I’ve had the fortune of spending time with a almost-4-year old. I say fortune because it has taught me many things about myself.. especially patience and that sometimes our requests are very strange.. even to children. And answering the perennial ‘why’ can be quite a challenge.
Spending time with a lil one has allowed me to revisit nursery rhymes. I briefly encountered them with her and her children but it was never enough time. Here, one of my childhood friends puts her son to sleep by singing nursery rhymes (whatever works I say).
I, of course, land up humming them all of the next day (especially since I have realised that I hadn’t heard them in the first place) and there are even days when I fall asleep to them (instead of the said son). But that apart.. I think these nursery rhymes are bloody morbid..
Some one is perpetually falling, cracking their crown, breaking into little pieces, or running down piggies without caring. Aren’t rhymes supposed to be with lessons? Like fables or good ol’ Panchatantra Tales? But the lessons here.. are what? Wiki has an interesting take on it..which halfway convinced me that nursery rhymes (like most things we learn in playschool) are hand-me-downs from Christianity.. which wouldn’t be bad at all were it not for the fact that they are down right depressing.
Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
One, two, buckle my shoe;
Three, four, knock at the door;
Five, six, pick up sticks;
Seven, eight, lay them straight;
Nine, ten, a good fat hen;
Eleven, twelve, dig and delve;
Thirteen, fourteen, maids a-courting;
Fifteen, sixteen, maids a-kissing;
Seventeen, eighteen, maids a-waiting;
Nineteen, twenty, I’ve had plenty.
Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum!
I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Be he ‘live, or be he dead,
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.
This little pig went to the market.
This little pig stayed home.
This little pig had roast beef.
This little pig had none.
This little pig cried “Wee, wee, wee, wee!”
All the way home.
in the tree top.
When the wind blows,
the cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks,
the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby,
cradle and all.
But I cannot help think that these rhymes are just too violent. Are they actually suitable for little tots for whom this is probably the first impression of the world of knowledge.