Thursday, January 10, 2008

Girled Cheese with Goose-Goose

Here is an incomplete list of various things I loved as a child:

1. Alf
2. Miss Piggy (including the puppet with hair you could brush)
3. The Muppets
4. The Borrowers
5. Encyclopedia Brown
6. Donny and Marie
7. The Little House books (and the TV show, of course!)
8. Little Women
9. My Dataman calculator
10. Fisher Price Little People sets
11. The game Perfection
12. My Sasha dolls

I mention these because I can't help wanting to turn my daughter on to my childhood loves (note: as I write, my daughter is watching a Fraggle Rock video). But in my zeal, I have a tendency to bring these things out before they're completely appropriate (when she was about 2 years old, I added my copy of Missy Piggy's Guide to Life to my daughter's bookshelf. She obsessed on the page with a photo of Missy Piggy donning a chocolate pudding "healing" mask. My obsession: did they ruin a whole Miss Piggy muppet for that shoot, or what? Yum, or Yuck?). And don't ask why I have held on to my copy of this volume. It's Miss Piggy! I still love her.

My latest incidence of Retro Reintroduction was to read the first chapter of Little House in the Big Woods to my eldest daughter the other night. Of course, I didn't review the chapter before launching right in, and I didn't exactly remember the plot details of this book in the series. In case you're wondering: the Ingalls family lives in Wisconsin in the first one, and Pa is preparing for winter by hunting, killing, skinning, smoking, and storing all manner of wild animals (my fave part of the book so far? Big sister Mary and Laura playing ball, made from the bladder of the family pig, recently butchered). Okey doke. I was too far in to my reading to just SKIP RIGHT OVER those parts. So I had to explain to my girl that bacon comes from pigs, chicken legs come from...well, chickens. And that chickens are killed by cutting their heads off. And that some people have eaten deer and bears...Go ahead, judge me for letting my innocent four-year-old in on this secret this early in her young life. BUT HEY! Laura Ingalls Wilder had to HELP her dad (I mean, Pa!) with butchering, beheading, pig-tail munching, etc., at a Much Younger Age.

My daughter's reaction was as predicted: "Mom, but if we all eat the animals, there won't be any more! We need to save the animals!" I gently reminded her that she happens to enjoy chicken nuggets and hamburgers, at which point, though she didn't ask which part of the chicken is the "nugget," ha, she wanted to know which animal is made of hamburgers. She expressed some general concern for cows, and then asked, "What about a goose? Is it made of goose-goose?"

We had meatballs for dinner the next night without incident. Time to take her to the slaughterhouse. I mean, "tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand," right?

I'm reminded of a time last year when I was driving my kids and their cousins home for lunch and we were discussing our options: PB&J? Grilled Cheese? My daughter protested, "We can't have grilled cheese for lunch!" Why not, I asked? "He (her male cousin) can't have GIRLED cheese, Mom! It's for GIRLS! Not for BOYS!" Didn't see that one coming at all.

It's too bad they can't spell at this age, because where these misunderstandings come from, there have to be So Many MORE.

On second thought, high school English papers provide opportunities for kids who can spell to demonstrate their lack of understanding. Case in point, a 9th grader's allusion to "Paunch's Pilot" in an essay I assigned on To Kill A Mockingbird. (In case you're wondering, even a correctly spelled reference to Pontius Pilate in this paper was Out of Left Field).

1 comment:

me said...

One of my favorites I will never correct is the "Bat Mo-Beetle" (Bat Mobile). We also have a "ma-rote" (remote), and a "mometer" (thermometer).