Last night innocence was almost lost... a moment in childhood was teetering on the edge of the cliff, but I yanked it back in the nick of time.
A few months ago, I bought tickets for Pipsqueak and I to see the play, "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" based on Judy Blume's book. I read her the book beforehand, so she would have a better idea of what was going on. We loved the book and the play.
Last month, I was looking through the Scholastic Books flier and saw a set of sequels to the book, "Superfudge", "Double Fudge" and "Fudge-a-mania". I ordered them and we started reading "Superfudge" soon after it arrived. The main character is Peter, who is now in sixth grade. His younger brother, Fudge, is the real star. He's 7 years younger and is starting kindergarten in this book.
All is well until Chapter 10, entitled "Santa Who?" Two pages into the chapter, I'm reading along when Peter says, "When I got home that afternoon, I cornered my mother. 'I don't think it's a good idea...'" At this point my eyes shot ahead of my mouth because I sensed what could be coming and I saw the words... "for you to let him go on believing in Santa." I had to think fast! I needed to buy some time. I'm getting over a cold, so I started coughing, feigned a frog in my throat and said I had to get water.
I took the book to the bathroom with me and sped read ahead while continuing to fake cough, clear my throat and drink water. In the upcoming paragraphs, Judy Blume was going to blow the whole Santa myth right out of the water! How could she do that? There should be a warning on the book cover or at the top of the chapter! If I known ahead of time, I could have skipped the whole chapter without it being missed. In her defense, the book is about a sixth grader, but with funny Fudge being the scene stealer, I can't believe Pipsqueak is the only 6-almost-7 year old that enjoys the series. As soon as I find a way to contact Ms. Blume, she's going to get a piece of my mind, but my first order of business was to warn you, my dear readers.
So here I was in the bathroom trying to figure out how to preserve the excitement of Christmas for what I hope will be years to come. I decided to skip some paragraphs, re-write a few sentences, and pray she didn't notice. She can read now, and most nights she points out parts she wants to read. Thankfully, I had painted her fingernails bright blue with a top coat of glitter earlier, so this night she was more interested in looking at her fingernails. I pulled it off, finished the chapter without her noticing it was a bit disjointed, kissed her goodnight and left her room with my hands shaking.
We, as parents, have enough worries and fears without our bedtime stories becoming myth busters. And now I must make an appointment with my colorist to cover the gray hairs that I got last night. Perhaps I'll send Judy Blume the bill.