Saturday, May 23, 2009

That's Not My Pirate

So now that I have a baby, I have ventured into the wonderful world of children’s books. To be honest, most children’s books creep me out. Fairy tales that are so innocently told seem scary to me. Imagine being just a little one and hearing about Little Red Riding Hood’s grandma being chomped up by the big bad wolf. Eek! Then there are witches poisoning apples and fattening up little kids to eat them, and trolls that want to eat the cute little billy goats (what is it with stories about being eaten?)… not to mention parents intentionally leaving their children to die of exposure or starvation or an animal attack in the middle of the woods.

There also seem to be lots of Noah’s Ark animal stories for little kids, where they get to count the animals two by two or make animals noises or whatever. The storytellers have conveniently left out the part about God annihilating all of humanity by drowning.

Cause, you know, that might make the story kind of a bummer.

Anyway, as I was saying, children’s books kind of creep me out. Despite this fact, I’ve started to really enjoy the children’s department at our local library. They have a baby story time on Friday mornings that Norah seems to love, and – bonus! – a hand puppet cat named Puddin’ that they sometimes make sing to the kiddos.

Norah and I have been picking out one or two board books a week to read until the next week when we return them and pick out a couple more. There’s a whole series of ‘touch and feel’ board books whose titles begin with “That’s Not My…”. There’s That’s Not My Bear, That’s Not My Bunny, That’s Not My Puppy, etc, etc, etc,. Each page lists some reason why ‘that’s not my (whatever it is) and then there is something tactile on the page for the kids to feel that goes along with it. For example, here’s an excerpt out of the last one we checked out:

That’s not my bear. Its tongue is too scratchy.

The picture on the page was of a polar bear, and his tongue was made of Velcro.
So, the kiddos can touch the scratchy Velcro tongue, and this is supposed to ensure that everyone has a grand ‘ole time, and the kiddos like to keep reading books. This is important, and I particularly like the pages with something fuzzy on them (That’s my bear. Its ears are so soft!)

So, last week at the library while Norah and I were looking for a book, I happened to notice one of these board books titled That’s Not My Pirate. At the time I thought to myself, “That’s weird, what would we want to feel on a pirate?”, and then I promptly forgot about it. However, as the week has gone by, that stupid book has been on my mind more and more. I mean, really, what textures is my kid supposed to associate with pirating? I get that bunnies are soft and bears can have rough tongues, but pirates? What the heck?

All week long this has been bugging me. The more I think about it, the more completely inappropriate crap I keep coming up with. I finally decided just to write it down so maybe I can let it go. So, here goes! Here is the year’s best children’s book, complete with safety hazards and inappropriate connotations. Don’t say you weren’t warned….

That’s not my pirate, his hook is too sharp!

Look kids! A Touch and Feel hook! You only need a tetnus booster if it breaks the skin!

That’s not my pirate, his peg leg is too splintery.
Anyone seen the tweezers?

That’s not my pirate, his wench is too hairy.

Aww, no sweetie, you don't pet the lady like a doggy....

That’s not my pirate, his sword is too jagged.
Yes, sweetie, that's what we call 'serrated'... Oh... crap! What was that about tetnus again?

That’s not my pirate, his gums are too firm!
Scurvy, anyone?

That’s not my pirate, his stubble is too rough.
Kind of like the velcro tongue, eh?

That’s my pirate! His parrot is so soft!

Finally, something appropriate. And with that, I think we'll say...


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Beware of Human Babies! (a post by Dingo the Wonder Mutt)

As many of you know, there is a new baby in my house. The two-legged creatures who live here have foolishly allowed themselves to believe that the baby belongs to them, but we all know the truth, don't we? After all, they don't park themselves outside her door while she naps, do they? They dont' sniff her regularly to make sure she's in good health or lick her fingers to make sure she stays clean...

Nope, they sure don't. Good thing I'm around - I don't know what that poor baby would do without me!

Anyhow, I'm here with a PSA (I've heard the female two-legger use that term; I think it means public service announcement) for all you dogs who have found yourself in my position - with a new baby you've got to look out for on account of your two-leggers' kind but feeble attempts to care for our little ones.

Here are my words of wisdom:

Take it from me - Do not, under any circumstances, lick the inside of the baby's hand if your baby has a good, strong grasp. Apparently, human babies have a reflex to close their hands whenever something touches the insides of them. Apparently they also have some sort of reflex to yank and pull once they've gotten a nice, firm grasp. My poor tongue advises you to follow this reccomendation. I think my two-legger baby stretched it a good five inches and I'm afraid I'll be barking with a lisp for the next week.

Aside from that, she's a pretty nice two-legger to have around.

My regards,

Dingo the Wonder Mutt