I’m pretty sure that I got children’s books read to me when I was a youngin’. I mean, what parent wouldn’t read children’s books to their kid?
I know my parents loved me (at least, at the time) and that they read to me.
But somewhere along the line there was either a disconnect from what children are supposed, or else a strong influence from what my parents read.
You see, I have no memories of children’s books. I have no memories of mom or dad reading me stories of Pooh or any of that shit.
When my friends were reading Pooh, Suess, and all that stuff for children, I read stories about John Carter of Mars.
By the age of eight I had read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
I had completed Asimov’s Foundation series by nine.
In a fourth grade book report, in which we were to portray a fictional character during an “interview” which was conducted by a classmate, I took a paper box, cut a round hole and covered it with red paper so that I could climb inside and hold a flashlight up to it.
Yes. I was the HAL 9000 computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and not the one from the movie.
You see, my parents let me be exposed to adult ideas and concepts at a young age. When my 4th grade classmate was “super-cool” because he had the most Cabbage Patch Kids (seriously), I was delving into the existential questions posed by “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. I saw Porky’s when it came out. I understood Alien was more than a space-horror movie.
When I was nine the movie Dune came out. The staff at the movie theater were supposed to hand us a print-out explaining all of the strange titles, names, and lingo from the movie. When the acne-riddled boy tried to hand me a copy and I refused him, he tried to explain to my parents how complex the movie was, and how this sheet would help me understand what was happening. My mom said to him (and this memory sticks with me to this day) “Oh, he’s read the book. He actually explains to me what it means.”
What does this have to do with anything? I don’t know. Other than that I am not going to candy-coat shit for my baby. I think the best thing that ever happened to me was that my mom and dad encouraged me to read beyond what a three, four, six-year old should read.
And that my child will be exposed and influenced by the same ideals.
Treat kids like babies and they end up being incompetent fools. They end up being a fourth-grader who owns a lot of fucking Cabbage Patch Kids.
Treat them like the little absorbant sponge-brains they are, and you will be consistently tested, challenged, and confronted. They will be observant, intelligent, ctitical.
One path is easy and produces drones. The other produces human beings.
Guess which one my baby will be.