I was given two Mo Willems pigeon books at my baby shower by my pals Pip Harry and Nico Harry, and aside from a prolonged love affair with the Peekaboo Farm book gifted to him by his Aunty Ana and Uncle Andy in Spain, Charlie has developed something of an unhealthy obsession with the pigeon.
I’ve known a lot of babies, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it. He loves the pigeon so much that he actually starts crying – proper, full-on tears – when we reach the last page. He likes to turn the pages himself, make ‘Oooh’ and ‘Ahhh’ noises at certain points (despite having heard the story 768 times), and then look surprised and panicked as it all wraps up. Cue tears. Cue bashing the book and pushing it onto mummy’s lap so there’s no confusion: he wants it read AGAIN.
And again and again.
It’s like that annoying habit the Teletubbies have of playing the same video twice on their tummy TVs. They’ll play it once, which is all good, I like a video of a bunch of kids peeling mandarins as much as the next person, but invariably one of them will squawk, ‘Again, again!’ and we have to watch the whole damn video like we’ve never seen it before. It drives me frigging nutso. I want to yell at the TV, “STOP TORTURING US BY PLAYING EVERYTHING TWICE, WE’RE NOT GOLDFISH” but of course, as Charlie Bear’s pigeon love has taught me, kids truly do have goldfish-like attention spans, and maybe the Teletubbies are onto something.
I can read any pigeon book we own really fast now. I know them off by heart and if it’s the 20th time in a row I have been known to skip pages. Thing is, Charlie doesn’t seem to notice. He just acts like every time I read it is the first time he’s heard it. Which is hilarious and super cute, especially when we’re approaching the last page and he sees there are no pages left and that bottom lip starts trembling.
In desperation I hid Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late in another room for a few months because he was getting his pigeon fix with The Pigeon Needs a Bath and I thought I’d save the other one for a ‘look, new book!’ moment down the track. But when I finally cracked and brought it out he was so excited he wept happy tears. Now I have to read both books multiple times a day. I actually have to stash them down the back of the couch to get a break.
I have no idea why the adventures of an over-emotional, slightly insane pigeon should resonate so much with a one year old baby, but I guess the heart wants what it wants.
And on that note, I’m off on a shopping trip to buy him Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus, The Pigeon Wants A Puppy, The Pigeon Has Feelings Too and every other pigeon book or piece of pigeon merchandise I can possibly find. I may even order him a pigeon cake for his upcoming birthday.
Cos I love my kid, and he loves the pigeon, and I’m a glutton for punishment.
Has your kid ever become obsessed with a book or toy, beyond all others?