Monday, May 5, 2008

Ee eye ee eye... WTF?

You know, I'm in the shower this morning, singing Old MacDonald to myself (like you've never done that) and I started thinking, as I sometimes do, about the groupthink we foster on our kids. How we all agree on certain things and we tell them to our kids, even though they have exactly no basis on life outside of the sphere of things we tell kids. Like, for example, that when you sleepwalk you hold your arms out in front of you. Where did that come from? And yet, if you're showing a kid sleepwalking, you better put your arms out - we all agree that's the way it works.

So here's what I come to next, as I'm soaping up areas that you shouldn't be thinking about... why is it that one of the very first things we insist on drilling into our kids' brains is how various animals sound? Why is that? One of the basic foundations of children's literature, a sub-genre onto itself, is that cat's go meow and dogs say bow-wow and cows say moo.


What good does it serve anyone? And yet, from the age of 0 to, say, 5 it's all anyone wants to say to us. The sheep goes... the horse goes... the elephant goes... over and over again until it is ingrained in there on a fundamental level. Things like math, spelling, religion, politics... all that comes later but buster you're two years old now and you'd better fucking learn what a lion says. You don't want to be a retard, do you?

And you can't decide to opt out, either. Like the sleepwalker, you can't say to a child, "No, cat's don't sound anything like meow. They do more of a rwar kind of sound. Doggies? Dear lord, don't get me started on doggies. Where did they get bow-wow from? Were they high? Oh, what's high? Uh... that's what mommies and daddies do when they love each other very much and they put the wet towel under the door and then they have sex."

Imagine your child in school questioning the teacher? "That's not what ducks say!" You'd be getting a nasty letter pinned to their jacket that night, my friend.

And here's another thing about it that drives me nuts... who decided what animals were on the list, and when? Because it's pretty much a closed shop there, huh? The list is always the same. Always. A couple of pets, a bunch of farm animals, a few African beasts in there for drama, and that's it. What does a zebra says? What does a beaver say, or a kangaroo? I don't know, I've never been told.

And there's some on the list that are pretty questionable. Does a mouse say squeak squeak? Really? Who decided that? Have you ever heard a mouse, outside of a movie or something? Not me. I owned a hamster, and he didn't say squeak. But he's not on the list, so I have to give them the benefit of the doubt on that one.

Next week, I convince you that a is not for apple and the entire system crumbles. Can you say home school?

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