When it comes to unique children's books, we may have a corner on the market. Grace has books called "Children Make Terrible Pets" and "Pirates Don't Change Diapers," just to name a few. They are lots of fun, and are as entertaining to Kyle and I as they are to Grace.
For one of her birthdays, one of Kyle's aunts bought her a book that has truly become a family favorite at our house. It's a tongue-in-cheek story, called "I'd Really Like to Eat a Child," by Sylviane Donnio.
The main character is a small crocodile named Achilles. Each morning, his mom and dad bring him bananas to eat to help him get bigger and stronger. However, one morning, Achilles decides that he doesn't want to eat his bananas, he wants to eat a child.
When he continues refusing to eat, his parents are beside themselves, and try everything they can think of to get Achilles to eat. They bring him back a "sausage as big as a truck" and make him his favorite chocolate cake. But it's all to no avail.
As parents, it's easy to relate to Achilles' mom and dad. Somedays, you try everything you can think of to get your child to eat his or her dinner, to behave or even to go to bed. I can remember in her early years of physical therapy, to get Grace to practice her squats, I would put fruit snacks on the floor. It's the only thing she was willing to reach all the way down to the floor to pick up.
And while not all of our efforts as parents work, we continue to try our best to do things in the best interest of our children.
Instead of eating his breakfast, little Achilles wanders down to the river, where he happens to spot a child. He can hardly believe his luck and bares his teeth. The young girl, about four times his size, promptly picks him up, tickles his tummy and tosses him back into the river. She tells him he's a "teeny-tiny crocodile, and that he must not eat very much because he's scrawny."
As he returns home, Achilles can't wait to tell his parents he's ready to eat his bananas to grow up big and strong.
Sometimes, as parents, we wonder if we ever get through to our children. We preach all kinds of things from sharing to having good manners to listening to teachers in school. And you wonder whether or not those lessons ever get through. But I think, in the end, all we can do is the best job we can, and hope that our children will listen to us, just like Achilles.