I Shared The Books of My Childhood With My Kids, But They Cried and Begged Me to Stop

All whipped up in a froth of nostalgia, I started sharing my favorite childhood things with my kids.  I pictured them embracing their history through the “antique” items that represented my youth.  Because they already know Blue Baby, they were right to be cautious about stuff from Mommy’s childhood.

How can my kids resist the toys from my childhood?

How can my kids resist the toys from my childhood?

But still, they’d come around on Blue Baby, so I assumed they would see beneath the scars of love and overuse to embrace the “new” toys I was introducing them to.

What actually happened is that they not only rejected half of the relics, but some of them actually seemed to distress and traumatize them.  The themes of the books I loved were troubling to their modern sensibilities.  Apparently, my kids don’t like stories about poachers or near-death-by-drowning or the arrogance of “Man” vis-a-vis the animal kingdom.  Where in the world did these radical children come from?  Commies.

It shouldn’t have hurt my feelings, but I confess I felt dissed.  Then I felt ridiculous when I heard myself saying, “Just ignore the part where Babar’s mom was murdered! Wait till you see him get married. It’s the coolest!”

Fine.  Your American Girl dolls are fancier than Blue Baby; your muddled and incomprehensible Dora stories are better than Babar.  I just hope I live long enough to meet my grandchildren and roll out the crap my kids think is so freaking awesome and timeless.  I will have the last laugh here, even if I have to live to 90 to get it.

To read about how my children reacted as we plowed through Babar, Curious George, and other classics from my 1970’s childhood, click here.

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9 thoughts on “I Shared The Books of My Childhood With My Kids, But They Cried and Begged Me to Stop

  1. My children refused to read The Box Car children series that I loved as a child. Then my oldest granddaughter got old enough to read them and she said she enjoyed them. I haven’t seen them since! :)

  2. I wouldn’t feel too bad, Christie. I remember my children getting a reprint of “Little Toot” and found a portion of it had been edited out (where Big Toot gives Little Toot the shameful scolding of his life). Even the classics, if reprinted, don’t always come back 100% faithfully.

    And then there’s the Disney sanitizing of the folk tales the Brothers Grimm compiled.

  3. I loved all of those books. But my MIL gave my daughter her favorite childhood book, Blueberries for Sal, and I found it to be the longest, most boring…only to be read at Grandma’s house…book ever. Mine liked Curious George and Corduroy, and Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, and one called Be Nice to Spiders that I always loved. If Dora’s bad, stay away from Strawberry Shortcake. She’s berry berry bad. Newer book we all love is called One of Each it has a great cadence and is about sharing.

  4. The only book which has stood through the times “The Giving Tree”, received it in 1991, with kid 1, kid 4 still reads it to me, he’s in 5th grade. I go for books with limited words on each page until they can read to me, and no sounds. Unless the book reads it’s self. Sorry, I worked 50-60 hours a week when my kids were small. I love it when they read to me, still.

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