Du is the best dad in the world. He puts Reagan to bed every night to give me a couple minutes of peace to myself. He is the. best. dad. This nighttime ritual includes among other things reading a story. Tonight Reagan chose From Tadpole to FROG.
Maybe she was missing Phillip, our tadpole who met an untimely death. Who knows how the brain of a six year old works.
Du opened the book to begin reading it to her. Upon finding very few words on each page he handed the book to Reagan to read. She gladly accepted and began reading away. All’s well for the first six pages. Then she reads this page:
Uh, wha? Since when is animal porn acceptable for a Stage 1 reading book!?!? Reagan’s reaction was to point and say, “Look, Dad, he’s hugging her!” Du’s reaction was to say, “yes, honey, that’s absolutely all they’re doing, now let’s go wash our eyes out with soap.” Oh. He didn’t go that far. But come on! It’s night time. The busy day is over. Things are winding down. We’re relaxed. Peaceful. Ready to read to child and turn out lights. Peaceful. Who knew we’d almost be forced into the talk at 9pm on a Saturday night. With a 6 year old. Because of two hugging frogs.
To his credit he must have handled it well. I, sitting in the living room, heard no thuds of bodies fainting to the floor. Heard no yelling for Mom to come fix the situation. I was in my own little innocent world. Until he came back with a concerned look on his face and tossed the book in my general direction and replayed the events. After convulsing with laughter I got up off the floor and changed my pants. I had to see for myself. Take a peek at what the back of the book describes as Stage 1 reading (bold print mine for emphasis):
“Stage 1 books explain simple and easily observable science concepts for preschool- and kindergarten-age children.”
What is so easy about reproduction? Who, in the whole world, has ever observed two frogs doing it? Oh, you have? Tell me, was it easily observed? Did you just happen by a pond one day, look down and see two frogs “hugging”? Horses? Easily observable. Meerkats? Apparently so as well. Frogs? Not so much. Or do I not spend enough time outside?
Now, I see nothing wrong with the content of this book. But not for my six year old. When? We’ll all know when our children are ready for the talk. I’m all about openness and honesty. But please, God, give me a few more years. Be warned! Not all kids books are as innocent as they seem. Maybe we should have been warned by the title? Maybe we should actually pre-read the books we’re handing our daughter to read?
Whew, I had to share this you. Happy dreams.