Beautiful Oops!


A good friend gave us a neat book as a baby gift. It is called Beautiful Oops! It's by Barney Saltzberg. My son, Kaden, loves looking at books on his own, but board books are the most resistant to his active reading style, which involves a lot of poking, grabbing, and throwing. Books go to the floor to make a point that he now needs attention. We tell him "be gentle" in his approach to faces, books, and cats but he's only fifteen months old so the message doesn't often get through.

Last night, I was pooped out. We were reading Beautiful Oops! together. The book is all about how you can transform a mistake, like a stain or torn paper or misspelling into something artistic and creative. At the end of the book is a blob of crumpled paper. Kaden kept grabbing at it. "No, no, let's be gentle with the book," I told him. "This paper is supposed to be there." After a number of grabs, I placed the book on a low table.

My husband came in. Kaden was wiggly and I set him down. He began looking at Beautiful Oops! on his own while I talked to my husband about passing off kid care to him so I could shower. Suddenly, a piece of Beautiful Oops! was no longer attached to the book. That piece of crumpled paper was in Kaden's hand. I reacted, "Oh no! Kaden!"

I had had enough parenting for the moment. So, I left to take my shower and contemplate the irony of getting upset with Kaden for tearing a book that was all about not being upset with tears and spills and making messes.

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