“Oh, I wish there were some words in the world that are not the words I always hear!” Snow White exclaimed loudly.
The other night, while putting Zoe to bed, I totally related to Snow White. I mean, not in the Post Modern sense Donald Barthelme intended in his grim little PoMo Snow White, but in the sense that any caregiver of a two-year-old can understand.
As I cast my weary gaze over the familiar book titles, I asked, “Where are the words that are not the words I always hear?”
I did not ask this aloud, because I am not the kind of person that riffs on Barthelme at toddler bedtime, but I really did think it. (Thanks, Professor Greg Smith. Your Post Modern American Novel class really helped out my blog today!) I put Zoe to bed almost every night, and I love doing it, but lately we have been in a bedtime book rut.
How serendipitous, then, that also lately, I have been eyeing a certain hard-to-reach bookshelf in the living room and wondering just which children’s books are hiding down there. Last night, I crawled into the corner and found a treasure trove: Ira Sleeps Over! Corduroy! A Birthday for Frances! The Terrible Toy-Breakers! Pig Pig Grows Up! (And many more.) There they were, waiting as they had been since . . . well, probably since I put them there last summer.
Zoe found me, and we spent the half hour before bedtime reading those books. Then, we took a few into her room and read some more. And even though they were mostly books I have read hundreds (thousands?) of times before, they were a breath of fresh air. They were spring. They were not the words I always hear.
No offense, Where is Baby’s Birthday Cake?. Your day will come again.