Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One Creepy Book

I've always loved reading and so I'm pretty determined to cultivate the same passion in Anna. So we read together throughout the day and she's already learning to enjoy a good story. Problem is she only has half a dozen books. One is a recordable storybook from Hallmark that her cousins made for her. It's so incredibly adorable that I can't let her look at it too often for fear the battery will die and the cuteness will be lost.

Anyway, I hate to just buy any one of the millions of children's books out there, so I've been researching a little looking for lists of the best kid's book. If I'm gonna purchase some books, they should be quality books. Most of them are pretty standard - Dr. Seuss classics, The Hungry Caterpillar, Guess How Much I Love You - but there's one that inevitably shows up on every list of great children's books that I just can't understand. Ironically it's by one of my favorite children's authors, Robert Munsch.

I love Munsch's books because of his quirky humor. In Alligator Baby a couple expecting a new baby gets lost on the way to the hospital and winds up at the zoo. Each time they return home it's with a different baby animal and they are sent back to the zoo by their older daughter to find the right baby. In Paper Bag Princess, a princess loses her castle and all her pretty clothes to a dragon who burns them up and kidnaps her fiance prince. She fashions an outfit out of a paper bag and outwits the dragon to save her prince. Then promptly breaks off their engagement when he tells her she doesn't look much like a princess in her paper bag dress.

They're cute and funny (and while I'm certainly not a feminist I appreciate the little dose of girl power in the Paper Bag Princess).

And then there's his quirkiest and by far his most famous book Love You Forever. You've probably read the story. A mom sings a lullaby to her little boy, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." It's a sweet sentiment. No matter how old he gets, he'll still be her baby. Any woman who's rocked her sleeping infant gets it. That feeling that you will always look at this little person as your precious baby, no matter how big they may get.

But somewhere along the way, the book crosses the line from awwww to eww!! She rocks him as an infant, as a toddler, even when she's rocking him as a 9-year-old it's still acceptable, although toeing the "ew" line. But when she creeps into his room as a teenager, you start to feel a little funny inside.

Then it crosses the "ew" line and keeps right on going until the line is nothing but a tiny speck in the distance. The son is now a grown man. And the mom is driving across town with a LADDER ON HER ROOF to sneak into his room and rock him.

Uhhhhh what??

First all, speaking strictly practically, this is impossible. When my grown man of a husband falls asleep a little too close to my side of the bed, it takes all my strength to push his full-grown self two inches out of my personal space. What kind of steroids is the woman taking? She's taking her full-grown, sleeping son out of bed and onto her lap in a rocking chair? That's amazing!

Aside from being physically impossible, this action suggests a definite psychosis in this woman. I mean really lady cut the cord! Can imagine if you were her daughter-in-law? Waking up to find your mother-in-law rocking your sleeping husband and singing lullabies? That's disturbing! You'd definitely win any "Listen to how crazy my mother-in-law is" contests among your friends.

What kind of therapy is this man going to require?

I can't help but think that Mr. Munsch is sitting in his home somewhere wondering what the heck happened. He writes quirky, funny, goofy stories. He probably wrote that one thinking "Oh this'll get a laugh" and now he collects his royalty checks as sentimental mommies read this book, go awwwww and buy a dozen copies. He's going "Wait, that was supposed to be bizarre and funny. A woman breaks into her son's home to rock him. As an adult! That's insane! Get it? No? Alright whatever just keep the checks coming."

Please moms, I beg you, cherish every moment of your child's babyhood. Look at them as adults and see your precious little baby like the dad in "Father of the Bride." But for God's sake, don't cross that line from sentimental to criminal and insane!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Still wiping tears of laughter from my eyes, Aunt Linda