Anne hates to sleep in her own bed. She has an incredibly comfortable bed and she enjoys sitting in her bed during the day. She hates sleeping in it at night. From the moment Anne was in a toddler bed, she jumped out of bed and ran to me over and over again each night.
In some ways I am more stubborn than my children. I regularly tell Clare when she is being difficult about something, "Don't think you can out-stubborn me." I don't say that to Anne. It is always a concern that she will out-stubborn me. She certainly has succeeded in out-stubborning me when it comes to staying in her bed.
We bought Anne an Amazon Echo Dot for her birthday with the hopes that bedtime would be easier if she listened to audio books (like Clare) or classical music (like Meg). It was not immediately successful. However, a couple weeks ago she asked Alexa to play The Penderwicks and sleeping in her own bed has been a breeze since then.
Our family loves The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. Before any of the girls were even old enough for me to read the books to them, my sister gave me the first three books in the Penderwick series. You can read my reaction to those books way back in 2014 here. I was hooked and read the first book in the series, The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy, to my girls as soon as they were old enough. They enjoyed it, but I did not move on to the next books in the series because I was afraid some of the topics might be too emotional for them at such an early age.
In 2017, we rediscovered the Penderwicks on Audible and at that time we did move on to the next books in the series. In fact, we couldn't stop listening to the Penderwick series in the summer of 2017. Anne loved Batty, the youngest Penderwick sister. Meg and Clare saw themselves in various ways in the other three sisters.
On one occasion, we were driving back from some adventure and still had a good 20 minutes to go. The girls were fighting. One was bleeding. Another vomited in the car. I was at a loss as to how I would successfully make it home between rush hour traffic and the crying and yelling that was happening in the car. I turned on the Penderwicks and everything immediately became quiet. No one cried. No one fought. They all listened.
And listening to the Penderwicks is what Anne has been doing the last couple of weeks. She listens every night before bed. She listens while she plays in her room. She has begun to regularly quote from the Penderwicks. "Blue eyes; blue Skye" (a trick for remembering one of the sisters' name) has become one of her favorite things to say.
Several nights ago, Anne woke up with a bad dream at 3 a.m. and was convinced she could not go back to sleep. After a little while she said, "Turn on the Penderwicks" and she listened until she fell back to sleep. During our visit to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, she was particularly grumpy. We convinced her to allow us to visit a few more exhibits by agreeing that we would listen to the Penderwicks in the car on our drive home. While we filmed our impressions of the new dinosaur exhibit in the museum cafe, Anne began a book review of the Penderwicks, which she referred to as her second favorite book because she had already reviewed The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. As I edited her Penderwicks review to put on this post, Anne said,"The Penderwicks is actually my favorite book." I assured her that I knew that already.
I hope you will enjoy Anne's review of her favorite book (actually).