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Maybe Metaphors Are Lost On You?

Reading and writing is good and stuff.  It important.  I care much reading nice.

I spend a shit ton of my life writing and reading, so of course, theoretically I want The Munch to share these passions.  But reading children’s books is as boring as sitting on the toilet without your phone, and I desperately fear the day Munch starts writing about me… because boy am I in for it.

But of course I have to prioritize The Munch’s education over my own selfish needs of wanting to avoid crappy kids books, and my desperate attempts to censor my child from exposing me like I have her.   Ahhhhh parenting.  The sacrifices we make!So I read The Munch books everyday, and then I read them again and again until she memorizes them and feels somewhat in control of her existence.

Of course not all kid-books are torturous.  There are classics like Madeline, Pippi Longstockings, Peter Rabbit, and The Runaway Bunny.  Even though some of my favorites have demented values and a slightly skewed moral compass, I still appreciate the tangible effort and artistry that is put into the illustrations.

But what drives me crazy about most modern kid-books is the computer-generated art that goes along with it.  If the book is beautiful, and someone took the time to hand draw each page as if it mattered, then I can truly honor it.  But when its some shitty story about some shitty talking peanut with shitty ass pictures I pretty much want to throw up in my hands.

I crave some sort of stimulation when reading to The Munch, so when the stories and art blow cock I want to blow my brains out.

So the other day I was searching through my shelves and saw a book called “I Haiku you” that was a gift from her babysitter.  I figured that would at least be somewhat intellectually titillating.  But even though I found the book to be quite poetic, I realized that toddlers don’t really understand metaphor.

Toni: “your rainbow colors

come out to play when it pours-

chase the gray away”

Munch: “But I can’t see it chase the gray away!”

Toni: “Well, it’s not exactly chasing the gray away.  Its just that when the kids draw a rainbow it makes the rainy day seem less gray.”

Munch: “Oh.”

Toni: “Here, I will read another…

what are the chances

maybe one in a million?

what luck I found you

Munch: “But I can’t see one in a million!”

Toni: “Munch you can’t take this so literally, one in a million is an expression and she is talking about the 4 leaf clover she found.”

Munch: “But what are the chances? What are they?”

Toni: “It’s also an expression.”

Munch: “But I can’t see what are the chances?”

Okay, fine. So maybe I get why kid-books usually try and keep shit simple.

“Mamma I can’t see love letters in the tummy!!!!!”

metaphor-blog-(i)

5 Responses to Maybe Metaphors Are Lost On You?

  1. olga davidson says:

    I see an opportunity here. She started to freak out on me when I wanted to play with her psyche and start reading her Grimm’s fairy tales because there were no pictures. I told her she had to listen to the story and imagine a wicked stepmother trying to abandon her two small stepchildren in the deep deep forest while their clueless father remained clueless and self absorbed, cutting wood. Along with giving up nursing, she was contemplating this as something to do when she turns three. Dr Suess is good because there is a lot of math in his stories. Personally, I think she is better of watching stuff then being condescended to by crap books. Beatrix Potter is excellent and so are all the A.A. Milne stuff. I am going to get a beautifully illustrated nursery rhyme book for her so she can learn rhythm and very dark political metaphores from a really sick monarchy.

  2. lizzie says:

    this was in an NYT article i was reading and i thought it was interesting. it makes you think about the nature of imagination and how important it is in the modern world. Adelia is a wunderkind for questioning metaphors!!

    “No culture,” observes the child psychologist Suzanne Gaskins, “comes close to the level of resources for play provided by middle-class Euro-American parents.” In many traditional societies, children play by imitating adults. They pretend to cook, marry, plant, fish, hunt.

    “Inventive pretend,” in which children pretend the fantastic or impossible (enchanted princesses, dragon hunters) “is rarely — if ever — observed in non-industrialized or traditional cultures,” Gaskins says. That may be because inventive play often requires adult involvement. Observing the lack of fantasy play among the Manus children in New Guinea, Margaret Mead noted that “the great majority of children will not even imagine bears under the bed unless the adult provides the bear.”

    Westerners, by contrast, not only tolerate fantasy play but actively encourage it, for adults as well as for children. We are novel readers, movie watchers and game players. We have made J. K. Rowling very wealthy.

    This suggests that we imagine a complex reality in which things might be true — materially, spiritually, psychologically. Science leads us to draw a sharp line between what is real and what is unreal. At the same time, we live in an age in which we are exquisitely aware that there are many theories, both religious and scientific, to explain the world, and many ways to be human.

  3. Jerry Wechsler says:

    I was going to mention Winnie the Pooh (not the Disney version). Also Le Petit Prince, although perhaps not at five years.

  4. olga davidson says:

    This is very smart Lizzie.

  5. Emily says:

    I have a book called Red Herrings and White Elephants, about the origin of such phrases, should I let Munch borrow it?

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