Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Unrefreshing Naps and Offensive Baby Books
I am feeling sluggish today. The most notable thing I have done is read to baby M.
Oh, and I took a nap. It wasn't a refreshing nap, however. It was one of those naps in which I didn't exactly feel as if I was sleeping, but I kept waking myself up when I started to snore. Therefore, I must have slept a short time, in a manner that must have been pretty sexy, too. I would have been irresistible to my husband if he came home to see me like this: sleeping in the middle of the day, drooling a little and continuously waking myself up with spontaneous snorts.
But back to the books.
Driven half mad by the monotony of the current book rotation that M currently had, I fled the house one day last week when troop reinforcements arrived (read: Cal came home from school). I was determined to find some new "favorite" books for her as I was going to slit my wrists if I read another Boobah book. (Razzle dazzle shooting star, here come Boobahs from afar. Zipping zooming through the air, flying Boobahs EVERYWHERE!)
I headed to the children's consignment store a few miles away in search for some new reading fodder, where the board books that she likes to destroy so much are generally .25 or .50. I can buy a half a dozen for this price and my chances of having a winner in that bunch is greatly increased.
The one that she attached herself to immediately to was a small, portable board book with the "lift-off flaps" inside, most that have already been ripped off by its destructive former owner. It was called "Daddy Loves Me," and was filled with pictures of attentive, helpful fathers doing everyday things with their babies.
The idea of this book was nice, and there is a companion to it (also purchased) called "Mommy Loves Me." The mothers are also portrayed doing things for their babies: playing with the babies, reading to the babies, feeding the babies, kissing the babies. It is what mothers are expected to do; but the same actions in the "Daddy Loves Me" book seem like a bit more of a novelty. I don't know why.
For example, take the picture of the daddy feeding the baby in her high chair. It is a sweet little snapshot, but behind that picture is inevitably a mother who was mercilessly hounded with questions that led up to that Kodak moment.
"Where are the baby's spoons," he would ask. "What does the baby eat at this time of day," he would inquire. "What do you mix in the cereal? Is it warm? Cold? Can I microwave it? Where are the bowls? Does she need a drink, too? Where are the cups?" The mother must have been driven crazy by all of the questions leading up to that single moment. She was probably rocking back and forth in a corner, or at the very least, hiding in the shower. I just KNOW it.
Another page shows a baby of about a year and a half tossing a football with his father, the caption reading "Daddy plays with me." This is a very nice moment, also. The baby has socks and lace-up shoes on that must have required some effort to put on (no velcro in sight). But the little one is clad only in a diaper.
This game of catch clearly took place outside and I am sure that the weather was such that only a diaper was needed. Yet, the father was fully clothed, and I assume the mother was too, when she arrived home from wherever she was when these activities were taking place, whereupon she would flip out on the well-intentioned father. Because come on...at least put a onsie on the kid.
This same father and baby duo was pictured in several places throughout the book, none in which the kid is wearing any clothes. Among their activities were, "Daddy helps me walk" and "Daddy reads to me." Mommy must have been shopping for quite a while.
The most disturbing picture in this book, however, was the one with the caption "Daddy cooks for me." A little boy is shown sitting on the floor of the kitchen playing with pots and pans and reaching for a cookie from his father. The father, smiling with a goofy pleased-as-punch look on his face, seems very proud of himself. He apparently is awaiting his gold star for the day.
This isn't the part I object to.
No, the part I have a beef with is that the father, wearing an oven mitt, is holding the cookie sheet directly next to the baby, where if the baby would happen to topple over he would most likely receive a nasty burn.
But, the piece de resistance in this entire cluster-foogaysie is that the oven door is still open directly behind the the baby. Surely, the mother was not there and didn't witness this because I'm sure if she saw it she would haved freaked. The. Crap. Out. Personally, I don't think I would have even been able to give my husband an "A" for effort for the cookies if I would have walked in at this very moment.
After reading this book to M, I want to give a mini-sermon on safety to her. I want to tell her, "No, it is not all right to go outside naked...even if Daddy says it is okay. In this day an age, there are too many weirdos. You just never know."
I want to use the book as lesson material for my two boys and husband: "Never, ever do this. You must move a baby far, far away before you open an oven door, and you certainly don't hold a hot cookie sheet in reach of a baby."
We have new reading material, but upon further investigation I have fundamental issues with the said material. This will inevitably drive me bananas, and I will once again flee the house in search for new, less offensive books again... sooner than I thought I would need to.
And so it goes.