Monday, April 8, 2013

The Runaway Bunny Gets Taken

I’m sure my love of reading is due in large part to my Mother always reading to me when I was young. Hoping to pass that on to my own children (I have two under 2) I read each at least two books before bedtime and often more throughout the day. Thanks to our generous family and friends and my own inability to pass up a children’s book rack without buying one or two we have a library of children’s books that is the envy of every childcare center within 50 miles. As a somewhat regular feature in this blog I hope to feature some of the funny things that occur to me while reading these books over and over and overAnd over and over and over and over and over and over and over and oh god please make it stop.

First up is The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown with pictures by Clement Hurd. This book often causes confusion in our household because my son doesn’t like it at all, but thinks he does because it has a picture of one of his favorite books, Goodnight Moon (another Brown/Hurd collaboration), on the back cover. So inevitably he drags this book off the bookcase, sees Goodnight Moon on the back cover, gets all excited, and is then crestfallen when he discovers it is in fact The Runaway Bunny.

And for good reason! That Mama Bunny is a bit of a psycho! I mean sure the book’s message is supposed to be one of reassurance to young children: “Mommy will always be there for you”And it’s almost always Mommy in these books. Daddy gets the shaft. But that Mama Bunny is a helicopter parent on steroids. Whether little bunny climbs to the top of a mountain or turns into a bird and flies away Mama Bunny tracks his butt down.

Whenever I read it I hear Liam Neeson’s voiceFrom Taken. But you knew that already right? in my head:"I don't know why you're running away. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for junk food I can tell you I don't have any. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career as a Mama Bunny. Skills that make me a nightmare for runaway bunnies like you. If you come home now, that'll be the end of it and I will give you a carrot. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will hug you.”

So I laugh about it a bit and then move on to Goodnight Moon, a book I’ve read to my son hundreds of timesIt took me until read #354 to realize the mouse moves around the room. Toddlers love looking for the mouse. Pro Tip: When the mouse is on top of the bookshelf on the far left hide him with your thumb. Hilarity will ensure when your toddler realizes where the mouse is.. But then I turn the page and all of a sudden I’m seeing it for the very first time. My jaw drops open and hangs in horror as it dawns on me. That old lady whispering hush? It’s that psycho Mama Bunny! She’s in your bedroom Little Bunny and she is sitting there, rocking maniacally in her chair, staring with her cold dead eyes until you fall asleep.

And if you aren’t careful little bunny she’ll be there until you’re in your dorm room at college. Sweet dreams!

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