"The worst feature of a new baby is its mother's singing." — Kin Hubbard
I was reading Jacob some nursery rhymes from this book:
Seems cute right? It’s filled with staples like the Incy Wincy Spider and Little Bo-Peep. And it even has some favourites like The Cat and the Fiddle.
Now, I remember singing some of these rhymes as a child and never questioning the words. For example, Rock-a-Bye Baby: “When the bough breaks the cradle will fall, and down will come baby, cradle and all.” Hmmmm. I have since changed the words to: “And Mom will catch baby, cradle and all.” Maybe I’ll resort back to the original story on future camping trips when I want to scare the kids.
Then I came across some even more weird ones. Like The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. Again, I remember hearing this story numerous times as a kid, but today, this is my reaction to it:
There was an old woman
Who lived in a shoe
She had so many children
She didn’t know what to do.
She gave them some broth
Without any bread;
She whipped them all soundly
And put them to bed.
How heart-warming right? Perfect story for the kid who resists bedtime. Obviously a lot of old children’s literature was written to help teach kids about manners and behaving. I get that. But it still shocks me as I read it out loud to Jacob. My voice starts off very animated and perky, but by the time I’m reading “without any bread” I’m slowing down, my voice becomes more hushed, and I find myself not wanting to finish because I can sense what’s coming…the whipping!
Then there’s Ladybird, Ladybird; about a ladybug:
Fly away home,
Your house is on fire and
Your children are gone,
All except one
And that’s little Ann,
For she crept under
The frying pan.
What? What? WHAT? I have no words. Just this other face:
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