Why We Really Read Books to Our Kids

If you’re a good parent you most likely read your kids bedtime stories.  If you don’t, it’s because you probably suck.  I’m just kidding.  Maybe.  In my house this is the time the hubby and I cuddle up with our daughter and enjoy our “family time”.  Considering my husband and I both have an insatiable appetite for books, it’s important to us that our daughter understands the importance of reading.  I know, I probably deserve the parent of the year award.  But I think we all know that’s never going to happen.  Why?  Because I don’t feed my kid organic food, and I’m currently letting my daughter watch TV while I write this.  I am a bad, bad mommy.

"Go the Fuck to Sleep" book cover

Our bedtime ritual goes as follows.  We get into our comfy pajamas, feed the dog and cat, and then daddy helps my five-year old brush her teeth.  I am proud to say she is still cavity free.  Then all three of us climb into her bed and read exactly three books.  This is where the problem usually occurs.

“Mini Me, go pick out the three books you want to read,” I tell my daughter.

“I want you to do it,” She’ll say.  So I do.  I usually try and pick out books I like and don’t mind reading.  For instance one of my favorites is "Go the Fuck to Sleep”.  

If you have never read this book, or had Samuel L. Jackson read this book for you, you are doing yourself a great disservice:

Now of course I would never read this book to my child, and I seriously doubt any sane parent would either.  However critics lost their minds because of this book.

CNN guest columnist Karen Spears Zacharias has blasted the wonderfully funny book written by the amazingly talented Adam Mansbach.  She suggests that the book could pose a threat to the welfare of the children.  Well yeah, if you're beating them with the book I would have to agree with this humorless bitch.  Doesn’t she understand this this book isn’t for the children?  It’s for frustrated and tired parents everywhere who have spent endless hours trying to put their children to sleep.  And if you’re a parent who actually reads this book to your child, I think you need to put yourself in a time out and think about what you’ve done.  She goes on to write, “The violent language of Go the F_ _ _ to Sleep is not the least bit funny when one considers how many neglected children fall asleep each night praying for a parent who’d care enough to hold them, nurture them, and read to them.”  Please remind me to never, ever invite this woman to my house.  She is the ultimate funsucker.  The woman can’t even bring herself to say the word fuck.  Instead she writes “F_ _ _ _”.  Come on Karen you can say it.  It’ll make you feel better.  Try it with me, fuuuuuucccccckkk.  *Sigh* I feel better how about you?

But, we are not reading “Go the Fuck to Sleep” to Mini Me.  Every single night Mini Me tells her dad or myself to pick out her three books for her.  If I had my druthers I would pick out “Click, Clack Moo”.  I love that book.  Makes me laugh every time.  Also a good one is “Shark vs. Train”.  A children’s classic.  And also one of my very favorites, “Diary of a Spider”.  You have to love any book that has a main character that is afraid of vacuums.  So I do as she asks and pick out the three books I want to read to her.  Once I bring them back to the bed she takes one look at my picks, grabs them, and puts them back into the bookshelf so she can take out the worst book in the Universe.  “Once Upon a Potty”.  By Alona Frankel.  

"Once Upon a Potty" book cover

I hate this book.  I really really hate this book.  I have tried to hide this book only to have my husband find it for Mini because he thinks it is funny to cause me pain.  I have thrown this book into the trash only to find it right back in the bookshelf like some possessed Ouija board.  I can’t escape the damn thing.  Now I didn’t pick this book out for Mini.  A family member who shall remain nameless bought this book for her.  So lets do a quick read of the book shall we.

The book starts out with Prudence and her mother.  “This is Prudence.  Prudence is a little girl.  Hello I am Prudence’s mother.  I’d like to tell you about Prudence and her potty.”  Now I had no idea that the author was Jewish.  But the first time I read this book my inner Jewish mother came right out.  I should probably mention that I was a Theater Major and a pro at accents and dialects.  So once my inner Jewish mother came out, I couldn’t stop her no matter how much I tried.

The author goes on to describe Prudence’s body parts.  “A head for thinking.  Eyes for seeing.  Ears for hearing.  A mouth to talk and eat with.  Hands for playing.  A pee pee for making Wee-Wee.  Legs for running.  A bottom for sitting and in it a little hole for making Poo-Poo.”  And there is Prudence.  Naked from head to toe bending over so we call all see her hole.  But do people complain about this book?  Is Karen Spears Zacharias up in arms about the fact that this book that is bordering on child pornography?  No.  One woman named Debbie said, “My adult daughter was in the hospital and we had great fun together as I read this book to her as though she were still a little girl.  And sat and sat and sat and sat.”  If I were in the hospital, the last think I would want to see would be Prudence’s little cartoon butthole.  But if that wasn’t enough, the book goes on and shows Prudence as a baby.  Then her proud mother tells us that she has been changing little Prudence’s diaper since she was only one day old.  It would actually be kind of a sweet story if they didn’t actually show Prudence’s poo.  What is it with this author?  Moving on to page 7-8.  More poo.  But on pages 9-10 Prudence’s grandmother brings Prudence a little present.  What could it be??  Turning the page.  It’s a potty!  Even though it looks a lot like a water jug.  The messed up thing about all of this is, if someone gave me that as present, you can rest assure it would be on my dining room table and I would either be pouring you a nice glass of Houston’s finest, or it would be filled with a bouquet of flowers.

Let’s move on to another review written by Sarah Lynn Lester.  She raves about the book.  But the book wasn’t sufficient; Sarah Lynn Lester also got the DVD.  Because seeing Prudence’s private parts in a book weren’t enough.  There is nothing as exciting as seeing Prudence drop a deuce in live motion.  She goes on to write, “The whole time I've been writing this – (the review) and for entire months of the last few years - I've had the fabulous little jingle from the DVD stuck in my head”.  It even has a jingle!  How twisted is that???

Moving on to page 19.  There is Prudence sitting on her potty.  Such pretty Prudence.  Page 20.  There is Prudence staring at her poo.  REALLY?! And if it wasn’t bad enough I’m starting at Prudence’s poo as well.  Does it ever end?!?!! I think to myself as I’m reading this to my potty-trained five-year old.  And it does end.  Temporarily.  That is until page 25.  I don’t think I need to tell you what we see in little Prudence’s potty.  Why should I tell you when the author has a closeup shot of it?  My eyes!! My eyes!!  “Bye Bye, Wee-Wee.  Bye bye, Poo-Poo,” says little Prudence, as she and her mother dump the contents of Prudence’s bowel functions in the toilet.  And of course the very last picture is Prudence’s bare ass sitting on her potty.  AND BYE BYE PRUDENCE!  I say.

I will try again to dispose of dear sweet Prudence and her potty.  But I swear it, I think my kid has LoJack on this particular piece of “art”.  Even while writing this blog my kid came in my office and took off with the book.  I had to beg her to give it back to me so I could finish.  Prudence has her naked little hand on the pulse of this family.  But let’s be honest, I will continue to read this book.  Why?  Because all I really want is for my kid to go the fuck to sleep.

© Two too smart, smartass mommies 2011