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January 27, 2011

Is "Goodnight Moon" Somehow Inherent?

Although I never had the book “Goodnight Moon” as a child, it was top of mind for me as one of those well-known books that I certainly wanted my girls to have.

When I was browsing the children’s section of the bookstore one day before they were born, I came upon it and picked it up, thinking it would be the perfect addition to the nursery.

When I read through it, though, I just didn’t get it. There seemed like so many other books that were sweeter and more nostalgic, ones that I could picture myself cuddling with my girls to read before bedtime…ones that probably elicited a tear in my heightened state of emotion.

Several months ago, I was browsing again and saw the book. I read through it, and I still didn’t get it. Further, I surely didn’t want to introduce the concept of saying goodnight to every.single.object in the room. The girls would never go to bed!

Just recently, though, the girls – without ever having heard the classic tale themselves – have begun to show some “Goodnight Moon”-like tendencies.

Baby A was being so sweet in the bath a few days ago, for example. “Love you, Mommy,” she said, melting my little heart as it does every time I hear that. “Love you, Daddy,” she added…awww. “Love you, Sasha,”…awww again.

And then she said, “Love you, towel.” Hmmm…I know she is really fond of her duck towel.

Love you, water.”

Love you, soap.”

Suddenly my “Love you, Mommy” seemed to lose a little of its weight.

The girls have both had similar conversations with saying “Good morning” and “Goodnight” to anything in earshot. It’s cute, but I seriously hope it doesn’t take off as a bedtime ritual.

I still don’t have plans to buy “Goodnight Moon” for our bookshelf. I figure I’ll save myself the $9.99, satisfied that the girls will still enjoy the “Goodnight Moon” experience, whether I like it or not.


Julia said...

So funny--my daughter, Hadley has to wave "good night" and "good morning" to the dogs, all the pictures on our walls, the frog nightlight and the monkey clock. Just part of her routine, for whatever reason--it's pretty sweet.

I read an article once about Goodnight, Moon. The words in it we very intentionally used--bears, chairs, hush, mush, brush--they are calming words that are supposed to make children calm down and get drowsy before bed. I haven't read it consistantly right at bedtime to see if that's true or not. It's an interesting concept though.

Momma Chantal said...

One of the good things about good night moon is the repetitive nature of it. The children hear it enought and recognize the pattern and before long can "read" it on their own. It can also be interactive and you can get them to guess what comes next. There are also lots of details in the room pictures that you can get them to find things and notice changes (like the clock changing and the sky changing colors). Can you tell I did I lesson plan on this book in my teaching days? Haha!

Eric, Marilyn, and Elliott said...

It definitely helped Elliott quiet things down when he was younger. I would read it last and make my voice quieter and quieter until the end. After "Goodnight noises everywhere," I'd whisper "shhhh, everybody's sleeping now." Then turn off the light and you're OUT OF THERE! :)

reanbean said...

I think we're on our third or fourth copy of Goodnight Moon. The kids love it, and can pretty much read it themselves at this point. And while it's not the sweetest bedtime story (in my opinion), I do love the ending, especially when we all read it together just before bed- "Goodnight stars. Goodnight air. Goodnight noises everywhere."

Andrea said...

This made me laugh! We actually have a couple of copies of goodnight moon...not because we purchased them. They came in the welcome baby kits from the hospital. I like you don't get it....

Mandy said...

HA! I am not alone! Every time we read it I'm left with the "huh" feeling. I think the girls currently like the illustrations and pointing out things the recognize. Either way, the book is pretty annoying but cute none the less. I'm still hoping for more verbalization so I'll sit here envious of your "Love you, Mommy"'s. :)

Anonymous said...

and there's just that random old lady and a bowl of mush? just seems really strange.

we don't have bedtime "rules" for books at our house. sometimes we'll read goodnight gorilla and others good morning boston! lol. we're equal opportunity book readers here!

Barbara Manatee said...

ha! I'm glad I'm not the only one who kinda wonders what's so great about that book. We have it - received it as a gift though. Not sure if I'd have bought it myself - and that says a lot b/c there aren't many kids books that I haven't bought. (I'm a bit of an addict)

Have to giggle over the Love you...everything. Do you read Dooce? reminded me a of a post where her daughter told her she was beautiful...and 5 minutes later said the same thing about a burrito! ha!!

Hello! I'm Kate. said...

The above quote is so true about it being calming! Goodnight Moon is a nightly ritual for Lboy's bedtime. And it's the book we read FIRST b/c it just calms him (all of us) down. The section about the old lady whispering "hush" is the best part. I literally feel the room get quieter when I read it.

And it's just always been a staple for us, my mom read it to us, Todd's mom read it to him, so the grents made sure it was in Lboy's nursery.

And you're right it really makes no sense & I usually find it irritating that it just jumps all over the place. But it does work!

Oh & b/c we have read it so often, I can recite the whole book to you if you'd like me to... "In the great green room, there is a telephone and a red balloon, and a picture of the..." :)

Deanna said...

We received this book as a shower gift (from a teacher, of course!) along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar (a favorite in our house). For a long time, I didn't really like it much at all, but the more we ready it, the more it grew on me. I think it calms ME down.

We went through a phase where the girls didn't want to read it...I think they knew it symbolized bedtime! We are back on it a bit now, mostly because they love finding the "place" (fireplace). We just started using ours occasionally when they are awake, so they like talking about it.

Like strongblonde, I am a bit baffled by some of the stranger things in the book...the bowl of mush, referring to her as an "old lady", and it bugs me that the fireplace is still blazing in the last picture...don't they know how unsafe that is?? : )