Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"I am affronted!"

So says Tabitha Twitchit at the end of The Tale of Tom Kitten.  That line always cracks us up.  I loved Beatrix Potter books as a kid and still love them, but now I also realize how strange they are in the context of the early 21st century.  They are full of pinafores, coal scuttles, nurseries, and small animals being baked into pies (some while still alive).  How did I make sense of that as a child?  Pooh is even more confounding.  I read part of Winnie-the-Pooh aloud to LB in the NICU and B was convinced that either 1) I was high as a kite, or 2) I was reading it wrong.  Something about the shifting narrative voice made it completely nonsensical as a read aloud, and the entire series seems to have a strangely modernist style that I never noticed before.

Apparently, as a child, one of my most favorite books was the The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings (1931).  As an adult, I realize that this book is a heartwarming ode to the value of conformity, which seems distinctly at odds with most of the other lessons of my childhood, and the person I've become.  My mother despises this book to this day, but she read it to me again and again.  I guess I need to remember that when LB wants me to read her crap books about princesses and fairies.

I loved playing records on my parents' hifi when I was little and I've been trying to build LB a little music mix based on my favorites.  We've been listening to some '70s soul and light rock, and I added "Deportee," "City of New Orleans,""Do-Re-Mi,""If I Were a Carpenter," and "Oh Happy Day."  I think it's a good mix, but the child will dance to anything.

The little rabbit who realized just in a nick of time that only homos, communists, and other asocials want red wings

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