May 15, 2009

"Otherwise They Get The Wrong Idea"

K2 loves tearing pages out of books. Once, in the car on the drive to NYC, she was fileting a gimmicky boardbook copy of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly in the back seat. It was keeping her quiet, we reasoned, and I didn't like the book anyway, so maybe we just go with it?

It was a suggestion that prompted the kid to remind us how wrong it is to tear books, because we take care of books, and since we'd told her that many times, we were forced to agree.

So when I saw a mention of the late New Yorker writer Donald Barthelme on We Love You So last night, I vaguely remembered a short story about a kid tearing pages out of books, and whaddyaknow, it's online. And awesome:

"The first thing the baby did wrong was to tear pages out of her books. So we made a rule that each time she tore a page out of a book she had to stay alone in her room for four hours, behind the closed door."

"The first thing the baby did wrong....." by Donald Barthelme [jessamyn.com]

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