Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Temporary Ban

My daughter is only three and a half, but already my rule as information czar is weakening.

I'll admit it freely. I've wielded my power with a heavy hand, and I intend to keep doing so. In most cases, you all would support me as I select only television shows without violence or commercials, limit screen time, promote strong moral character... It all expected parental dictatorship.

But did you know that I am also a book banner. That's right. I ban books. Eek!

It was a completely unanticipated act of violence against the written word. I was once an eager high school student that purposefully sought out formerly banned books to read recreationally, inspired by my love of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Then one day, amid several other, lovely books, was a terrible tale of some ballerina princess and her battle with her best friend over who got to be the star of the show. It was wretched, but of course, Maya asked for it again and again.

At first, I hid it in the sofa. It was so easy. Out of sight out of mind. Then, months later, when I found it while cleaning up, I tucked it out with the recycling. I did have a little guilt about throwing away a book, but once that first one was out of the way, it was so much easier. I must have pitched 6, maybe even 10 books by now, all because the story was unacceptable.

Ultimately, my iron fisted rule has been diminished by my other compulsion: excessive picture taking. For the past two months, every time Maya walks by a particular picture of her and Grandpa reading, she throws a fit. "Where is my Bully book?" She asks, demanding that we look for it.

I know where it went. Shoot. It was horrible. One of the few Mercer Mayer books I can't stand. It actually instructs Critter and Little Sister to HIT the bully, which doesn't jive with my position on violence at all!

Today, Just a Bully arrived in the mail. Maya's poor dad caved in to her nagging while I was off on vacation. I'm not sure that it's in me to commit the same crime a second time, adding the offending picture to the recycling in order to keep her mind off it.... but maybe....

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