Please don’t talk to me until I have had a cup of coffee. I love you kids, but just give me five minutes…I said please.
Hello, I’m Laura, mom of four, nurse, wife, coffee consumer and author of MOMSTER. I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and I am proud to live in the corn state. You will find an essay I wrote in second grade explaining that, “When I grow up, I will be a baby nurse and have four kids.” I loved children even back then. After working a total of 17 years in a hospital on both a Pediatric and Maternity floor, I decided to change my course and go back to school. As I study for my Master’s Degree in Nursing Education, I sub as a nurse in my local school district. Life is busy but I like it that way. My four children are by far the best things I’ve ever done and my heart is happy and full. There is usually a downside though…
Why is it that my kids won’t react to my simple requests until my voice is raised and I’m speaking through my teeth? Is this how all kids are? Surely, I am doing something wrong as a mother. Most kids listen to their mothers, right?
As I have learned through author visits, speaking to mothers at book events and conversations out in public, even the best kids in the world ignore their moms. It is actually extremely common and I think it is comforting for moms like me to understand this.
You ask your kids to please go brush their teeth and get ready for bed as you pass them on the way to the laundry room. You get a grunt type of response that meant they heard you. As you bring the basket to the table to start folding clothes, you notice that no one has moved from the original spot. You yell out, “C’mon guys! Get ready for bed!” You’re an accomplished folder of laundry and in less than five minutes the clothes are neatly stacked. You smile at the record speed then frown as the kids still have not moved a muscle. That’s it!
Here she comes, MOMSTER. “I SAID GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH AND GET READY FOR BED!” Now you have their attention, the TV is shut off and the kids are looking at you in fear and wonder. Yes, they are wondering why you’re so mad. You wonder why you have to scream like a lunatic to get them to follow a simple request. You lecture them the whole way up the stairs that this doesn’t have to happen. “Just do what you’re told!” Sound familiar? It should, I’m confident it happens everywhere.
This is the premise behind my new children’s picture book, MOMSTER. Told through the eyes of the child, he warns those who will listen about the danger lurking beneath mom’s soft skin. MOMSTER will have both parent and child laughing as they watch the transformation from mom to MOMSTER and back again. Humor is the best way to bond and it helps all generations relate to each other. MOMSTER will not only show the children why she transforms but it gives mom an idea of just how scary she might look.
As a mother of four kids, reading books to my children is not only important to me but also some of my favorite moments. There is nothing better than having your kids cuddled up on your lap enjoying the story you’re telling. My children and I love to discuss the books we read together. My oldest son always liked a book that gave him a thrill and chill, while my daughter has a flare for romance. My second son enjoys a humorous book like Captain Underpants and then there is my youngest son, Jack.
You would think that my youngest child would have an extended vocabulary especially since he hears all kinds of new words daily, some inappropriate from his older brothers. With three older siblings, all advanced in their reading capabilities, I assumed he would surly follow suit. Actually, Jack did not say more than two word sentences until he was almost four. The lack of speech caused Jack great frustration and playing with other children seemed difficult. He was diagnosed with a speech delay at two years old and started working with speech therapists in our home. The “tool” they used the most to advance Jack’s speech, were books. The therapists didn’t just read to him, the way I had for years. They would have him point to pictures while repeating them over and over, annunciating sounds. Eventually Jack’s speech improved and he was caught up to his peers. I was inspired by the profound effect books had on my child that I decided to publish one of my many children’s stories.
MOMSTER is my first published children’s picture book and the journey from start to finish has been humbling, exciting and extremely rewarding.
Funny side note…Before MOMSTER was professionally published, I had made a “dummy book” that I could read to my kids. Here is a picture of me as MOMSTER.
Thank you so much for reading and sharing!
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