Alligator Pie

I’m told that when a fetus is in its 18th week or so, it can hear sounds from the outside world. For that reason, parents are encouraged to speak to their future children to get them adjusted to their voices. This book tells me that, as a dad, I should try to talk to the baby at the same time every day so that it settles into a routine.

Mind you, the book’s author also recounts the time that, as children, he and his family went to Central Park, stripped down, and body-painted each other. The book does have a lot of useful information but once in a while, it comes through that the author is kind of a new age yuppie twit.

Still, I thought it might be a good idea to talk to the baby once in a while before it’s born. The problem is, I don’t really know what to say.

So I decided that I’d read to it. My current bedside book is The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 but that might be a bit heavy. Also, the baby may not want to come out after finding out what kind of world we live in.

I decided, instead, on poetry. I went through the few books of verse that I have and decided that the Victorian poets were never really my thing seeing as they’re exceedingly dull. That’s when I decided that I’d read the same book of poems that I loved as a child: Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee.

As she is a foreigner and therefore not blessed with the knowledge of Canadian children’s literature from the early 1970’s, the Baby Mama was unfamiliar with the work. It offers up mostly nonsense rhymes for the toddler set and makes numerous references to Canada in general, but Toronto in particular. In one poem, Honest Ed’s gets a shout-out, for instance.

As a kid, I never owned my own copy but spent one summer repeatedly signing it out of the local library. Hopefully the baby will like it too, and not think its dad is weird.

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5 thoughts on “Alligator Pie

  1. Rest assured…the sprog WILL think it’s Dad is wierd. The poetry reading won’t do a thing to change that. It’s a hard-wired thing that comes to full fruition at about age 12.

    Oh…..he/she will also hate you at about age 15. This will be because *I* will be the good parent and will paint you as the evil dictator to make myself look good.

    Aren’t you excited???

  2. I’ve got the box set: The New Father: The First Year and The New Father: The Toddler Years. Yeah he seemed kinda different, but I liked it because it was for the father by a father, not the mother.

  3. Mare- I gave my nephew a book of Shel Silverstein poems when he was little. They’ll probably make an appearance in our kid’s room.

    Baby Mama- I was hoping instead of evil dictator, I’d be drunk dad who drinks because baby cries

    Frank- I did like the book for the same reasons you mention and will probably get the sequels.

  4. Scott used to read Shel Silverstein a lot to Jack when he was a wee-er lad than he is now. 🙂 Now he reads mostly stories that concern the Transformers, or hockey players. When he thinks about Jack as a tot his eyes all get soft and sentimental… softie Dads are so cute. 🙂

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