Adventures in Grandparenting

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'm relaxing in the course of a pleasant evening that has been spent babysitting 7-year-old Jonah and 4-year-old Grace. We're winding down after supper and (at Grace's request) have watched the entirety of the Scholastic DVD that begins with Laurie Keller's Open Wide: Tooth School Inside.

Naturally enough, we follow up with the Scholastic DVD that begins with the perennial Jonah favorite, also by Keller, The Scrambled States of America. I've always enjoyed both books, and the DVD adaptations are nicely done. But the remainder of the "children's book" adaptations on the second DVD are not quite so based in children's literature; the second "story" is, while based on the children's book's pictures by Kathy Jakobsen, really primarily Arlo Guthrie's performance of his father's song "This Land Is Your Land."

So I'm still mellow, and the kids begin by sitting passively enough -- but soon, with little warning, a dispute begins. "This land is my land!" says Grace. "No, it's my land!" retorts Jonah. "It's quieting down time," says Grandma Maggie. "My land!" "My land!" "Settle down." And so it goes for all umpty verses of a song which is itself, if you listen closely, not quite as mushily sentimental as some people think.


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