was super keen on it. Thus started the interest. Then for Christmas he got the Mother of All Snake Books from his super-cool Great-Grandparents.
Then the obsession really started. First thing EVERY MORNING, Moses could be seen stretched out on his tummy, paging through The Snake Book. We read it non-stop every day for weeks and weeks. Pretty soon he could identify 20+ snakes on sight.
"That's a Reticulated Python, that's a Green Anaconda, that's a Burmese Python, that's a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, that's a Black Mamba, that's a King Cobra...." and on and on. AND, he could tell you pretty much any random fact you might want to know about snakes. Did you know that some snakes lay eggs and some give birth to live babies? Did you know that Sea Snakes have the most potent venom, the King Cobra is the largest venomous snake, and the Indian Cobra is responsible for the most fatalities? Did you know that the Milk Snake looks just like the Coral Snake, but one is poisonous and one is harmless?
|Which is Milk, which is Coral??|
The poor book was tattered within a couple months, and has since undergone major reconstructive surgery in order to reattach covers and mend torn pages. Thankfully half a dozen more snake books have been added to the originals, giving us endless snake-reading possibilities.
Here's some of our favorites, in case you have a snake-lover in your home:
Snake by Chris Mattison (The Mother of all Snake Books)
Verdi by Janell Cannon (Wonderful storybook for the whole family)
Snakes by Seymour Simon (This one has AMAZING photos!)
Slinky, Scaly Snakes (DK Reader)
|Moses' favorite: the Green Tree Python!|
I personally have never been squeamish about snakes - in fact, I think they're pretty cool. Maybe if we lived somewhere where there were deadly snakes about I might feel differently, but I'm pretty okay with the Minnesota varieties. There's a long history in my family of snake-hunting, going all the way back to when my sibs and I were little tykes and my dad and uncles would take us out looking for snakes under piles of scrap lumber and in the fields. Now that tradition is being carried on to a new generation, as my dad and brothers are taking my kids snake-hunting when we're out in the country.
Well, Uncle Caleb has taken things a step farther in recently acquiring his own pet snake. Princess Buttercup is not some 12-inch-long Garter Snake in a little tank. Oh no, she is a long, heavy, gorgeous Ball Python. Every little boy's (and big boy's!) dream! It's hard to describe the delight when we got to meet Buttercup face-to-face.
I'm not sure how long snakes will be at the forefront of Moses' interest, but it's really fun to be able to take something he's naturally interested in and "run with it." Yes, he can identify 500 different snake species and he's a walking encyclopedia of snake trivia, but that doesn't mean he's a prodigy. His interest has simply been captured by a certain subject and we've fed that interest with plenty of good books and toys (okay and some You Tube videos as well!)
It's one of the most satisfying and enjoyable parts of parenting, to see where your kids' interest leads them and to enhance that interest in healthy ways. I was blessed to have parents who did that incredibly well and I'm so happy to be doing it for my kids now!
One of many snake drawing adorning our fridge
"MOSES DREW THIS FOR JUDAH, MAMA, SISSY, PAPA
What subjects have your kids become keenly interested in, and how have you cultivated that interest?