Why do so many children's board books bore me to tears? I'm supposed to use that enthusiastic mommy reading voice that intonates up at the end of each sentence when reading about such stimulating things as farm animals, front end loaders, and potties. Actually I don't mind the potty stuff due to my underground interest in all things poop.
Speaking of farm animals... Last Christmas I went to a free Santa photo shoot at our local public library where they generously gave out beautiful brand new books as gifts to the kiddies. They handed us a wonderful thick edition of Golden Tales' Farm Tales - something like 20 stories in one. What a gold mine, I erroneously thought. A year-and-a-half later I find myself neighing, baaing, honking, mooing, quacking, woofing, meowing and cockadoodledooing about a thousand times too many every single morning as we take our obligatory tour through Farmer Jones' & Farmer Brown's farmyards over and over again. Oy fuckin' vey!
I've flat out refused to re-read Smudge anymore, the on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller about a dog who notices it's raining outside so he goes inside. And then it stops raining, so he goes outside again. Enticing story line. How does this shit get published? Every time I had to read Smudge I thought to myself, "Man, who the hell writes this crap anyway? Anything can get published as a kids book. I spent a year-and-a-half of blood, sweat, and tears and went into a grave amount of debt getting my brilliant book inspiring women to love their bodies published only to have it fail... while some simpleton writes a couple of paragraphs about a dog going inside and outside and it actually winds up on my shelf."
Oh, and Curious George? Don't even get me started. Catatonia. Pure catatonia.
Okay, so ending on a gracious note, I do love reading to my sons and there are actually two totally cool books I like reading the most: Zen Shorts and The Three Questions. Both ironically deal with the eternal virtues of simply being present and of service to the one you're with. Which in my case boils down to getting real happy re-reading Smudge, Curious George and The Animals of Farmer Jones, 'cuz all that really matters is that my beautiful sons are in my lap, soft hands resting on my forearms, sweet eyes fixed on the page, ears tuned in to mommy... and I feel warm and whole and loved.