Saturday, February 16, 2008

Down to Earth

So I know it's been a while since I've written a "real" blog post... and suddenly, kapow! I have ten million things I want to write about. And, of course, very little time to actually sit down and do it. Better that way than the other way around, I suppose!

Today I was reading a Richard Scarry book to my son for the umpteen-millionth time. (I say that with all love, because I do truly love Richard Scarry books, and I love that my son loves them). He requested a story that hasn't been on our top ten Scarry radar, called "The Accident". Now, there's nothing grand about "The Accident" per se. It has the usual Scarry cast of characters who get into an unfortunate pile-up because they were not looking where they were going. Then a fellow named Greasy George comes along and he does a predictably bad job at putting all the cars back together, equally combining the parts from all the cars and the motorcycle until each vehicle is absurdly cock-eyed.

Again, cute, but we've seen this kind of thing before. And then, in an aside, you see a voice coming out from under an engine hood. It's Seargent Murphy's radio. It says, "Come in, Seargent Murphy! Your little girl Bridget will not take her nap. Come home immediately!"

I've seen this page probably zillions of times, but today this little snippet just made me heave a happy sigh. I'm not sure when Richard Scarry wrote this story, but it was probably at least 30 years ago. And apparently back then mothers were getting fed up with their kids some days and calling in the big kahuna.

Sometimes I feel like a wonderful mother. Sometimes I feel like an hysterical knit-wit who doesn't even know how to garner the cooperation of someone 1/3 of her size. And sometimes I feel like I'm insane for getting frustrated and saying to my husband (as we all do, I suppose?) "Here. Here's your child. Now you deal with him!"

Somehow it's the collision of all these feelings that gave me some moment of clarity today. That, and the fact that, suddenly, my little guy is saying things like, "Hey mama! Come here! I have an idea!" and wanting to have his hands cleaned and even eating gasp! stir-fried chicken and vegetables over rice at the table and trying bamboo shoots and liking them. "Bamboo! Bamboo! Bamboo!"

Yet for all the progress today held, I still must type with the strains of evening protest in the background (doesn't want diaper on, doesn't want this set of pyjamas, wants those pyjamas) which makes me so annoyed and yet amused. Seargent Murphy, we have a problem indeed. Come in immediately!


Anke said...

I love Richard Scarry! I wanted to buy one of his books via amazon for my niece a couple of weeks ago, but sadly it seems the German versions are out of print...which I don't understand...they are classics! I think I remember a little worm wearing lederhosen?

Mama H said...

Yup... my husband and I always laugh about the fact that the pigs are always in Lederhosen. Actually, lots of the houses are in the Fachwerk style, there's Rudolf von Fluegel wearing a Pickelhaube. Lots of little German touches... makes me wonder if Scarry lived in Germany.

Long story, but I saw one of the German versions of Scarry available on eBay, but it was from the 1960's. Not sure if your niece will appreciate the vintage...


Anke said...

Luckily I saved some of my old Scarrys (to give to my own children, should there ever be any), but they are in my parents cellar, probably happily molding in some cardboard box. But Helen might get an English one once she's old enough. :)