So I’ve had a number of blog mis-fires today. In part because of the usual (don’t ask, and I won’t go there), and a bit because I just wasn’t feeling it.
I started a piece about my dog’s counter surfing problem…and saved it for later (to a certain degree because I couldn’t upload the accompanying incriminating photographic evidence).
I had another one about a recent list of popular funeral songs (‘Highway to Hell’ is a surprising chart-topper), but I was having trouble nailing down my own song list. Hopefully I don’t die tonight, because my iPod is sorely lacking a solid set of selections for the funeral. Just make sure it’s absurd, but upbeat. Like maybe Tom Jones ‘It’s Not Unusual’?
And then there was one about how much I repeat myself.
But nothing was clicking.
And then I turned on the TV and saw – for the second time in 24-hours – a commercial for a product called “Your Baby Can Read!”
Have you seen this?
It would be funny if it was a joke, but it’s not a joke. It’s got footage of a preemie reading aloud from Shakespeare and then an 18-month old perusing the Wall Street Journal, interspliced with exciting voiceovers about how babies are born to read. Babies LOVE to read. Babies who aren’t reading and writing letters to the editor and splitting atoms are just wasting their and your precious freaking time. Babies were put on this earth to read..and YOURS CAN TO.
And then, in a seemingly random and non-correlated event, I was looking on Amazon.com, and you know how they have that feature at the bottom where people start random conversations about whatever wacky thing is on their mind (usually wanting to fight about god or creation or overly-assert some kind of rigid opinion) and hundreds of people chime in?
I don’t know why this is there and what it has to do with selling books, and I never chime in, but sometimes I lurk, and tonight I saw a subject line about proper reading materials for a voracious book-loving 4-year old Einstein. The mother was worried about Harry Potter being too scary, and dozens of people (also the parents of genius reader babies) were chiming in about how their pre-schooler loved Tolstoy and James Joyce.
And I just start thinking…what IS this?
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!?
Admittedly, I don’t have a baby.
To the best of my knowledge, in the next nine months there will not be a baby.
But I was a baby once.
Apparently a very dumb baby.
And this strikes me as worrisome.
Let’s break it down: When I was four years old I could not read.
I maybe knew the alphabet, but I think I thought ‘elemenopee’ was a letter.
At four years old I played with gypsy moth caterpillars, cut all the hair off my Barbie, and was deathly afraid of the rock band KISS. And I knew that the house on the corner housed a witch and if you looked at the windows too long, she would sense you and eat you. And believed that if I was wearing Keds, I could jump over a tree (despite numerous failed attempts).
Basically, stacked up against your average under-achieving nobody reads to him and nobody bought him ‘Your Baby Can Read!’ 2009 4-year old, I was Rainman idiot stupid…without the savant part. No toothpick counting here. Just underpants from K-Mart.
And I guess I’m saying even if your baby can read, WHY should he/she read? Is this really advisable?
Should it just be, “Your baby can read and watch CNN and worry about the economy and their future and whether or not the planet will be habitable in 50 years before they’re even out of diapers!”?
I get rushing to adulthood when life ends at 35. I’m fine with that. In that case, get married at 13, be a grandparent at 26, and in the ground by my age. Smoosh it all together, hit the ground running, and make sure your christening gift is a subscription to the New Yorker.
But if you’re probably going to make it to 75 or 85 or even more? And (if you’re like 99% of the population) worry your @ss off through the bulk of it?
Be an idiot kid for a while. Struggle to stack some colorful rings on a plastic rod. Do work with your bubble mower. Make tons of long-distance calls to imaginary friends and potted plants on a play phone. Eat some poop. Marry your dog. Whatever.
Just don’t start reading.
And for god’s sake, don’t start blogging.
The last thing I need is more competition.
All genius babies who are also surfing the internet looking for soft porn and somehow – disappointingly – end up at this blog instead, but then decide you would like me to start a special blog just for you, send me an e-mail with some subject matter of interest, and I’ll see what I can do.
- Want to know if Santa is real?
- Confused about how the Tooth Fairy gets in and out undetected?
- Can’t find Waldo?
- Wondering if that dead goldfish your mother flushed really went into the ocean?
- Confused about the difference between ‘by accident’ and on purpose’? (That confounded me until I was about seven – bad confusion to have, let me tell you what…)
If you’re willing to buy me beers (or click on ads until you have blisters)…then I could be the demystifying adult you’ve been looking for!)