I think it’s probably safe to say that there are zero parents out there who haven’t occasionally struggled to get their kids to bed. Depending on the kiddo, sometimes it’s a nightly battle. In the new storybook from Jane Chapman, much to the chagrin of his grandmother, little owlet Mo is having one of those nights, too.
“Grandma, Grandma! It’s an emergency!”
“It’s an emergency!”thought Grandma. “Oh my goodness! What is it? What’s the emergency?” puffed Grandma.
“I’m not sleepy!” said Mo. “I don’t want to go to bed. I want to play!”
Now, clearly, Grandma needs to instruct little Mo on what does and does not constitute an emergency. With ideas like those Mo could be responsible for calling owl 911 over a dropped peanut butter sandwich. That said, after reading the the book, you can’t help but empathize with Grandma as she flies up again and again to little Mo in his nest to blow kisses, bring a bedtime snack, do a proper pancake style tuck-in job, and handle the so-called emergency.
Poor Grandma just wants to relax her old owlish bones and read a book. Now, perhaps this is why we think of owls as being so wise, but rather than getting angry at Mo for his shenanigans, Grandma turns the tables on Mo and insists that he stay up while she goes to bed. Mo gets a fun-filled taste of his own medicine as he gets to tuck Grandma in, bring her snack and blow her bedtime kisses.
The tale of Grandma and Mo at bedtime serve as sweet reminder for grown-ups that there’s always a choice in handling those kid related obstacles… you can get angry, or you can get creative. By taking a few extra minutes to be playful with Mo, (or your own kids) the relationship is strengthened, new memories are created, and the naughty behavior gets turned into a learning opportunity. When I read this book to my kid test audience, the kids loved the silliness of seeing a child tucking grandma into bed and reminded them that grown-ups are people, or owls in this case, too. (People and owls who need a break sometimes!)