Thursday, December 16, 2004

Grinch mother

I am a terrible, grinchy mother.

I sent Helena to bed last night, even though Dr Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas was on television.

In all fairness, I didn't know the Grinch was on TV till after I'd put Helena to bed. I thought for a moment about retrieving her, but then I thought that would just compound the awfulness of my parenting abilities and misplaced priorities.

Everybody knows the Grinch is far more important than bedtime.

I love this Christmas cartoon. It makes my heart pound and stop and weep and smile.

Nobody reads Dr Seuss like Boris Karloff, and the music with its delicious lyrics is spectacular. "Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk."

(J-F and I were listening to this song the other day and lamenting the lost art of the insult.)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the first book I bought for Helena, for her first Christmas two years ago. We'd started a little library for her before she was born, and she'd received books from friends and family, but this was the first book I chose for her — for the little person I was getting to know, as much as for the person I hoped she would become.

I even inscribed it — something corny about her causing my own heart to grow three sizes.

I read it to her that Christmas. Reading to her was so much easier then, when she couldn't crawl let alone run away, when she wouldn't turn pages before I'd reached the end, when she wouldn't point at every single object on the page and demand some acknowledgement of her naming abilities and descriptive capacity. She was a captive audience.

The book's out on the coffeetable now, waiting for the moment to strike when we simply must visit Whoville. Who knows whether we'll linger or simply pass through.

As for the cartoon, Helena may have to wait until next year.

Someday, I hope she'll forgive me.
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