C's bookshelf: read

The Peculiar
Maggot Moon
The City and the City
The Road
A Certain Slant of Light
The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer's Craft
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Brown Girl in the Ring
Well Wished
The Innkeeper's Song
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
American Indian Myths and Legends
The Left Hand of Darkness
The Return of the King
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers

C S Peterson's favorite books »

Friday, March 9, 2012

Farting Birth Stories

I’m so lucky! We have a professional day today. So over this weekend another teacher has graciously let me cut in line and check out “Wonder.” I started reading it aloud to my boys, 8 and 10, last night. We made it as far as August’s birth story. The author is brilliant. The birth story is full of farts.
My boys were rolling on the ground, laughing, tears streaming from their eyes. Many fart noises were made in armpits. Then:
“Mommy, did your nurse fart when I was born?” said the 10 yr old.
“I don’t remember.”
“I was born in the kitchen, right?”
“Yes, we had rented a hot tub and put it in the kitchen. But I was uncomfortable. The sides of the tub were soft and I couldn’t brace myself against it to push you out. So Mary Ellen, the midwife, helped me get out. Then I sat down by the wood stove and I told Mary Ellen ‘I don’t think I can do this anymore.’ and she said ‘Oh yes you can!’ and out you came!”
“Then what did Daddy do?”
“Well, Daddy sat on the couch holding you while I got cleaned up. He kept saying - 
‘You are so born! Yes born is what your are! You are so born!’
“What about me?” asks the 8 yr old
“We were in a hospital...”
“But it was one with a hot tub, it had a hot tub.”
“Yes I stayed in the hot tub. Your sister was holding my hand and telling me to push and then you kind of swam up.”
10 yr old chimes in “You  must have thought ‘nice of them to build an addition! It was getting kind of cramped in there!’
Both boys start laughing again. 10 yr old snorts.
“Yes,” I say, “but then you hit the air and you were not happy!”
8 yr old does his best impression of an unhappy newborn. He’s pretty good!
I marvel again at the power of stories and the magic of writing. We can look at a piece of paper and hear the voice of another separated from us in space and time. Amazing!
Today, on our professional day, we field trip teachers are taking a group of core teachers on a field trip to the main branch of the Denver Public Library. Special collections, amazing new resources in the building and on the internet, and stories, stories, stories! Who wouldn’t want to go?


  1. "Yes, born is what you are." What a special sentiment. Aren't kids just fascinated to hear about times they don't remember having? (I used fascinated instead of intrigued! (see my post today)

  2. Katie, this is the best. Wish I could have been a little mouse to hear the conversation you just captured. I'm so glad you love Wonder. Hope you continue to enjoy every word!

  3. I love that they connected to the book and it brought them to their birth stories. Those are some interesting stories! I've got to get this book, too much buzz about it in the slices for me to let it pass. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Went from I am not a robot to your farting birth stories. I'm reading WONDER aloud to my fourth graders now. I'm a Denver teacher, wondering how many of us there are. Maybe we should try a coffee get together some time this summer?