In which The Five-Year-Old celebrates an unexpected windfall

That's right, bookshelves. Your overstuffed days are numbered.

That’s right, bookshelves. Your overstuffed days are numbered.

It’s time for the decennial pruning of the books here at Caterpickles Central, during which we cull the one-time airplane reads, brain candy, travel books, baby books, potty training manuals, and other books we’ve outgrown in order to make room for the stacks and baskets and tote bags full of books in our various to-read piles.

While I was sorting through one of our shelves of white books upstairs (we organize our books by color because with this many books in the house, there’s really no other viable system), I came across a baby names book.

The Five-Year-Old, pouncing: “Don’t donate that, Mommyo. I have a use for it!”

Mommyo, carefully: “Why do you need a book of baby names?”

The Five-Year-Old, matter-of-factly: “I need names for my stuffed animals.”

Mommyo, surprised: “Oh. That is a good use for it. Here, it’s yours.”

The Five-Year-Old carted the book off a little way across the room — just far enough to give her time to escape in case I changed my mind — and sat down on the floor to examine her prize.

The Five-Year-Old, reading: “The Big Book of Baby Names. Sixty hundred — no, that’s thousand — sixty thousand baby names.”

The Five-Year-Old, excitedly: “Great! I’m rich with baby names! I’ve got 60,000!”

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About Shala Howell

I write about wildly curious kids, rabbits who hunt dragons, and 1880s Boston. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), I blog about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at, muse about books and the writing life at, or tweet about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
This entry was posted in Funny Stuff My Daughter Says, Reading and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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