Thursday, March 4, 2010

Green Eggs and .....Dr. Seuss

Today March the 2nd is Dr. Seuss' birthday. He was born Theodor ("Ted") Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904. I remember as a wee lad the first time I saw one of his books. I was five and I was in the dentist waiting room. "Green Eggs and Ham" was the book. The thought of eating just the green eggs made me feel sick. I usually thought of green food when my mom cleaned out the refrigerator. All that fuzzy green smelly stuff. That will put a Wocket in your Pocket. I was feeling pretty queasy which really didn't make it easy to see the dentist. I didn't even get to the ham before we had to go.

Still, their was something to that plate of potentially bad food Sam was trying to pawn off. I always stuck to my guns when it came to not eating food I didn't like. And yet Sam sold that plate with a smile. I wouldn't eat it, but what a sells man! Would you like them here or there? The boy just didn't give it up. My Dad would have been pounding the table telling me to eat my food. He never once asked me if I would like it in a car, eat them eat them here they are. I might have eaten my dinner in a boat. Hell, I might have eaten it with a goat. My parents just didn't ask in the right way I'm sorry to say.

"Cat in the Hat" scared the hell out of me! Here is this really big cat that could probably eat the kids faces off and he was totally destroying the house even when the kids were begging him not to. NO SUPERVISION!!!! Where were the parents? I didn't trust that cat. I was so totally down with the fish. That cat can't be trusted. And then on the back inside cover.....there he was.....looking into the widow with face of his. They made us read that in very very cruel.

Still, there was something to Dr. Seuss. There was such chaos in every story that kept you turning the pages to find out if you could find some sort of calm normal solution to the mess the Doctor prescribed. The pictures were insane. The words rhymed but they were not real words. My mother would always tell me to not make words up and yet here I was reading wuzit, woozit, and whoozit. Shrock lock a bing bock, what is a kid to do? The books taught me to read. They taught me to draw. They taught me to use my imagination. They kept me young. They kept me reading

While every Who down in Whooville raises their young, I grow up and begin to raise mine. I force feed Dr. Seuss down my daughter with every once of my imagination. I read in characters, make sound effects. and read so fast that my tongue makes slips and back flips. I do this every night and the only thing she is able to do is listen. Then she remembers the sound effects. Then she talks in the character's voices. Then she reads to her little brother without knowing how to read. Now she reads to him knowing how to read and asking what kind of words are these. Soon both my children will read and forget about what the funny words are supposed to mean and just enjoy the experience.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss. The Doctor is still one of my all time favorite writers. The pictures are cool, but his imagination is endless. I love to tell my children about all the places you will go. However, I'm a little selfish. I hope that when they get older and pick up a Dr. Seuss book that they are reading to someone special, but that it doesn't remind them of a scary dentist office, or bad food in the fridge. I hope...I hope...In every once of their heart.... that they


Allegro Melody Art Dolls said...

I hated Green Eggs and Ham because I didn't like eggs, and my parents used it to try and get me to eat them. The Cat in the Hat made me uncomfortable, too. But I love all of his other books!

Anonymous said...

My Mom tells the story of me reading Suess the first time and saying "well, this is just stupid"! Though I grew up reading and being read to, it was much later that I appreciated the creativity of Dr. Suess!