Monday, January 28, 2013

As a kid, I loved to read, and I am enjoying sharing that with McBaby. I am starting to realize though, that many of the books I loved as a child now give me the SUPER-CREEPS. Thus, I present:

Here is how my perception of the characters has changed:

His size is what first struck me when I read this story as an adult. Dr. Seuss features cat-sized cats that walk on four legs in some of his stories. This cat could easily have been cat or even child-sized, but he is not he is human-adult-sized. This makes him more powerful than the children. It also makes him super scary: A. GIANT. BI-PEDAL. CAT. Also he is wearing a hat, gloves, and a tie but no pants...what the heck?

 The cat does whatever he wants, regardless of what the fish says. The fish constantly says that the cat "should not be here when your mother is not." It is clear that the cat would not behave this way if their  mother were there to protect them. He makes a huge mess. I do no even want to think about what "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" could be euphemisms for. Then, creepiest of all, he gets rid of all the evidence and escapes before their mother can see him.

The end is the most intriguing part to me. I do not think Dr. Seuss was trying to hide a disturbing story in a children's book. This book is for kids who are too young to read to themselves, so it would make sense that he would know that parents would be reading this to them. In the end, their mother comes home and asks what happened while she was gone. The last line of the book provides parents with a chance to indirectly ask, "Would you tell me if an adult did something to make you uncomfortable when I was gone?"

It is also a good opportunity to look at listening to your conscience, and summoning the courage to act on it. The fish objects constantly throughout the book, but it is not until the main character takes action, and demands that the cat leave, that the madness stops.

And that, my friends, is how you write an English paper that your professor will love.

Seriously though, yikes.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Ghosts of Rachels Past

I have been thinking about New Year's resolutions and changes I would like to make. I know a lot of people, especially moms, spend a lot of time beating themselves up about what they could be doing better. For the most part I don't have this problem, (I'll save the crippling guilt for the future when my children out-number my hands.) 

My current self is pretty nice to me, it's the ghosts of past Rachels that are the real jerks. It usually goes like this:

I have decided this kind of thing is actually healthy. The burning humiliation is a sign that you have grown from someone who once thought that action was perfectly ok, into someone who cringes even at the idea of it. So friends, whatever your resolutions are, you can feel good that at least you are not as awkward as you were in your mid-teens.

And for my friends who are in their mid-teens:
You can't fight it. You can never be so cool that future-you will not think you were totally lame. Don't worry though, future you is sooo much more judgey than anyone else, and you are pretty cool already. Plus everyone is too busy remembering their own embarrassing past to remember the things you will one day be embarrassed about.