Here’s today’s parenting tip: Do not read to your child, especially if you value your sanity.
I don’t know why I was in such a hurry for my kid to like books. Obviously I didn’t remember just how mind-numbingly boring most books aimed at small children are. MIND NUMBINGLY BORING. We’re not talking classics like Little House on The Prairie or Where the Wild Things Are or even Harold and the Purple Crayon He’s Probably Going To Fall On and Accidentally Stab Through His Eyeball Because He’s Not Very Smart. Those are stories. The crap aimed at the diaper-wearing crowd is just colors and noises infused with some sort of toddler-brain crack that gets them hooked and then you’re forced to read the same eight words over and over and over to avoid the horrible toddler crack brain withdrawal meltdown that ends when you give in and slowly shove bamboo splinters under your own nails while pointing out the doggie and the ball and the triangle and the cloud and the DEAR GOD PLEASE TAKE ME NOW.
Seriously, HIDE THE BOOKS.
Or if you still want to be a “Good Parent” and encourage “literacy” and “education” and all that BS, just read to them from adult books you actually enjoy – and avoid these in particular:
Trucks Go by Steve Light
THE GARBAGE TRUCK GOES: BURBABA BURBABA BURBABA SCREECH BEEP BEEP BEEP CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH.
I can keep going if you want. I’ve got the damn thing memorized.
Unless you want truck noises taking up valuable space in your brain for the rest of your life, never ever ever let your kid see this book. The bright colors and the random noises are immensely entertaining to small children while being seizure inducing in sane adults.
I did not buy this book. Obviously the “friend” who gave it to me clearly isn’t a “friend” at all, since I wouldn’t give this to my worst enemy. It’s actually a whole set of terrible books with these crazy unidentifiable animals dressed as people (anteater? REALLY? my toddler is supposed to know that?) doing ridiculous things while you read poetry even less well written than “There once was a man from Nantucket” and encourage your child to point at the red birdie and the blue drum and the…what the heck is that? A telescope? You want my baby to find a TELESCOPE? How about we work on basic body parts before we get to astronomy equipment, mmkay?
I usually just throw this one behind a chair. Somehow Baby Evan keeps finding it anyway.
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Williams
Don’t let the fancy awards and accolades and reviews on Amazon fool you. Right in the middle of the rather disturbing tale of a child whose horrible, careless father LOSES her beloved stuffed animal there are three pages of NOISES. Yelling noises. Noises that will make your kid laugh hysterically and cause him to bring you this book over and over and over until you’re tempted to just “lose” it in the washing machine too.
Bee tee double you: Can someone PLEASE tell me how to say “Knuffle Bunny”???? Is it a silent K like knife? Is it “kan-uffle?” I need to KNOW these things so I don’t send my kid to preschool totally confused. WARS HAVE BEEN FOUGHT OVER LESS THAN THIS.
Monkey About with Chimp and Zee by Catherine and Laurence Anholt
There is a page in this book that says you should lick it. LICK IT. I’m even more disturbed because this too is a hand-me-down book, which means someone else has probably licked it. The rest of it’s not that bad – very short – but that’s sort of like saying “Well yes, the meal at that restaurant was lovely besides the part where I found a pubic hair in my salad.”
Peek-A Who? by Nina Laden
The whole book is just stuff that rhymes with “who”. Moo, zoo, boo, choo-choo. It takes approximately 24 seconds to read the entire thing (even including the baby kissing the mirror on the last page because he luuuurves the bebeh in the book). Which means you can read the whole thing approximately 150 times in an hour. And you will. Better get those bamboo shoots ready for your fingernails. Or at least some special Mommy-juice.
A Child’s Good Night Book by Margaret Wise Brown
Don’t let the adorable illustrations and calming words and the charming bedtime prayer at the end fool you. This book is…short…and…nice…and…OK, fine. This is pretty much my favorite kid’s book ever. We read it when we wake up. We read it at naptime. E reads it to Baby Evan before bed. And I would happily read this fourteen bazillionty times a day – no stupid rhymes, no goo-goo-ga-ga, no talking down to children, no activities. Just beautiful words and pictures and a few minutes with a peaceful baby in my lap. Damn you Margaret Wise Brown and your fantastic children’s books.
I guess maybe I’ll keep reading to my kid after all.
(Disclaimer: The links above are through my Amazon Associates account. So if for some TOTALLY INEXPLICABLE REASON you decide you actually want to purchase any of these terrible terrible books I get something like three cents commission. Which isn’t even close to enough money to pay for the shrink I need to see to get the damn garbage truck out of my brain.)