Sunday, May 5, 2013

Children's Literature As Told By a Cynic

Every night, I read Jude his bedtime story. Sometimes, I'll even read him two. This is one of my favorite parts of his routine as he loves a good story, and so do I. However, he does have his preferences, so like any good parent, I've taken to memorizing all of the favorites. Now, it's true that motherhood has changed me for the better, but there are those sarcastic parts of my psyche that still cling to me like barnacles to a ship. Even though, I love reading Jude his favorite books, sometimes I just can't help but to put that realist spin onto the story.

Take Pete the Cat, for example: A modern children's classic about a cat who, no matter what obstacle comes his way, chooses to always look on the bright side. One can find the lines "Does Pete cry? Goodness, no!" embedded in several parts of each book in the series.

Here's a brief excerpt from my version about the first book in the series where Pete continually steps in a pile of messes while wearing his brand new shoes:

...Oh no! 
Pete stepped in a large pile poop.
Did Pete cry? 
Hell yeah, he did! 
Those two pairs of Air Jordans didn't just fall out of the sky!...

And who can forget the classic nursery rhyme "Three Little Kittens"? Like Pete, a cat who hasn't figured out that he can walk all over God's creation sans footwear, the three kittens in this tale just keep on messing up the mittens they wear, much to their mama's dismay. 

Jeffrey and I have read this nursery rhyme to Jude since I was pregnant with him, so of course with that much practice in reading it, I've come up with my own version. Check out a snippet dealing with the aftermath of when the kittens ate pie while wearing their mittens:

..."Oh mother dear, see hear, see hear!
See, we have soiled our mittens!"
"Soiled your mittens?
You dumbass kittens!
What the hell's wrong with ya'll?"

Now, before anyone calls DHS on me for telling these stories to my child, bear in mind that I really do read the real versions of these to him and not the ones I make up. Jeffrey, however, gets an earful from me.

As bad as I want to be a published writer, I think it's safe to say that I can rule out a career in children's literature.

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