The Frustration in Fairytales

A month or so ago I wrote a lengthy post about my unfortunate experience with our local public school system and my decision to homeschool; essentially I refused to expose Rinn to a system who promotes the physical abuse of children. Have there been instances during this adventure in homeschooling where I desperately wanted to bust out the wooden spoon? You’re damn right. Enter phonics; you try pronouncing words at an obnoxiously slow and awkward pace while over-enunciating every syllable, even adding unnecessary syllables so that gorilla suddenly becomes GUH-RRR-ILLLLL-AAAAAHHH, as your child literally runs out of the room and not want to throw things.

Just because I’m opposed to violence doesn’t mean I don’t feel violent, it simply means I find other channels for that negative energy. We either sit together and practice deep breathing techniques or I shout “5 MINUTE BREAK TIME!” During which we retreat to our separate corners of the ring: I write something sassy for this blog and Rinn is probably off trying to build a tent for the dog out of blankets and trampoline parts. I chalk these moments up as supplemental education hours; learning how to cope with frustration and stress in a positive manner or as I record them “brief lessons in psychology and mental health”.

In that initial post I was also adamant that my decision to homeschool was not because I’m a “pro-participation-trophy-my-child-is-god’s-gift kind of mom that is advocate for trigger-warnings and overall coddling.” Life is too hard for all that jazz and while I believe in preserving the innocence of youth for as long as humanly possible (long live the Easter Bunny!), I certainly don’t want Rinn to someday enter the real world completely ill equipped and clueless as to how to handle the tribulations and tragedies that come with all the joy and wonder of life.

Unfortunately I’ve come to realize that our assigned readings for literature don’t exactly fulfill my distorted expectations of preparing my 5-year-old for reality. Obviously I didn’t expect literature analysis at the Kindergarten level to include reading and discussing the elements of dystopian fiction in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World so I wasn’t surprised when the table of contents included well known titles like Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. What I didn’t expect was for these traditional fairy tales to completely abandon their moral lessons in favor of watered-down, almost misleading stories.

Take Little Red Riding Hood for example: in this corrupted rendition Little Red and her grandmother still end up in the belly of a wolf because wayward Little Red fails to follow her mother’s orders, “be sure you do not leave the path”. And Little Red and her grandmother are still rescued by a curious huntsman, however he does so by reaching into the wolf’s open mouth and pulling them both to safety. Having someone fist in you in the throat and pull two people from the pit of your stomach must have been uncomfortable because “the wolf woke with a start…[and] ran from the cottage, never to be seen again.”

Hold up. You mean to tell me that not a single character faces serious repercussions from this series of unfortunate events? Little Red echoed minimal remorse promising herself that she would never again leave the path but this wolf character, he goes free?

Traditionally the huntsman cuts open the belly of the wolf releasing the two ladies from their abdominal prison and sews the wolf back up after filling his belly with stones. The wolf awakes too heavy to run away and dies a slow and painful death; afterwards the huntsman skins him and makes off with his coat. Serves the wolf right for first deceiving, and then hurting an innocent child (regardless of how foolish she was) and an elderly woman. Can I get an amen!

Maybe the huntsman was a bit of a sadist; filling the wolf’s stomach with stones and stitching him back up wouldn’t be my first reaction, but at least it successfully delivers a moral; don’t mess with women and children or someone might aggressively put unwanted things in your body without your consent. I can only speak according to rumors but what is that you’ve heard about how people who hurt children are treated in prison? Crude and repulsive but it beats the alternative in which they get away, “never to be seen again.”

Also, I wonder when these stories are going to stop glorifying children who don’t listen to their parents.

Don’t wander off the path Little Red as your obstinance might get you and your poor grandmother swallowed whole by a big ass wolf, but if you do, no worries. A guy with an axe will be along shortly to save the day and your lives.

Jack, do me a solid and go sell this cow in town. I’m only trusting you with this family's future so don’t screw it up. But hell, if you happen to come back with a handful of beans because you’re kind of a moron, don’t fret. Those beans will grow into a magical staircase to the sky where you can rectify this situation by becoming a thief.

Don’t even get me started on Goldilocks. Certainly her parents told her not to talk to strangers much less not to wander about in their homes causing chaos and destruction and then decide it was all too much and lie down for a nap.

I recently considered applying my creative skills to writing the script for a porno series; a couple tours the country in their RV, stopping at random campgrounds where they find other sassy, sexy couples to film group sex scenes with. The working title: “Sleeps: 2, Fucks: 4”.

But perhaps honest, modern adaptations of children’s books is my calling. I’ll start with a rewrite of Little Red Riding Hood in which she and her grandmother are rescued when the wolf is shot in the head with by a hunter wielding a rifle but are seriously maimed from being attacked by the wolf and have to spend time in intensive care. Obviously I’ll let them live, I’m not a complete monster and children shouldn’t stop believing in miracles.. Too much?

I should note that I’m not actually into group sex but I have a feeling that monogamous couples doing it missionary style won’t exactly captivate viewers.

Being his own hero (I just hope it's one that listens to his mother.)

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