Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Gift Idea: Shel Silverstein

If you are looking for Christmas gifts, Shel Silverstein is always a winner.  Had I only known about Shel Silverstein, I am sure I could have been a better mom.  Back in my day, and stuck in my 70’s midwest traditional role of motherhood,  I only read Old Mother Goose rhymes.  Remember them ... “The Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe,” “Humpty Dumpty,” “Little Jack Horner."  I also threw in some Dr. Seuss here and there.

I specifically loved reading “The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” and really revved it up when I came to the phrase “... and whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.”   Daughter #2 always giggled at that part ... probably because she knew I was totally powerless over her, which she proved in her teen years.  That’s a story for another day though.

If you are lucky enough to be familiar with his work, Shel Silverstein seems to have given voice to children’s plight and its perceived unfairness.  How many times have we heard our kids say, “But that’s not faaaiiiirrrrr!” and then fall to the floor in a convulsive spastic fit.   My typical response was, “Well, get use to it, life is unfair.” and march on with my business.

Perhaps had I read to them “Nobody” or “Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony” or "Deaf Donald", I would have been slightly more sympathetic and may have scored higher points in motherhood.  Or probably not.  

If you’re tired of reading the same old stuff and looking to score some points with the kids, check out Shel Silverstein. His humorous sketches, whimsical poetry and magical word play will delight not only them, but you as well.

I'm planning on buying hubby the book and placing a special tab on "Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony".  It reads:

There was a girl named Abigail
Who was taking a drive
Through the country
With her parents
When she spied a beautiful sad-eyed
Grey and white pony.
And next to it was a sign
That said,
“Oh,” said Abigail,
“May I have that pony?
May I please?”
And her parents said,
“No you may not.”
And Abigail said,
“But I MUST have that pony.”
And her parents said,
“Well, you can’t have that pony,”
But you can have a nice butter pecan
Ice Cream cone when we get home.”
And Abigail said,
“I don’t want a butter pecan
Ice cream cone,
And her parents said,
“Be quiet and stop nagging–
You’re not getting that pony.”
And Abigail began to cry and said,
“If I don’t get that pony I’ll die.”
And her parents said, “You won’t die.
No child ever died yet from not getting a pony.”
And Abigail felt so bad
That when they got home she went to bed,
And she couldn’t eat,
And she couldn’t sleep,
And her heart was broken,
And she DID die–
All because of a pony
That her parents wouldn’t buy.

 (This is a good story
To read to your folks
When they won’t buy
You something you want.)

I think it only fair to warn him that I could DIE if he doesn't buy me an IPad.  Throwing myself to the ground in convulsive fits no longer works.