TRANSVESTITE RABBIT GOES TO THE BOOK STORE
As planned, after sleeping in until “parent noon,” otherwise known as 8 am, I journeyed to the local bookstore to get me some literary crack.
When I arrived with 8-year-old Tigger and 4-year-old Little Bit in tow, I found the store peppered with tables, each holding small stacks of the spookily green volume. Before I could open my mouth and say, “there’s the new Harry Potter book,” Tigger had her face in one and had lost all contact with reality.
Little Bit and I left her sprawled on the floor with all the other wizard-smack injected children and went in search of a younger book.
It is a sad fact of parenting that children would rather eat gummi worms than broccoli. Similarly, though we try to steer them towards high-quality children’s literature, often they prefer to read crap.
Hence, Little Bit scoured the shelves and came back to me with “Strawberry Shortcake and Her Insipid Friends Use a Saccharine Plot Line to Teach You a Life Lesson.”
That may not be the actual title, but you get the gist.
In this story, Strawberry and her pals sail off with their friend Rainbow Sherbet on a cruising vessel the size of the Queen Mary. Rainbow lives on this boat all by herself and the girls go on an overnight adventure with her, totally without parental supervision. In spite of the glorious sights of Sundae Mountain and Fudge Falls, Strawberry’s friend Angel Cake feels homesick and cries.
Not to worry, Strawberry and Rainbow tell Angel Cake, “Home is where the heart is.” I swear they actually use that phrase. They convince Angel Cake she should feel happy and content because she’s with her friends.
Now I ask you, what kind of lesson is that to teach a young child? Forget about your home, never mind your parents who lie awake at night worrying about whether you’ve eaten too many gummi worms and not enough broccoli. As long as you are with your friends, everything is all right, even if the friend in charge is an international drug runner. How else could a little girl afford such a vessel?
Fortunately, Little Bit is a sensible child and didn’t buy it for a minute. She thought it perfectly reasonable for Angel Cake to be homesick and want to sleep in her own bed. She told me she would cry on that boat too, no matter what Strawberry “Drug Runner’s Accomplice” Shortcake said, because she would want her Mommy.
Right on, Little Bit. Don’t believe everything you read.
Nevertheless, Little Bit wanted to choose the Strawberry Shortcake book to buy. Did I mention that the book replaced the word “very” with “berry?” Every single time? *Shudder.* But I was buying a book for Tigger and had to buy one for Little Bit too, and who am I to censor her reading material?
Well, we scooped Tigger and the Half Blood Prince off the floor and headed for the check out counter. On the way we found a display of magical implements, including a hollow plastic wand filled with sparkly purple gel.
“I WANT ONE I WANT ONE,” my children chorused.
“Would you rather have that or the Harry Potter book?” I asked Tigger. She clutched the book to her chest and backed away from the wands.
“Would you rather have a wand or the Strawberry Shortcake book?” I asked Little Bit.
She tossed the book aside and grabbed a wand.
Oh happy day!
For the rest of the day, Tigger absorbed wizardry through her pores and Little Bit cast spells. Oh, and we picked raspberries in the backyard and baked a pie.