Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And We Wonder What's Wrong With Kids Today

Posted by Mandy at 7:50 AM
Last night we ended our bedtime routine like always; reading books. The big kids now read to me and then off to bed - then I sit with Samuel and read to him. Last night his choice was one of our most favorites: a Mother Goose book.

A few rhymes into this book I have to admit I started noticing that some of these sweet little stories are a little out there.

Take poor little Jack who fell down and broke his crown! Jill fell down, too.. but did you know that the entire rhyme involves Jill getting "whipped" for laughing at Jack?

How about Old Mother Hubbard? How many of you know that entire story? The second paragraph mentions "the poor dog was dead" and the third tries to rhyme "coffin" (as in to bury the dog) with "laughing." (Mother Goose might have had one too many when she wrote that one...)

Goosey, Goosey, Gander... whither shall I wander? And in the end... " I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs."

And what on earth must have been going on in Mother Goose's life for her to create the rhyme of Peter the Pumpkin Eater that couldn't "keep" his wife and felt a pumpkin shell was an appropriate alternative?

Have you heard this one:

"Tom, Tom, the piper's son,
Stole a pig and away he run,
The pig was eat,
And Tom was beat,
And Tom went howling down the street."

Nice. (do you suppose Tom thought the pig was a grand enough meal to endure the latter beating?)

The Old Woman in the Shoe... why do you think she kept on having so many kids? And talk about a dead beat dad! Where's he in this story? And, what did the kids do to deserve being "whipped soundly and put to bed" in the end? So much missing from this drama.

And we sing the song about babies falling out of treetops to our infants as lullabies and wonder why they can't sleep through the night...

And who is the Wee Willie Winkie running around in his nightgown peeking through locks? Mother Goose, perhaps you should contact the local authorities the next time you spot something like that, instead of writing it all down.

Let's not even start with the "Rub-a-dub-dub, Three men in a tub" rhyme.

And, before closing your eyes precious child, let's say a Mother Goose prayer about how if you happen to die before you wake, that we pray the Lord your soul to take.

After this careful review of Mother Goose's nursery rhymes, I'm starting to think these books should come with a minimum PG-13 rating. And we wonder why our kids are so demented...


Confessions From A Working Mom on Wednesday, 10 March, 2010 said...

I found myself nodding my head in agreement at this post... it reminded me of one of the rhymes in my daughter's Mother Goose book, the one about Humpty Dumpty. How depressing is that?

Confessions From A Working Mom

Me on Wednesday, 10 March, 2010 said...

Oh wow, I have never thought about all that!! What horrible, demented, and depressing stories to tell our children. Now I feel better that I have never really read nursery rhymes to my kids.

Sugar-n-Spice on Wednesday, 10 March, 2010 said...

you're hilarious.

bible stories aren't any better... and then God flooded the whole earth and everything except what was on the ark died. Sweet dreams, darling.

Or, Daddy (Abraham) led his sweet little boy up onto the mountain tops to kill him because that's what God told him to do. - NIghty night sweetness.

oh, and Laughing and coffin do rhyme with an british accent.. you had me cracking up thinking about mother goose tipping one back. crazy girl!

Reagan on Wednesday, 10 March, 2010 said...

I love to re-think old rhymes and stories! Bruno Beetleheim wrote a very long (and might I add dull and dry but informative) book about the history of nursery rhymes and how their enchantment was supposed to teach kids. Some of his old examples are hideous (like the witch in Hansel and Gretle gets put into an old wine barrel with nails sticking INWARD and rolled down a hill ...ewwwwwww. So glad the Divine Miss M prefers the Bearnstein Bears (right now).

Mandy on Thursday, 11 March, 2010 said...

Brandy, you're so right! Madison and I have had some of our best and most intense talks after Bible time. If you aren't ready to talk about sex and sexual immorality and demons and death and war and mass destruction with your kids.. then stick with memory verses. ;)

The Pipster on Thursday, 11 March, 2010 said...

Brandy, it's been so long since I read nursery rhymes. The Rub a dub dub line made me laugh!

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