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Green eggs and ham

Last week, I covered Norris Elementary's celebration of Theodor Seuss Giesel's birthday. It was nostalgic, taking me back to when my children were young. I can't tell you how many times we read Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham, and had fried eggs for lunch, tinted beautifully with green food coloring. We also tried tinting the ham, but have you ever seen green ham? It isn't appealing. This led my youngest, who has an aversion of any "green" food, to question if the ham in the story was green, or was it just the eggs? We had to re-read the entire story and closely examine all the pictures. The pictures were no help, since the number of colors used in the art was less than the number of words used in the story. This question did provide the opportunity for shallow investigation and deep musings, even if it only lasted through one lunch break. Somehow, I wager Dr. Seuss would be pleased, since thought is encouraged in another of his books, Oh! The Thinks You Can Think!

We also were inspired by a kindergarten teacher to paint red stripes on poster paper, which we wound and taped closed cylindrical-style, creating a Cat in the Hat tall hat. For some reason, this project didn't go over as well as eating green eggs. Therefore, we only experienced it once. Too bad we couldn't read the book only once. I thought I was going to turn green myself from reading over and over about Sam-I-Am and Thing 1 and Thing 2. If you didn't get the picture, reread this paragraph 10 times.

Another fun book activity we did was inspired by my mother, who taught preschool for more than 30 years - so she was experienced before she became a grandmother. She would mix up a batch of gingerbread, shape it, and let the boys decorate it with candies. Then, after making a big show of putting the gingerbread man in the oven, my mom would take the boys in another room and read The Gingerbread Man with them. I can still hear her and the boys shouting "Run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man." Meanwhile, my Dad, affectionately known as Poppa, would pull the baked gingerbread man out of the oven and hide it in his shop. Oh, the excitement that followed when two little boys followed their Grandma into the kitchen and discovered the gingerbread man had, indeed, run away. I don't know who had more fun - my boys, or my parents.

Today, one of those boys is taller than I am, and the other is catching up fast. The green eggs have been replaced with green PowerAde, or Vault, or Pringles. Yes, there is a limited edition of "salsa verde" potato chips, and personally, I think they look as appetizing as that ham did about 10 years ago.

Web posted on Thursday, March 9, 2006

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