The Mary Poppins Nanny’s Books

With our crazy beginning of the year care needs, we ended up with a wonderful nanny for the few weeks of anticipated time when both my wife and I head back to school, but our kids are still at home. She then extended into the unanticipated time when our next nanny who was going to take on the afternoon shift of getting our son and occasionally our daughter decided not to show up or communicate with us about her decision. We were delighted to have our “Mary Poppins” as my wife called her, but she was looking for full time employment. We ended up with a wonderful care giver, and the remnants of the Mary Poppins era are slowly fading away. There are rice and bean glued pictures on the walls, the window paint has been washed off as it began to run, and now I am going to return the books to the library that she chose.

The one to renew is On Your Potty! by Virginia Miller. It involves using a stern voice to get the little bear on the potty, and then when the little bear is successful it gets a big hug. We have tried to shy away from over emphasizing or using stern voices to get our kids on the potty, and we have also stayed away from any type of reward system for success. Both of these are at least hinted at in the book, but it is the book my son has attached to when trying to use the potty. It will get renewed. It is a case of practical outcomes over philosophy.

Bear Snores On is a favorite of my daughter’s from her preschool days. We have read it before, but she was excited to see it at the library. A bunch of small animals invade Bear’s den during a snowstorm and end up having a good time despite being afraid of the sleeping bear. He awakes, joins the fun, and all the other animals go to sleep. It is a fun read with nice illustrations.

Lastly, the nanny selected four Curious George books due to my son’s love of a set of board George books we picked up at some sale. Included in the library selections were CG Rides a Bike, At the Aquarium, First Day of School, and The Firefighters. Of these, the Bike and Aquarium were requested repeatedly, and both feature the curiousness, trouble, and solutions familiar to this series. These books are hooks into my own childhood, and they do, to some extent, stand the test of time. There are certainly gender, race, and other issues embedded, but they are easy to point out and check in about in a non-disruptive to the story kind of way.

Farewell to the books (most of them) and another trace of our Mary Poppins. I look forward to reading Mary Poppins with the kids when they are old enough.


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