There's something deeply unpleasant about your child calling you into the bathroom because they've had a poo and then noticing that their face is covered in Nutella.
This morning my son is whiny. Which is not a great combination with my grouchiness. How grouchy? So much so that when Curious George came on television I had to leave the room lest I scream angrily at The Man In The Yellow Hat, "it's a not a bloody monkey you moron - it's a chimp!" Honestly - when one of the main pillars of a story is that wrong you'd think it would have been phased out by now. But no - on it goes repeating over and over again that the suspiciously wealthy man with a fetish for looking like a banana has no idea that his monkey is actually a chimp. I had to go pace around upstairs for five minutes whilst disparaging his character. I knew it was personal because I avoided attacking his clearly negligent arseholery in forcing his monkey onto the general public (who puts a chimp on a train to go Christmas shopping and doesn't expect utter mayhem?) and actually felt annoyance about his clothes. The only people who wear clothes like him in real life are Snoop Dogg, flamboyantly gay fashion designers and the sort of people you see on those Channel Five shows who insist their weird relationship with a fence/blow up doll/horse should be recognized as real love by general society.
It's just not right. I'll have to be careful not to burst the bubble of my in-laws who love the George stories (I was just told this past week that they are much more innocent than the weird cartoons of today) by pointing out that not only are the first 8 stories riddled with smoking, but that The Man buys George his own smoking pipe. There is no bigger enemy to humankind than smoking in their eyes. I always like to recount a story whilst watching the absolute naff-fest that is the Nicholas Cage movie Ghostrider at their house. Cage - who's head is on fire - murders a few people before chasing someone down and then decapitating them with the front wheel of his motorcycle. He then lights a cigarette off the burning corpse of his most recent victim. It was at this point that it was exasperatingly mentioned that it's such a shame movies have to glorify smoking. Anyhoo - old books are weird in a of-their-time sense like Curious George. Smoking and all that is just socially normal.
So yeah - stuff like smoking is of it's time in it's innocence. As was plucking animals from Africa and whisking them off for people's entertainment elsewhere. I remember getting out an early Babar story for my kids only to have to struggle though a harrowing part about Babar's mother is butchered by poachers as he cries whilst watching her die. Normal backstory for a kids book back then. These days things just aren't that disturbing. Mind you - if you read the original Rev. Awdry Thomas books and change the name of Sir Topham Hat to Jimmy Savile it's bloody awful.
Moving on though - look what my daughter made for me. It's a drawing of some sprouts. She wasn't sure how to spell the words "Sprouts Made By Evelyn" so she tried to sound it out. She also ran out of room to put the last letter of her name. It's still ace though. It reminds me of a the internet meme from a few years back that just had gargled phonetic spelling over pictures of things.
I also jost got this for my son for Christmas. It's James the Red Engine colored to look like a bee. That way he won't get stung. Genius. Anyway - he's made me look at this picture about 20 times a day for the last week or he'll scream and skweem and squeem. So I got it for him and then maybe he'll go look at it by himself.
Over the weekend my daughter and I watched a show about creepy animals. I asked my daughter what she thought the creepiest animal was and she said "your bum cheek." Actually she's been saying "bum cheek" obsessively for about a fortnight and I'm trying to stamp that out. I knew there was a real problem when she just started yelling "Daddy has bum cheek juice!" after I made a cup of coffee the other morning. At least it's soft and relatively innocent though. The stuff she tells me that the boys in her class say is juvenile but nasty. There's the usual "a boy at school kept calling everyone a poop-head." But she has also recounted a boy who angrily threatened to pee on people on the playground. The words "bum cheek" are very mild compared to that. I have suddenly realized though that my daughter is the one who tells teacher when another child is doing something wrong. Which is what the teacher has asked them to do and there are a few other kids that are as diligent at "dobbing" on their friends. But I've been present when she's pompously informed on another class mat for violating rules. That's fine at this age but give it 18 months and you get punched in the muffin for that sort of thing.
Anyway - I managed to get my daughter to not say bum cheeks are the creepiest animal and agree that it's definitely penguins. But then the television show muddied the waters by showing a guy with a tarantula. Oddly my daughter then invented a story where out house was occupied by big hairy spiders who then went online to email all their spider friends to tell them they should move in as well.
She even said, "Imagine if there was a huge spider typing a message. "Come to the house. There are lots of chips!"" Actually her imagination is getting the best of her too. I offhandedly mentioned that the hardwood floor in my bedroom has sagged so much that the nails are sticking out. Add that it has buckled in one spot. I referenced how we would likely end up ripping the entire thing out and reframing it like every floor downstairs too. That night she then had a nightmare that the floor collapsed and the house ripped in half.
Minus ten Dad points.