Saturday, June 15, 2013

But It's a Classic!

Just about a week ago, Derek and I were downstairs watching season 3 of Downton Abbey.  It was around 9:30 pm, the kids were in bed and had quieted down quite a bit earlier.

About halfway through the season, we heard footsteps coming down the stairs.

We could tell by the tread that it was our daughter, and when she was close to the bottom, Derek said something like, "Hello, darling daughter Adelaide."

Her response was a muffled sob.

She came rushing into the living room, threw herself next to me on the couch, and buried her face in my shirt. She wasn't just crying; these were ugly, body-racking sobs.  When she pulled away, we could see that her face was a mess of tears, snot, and thin lines of spittle dripping from her mouth.

Adelaide is not particularly nightmare-prone, and this kind of nighttime behavior is not at all normal for her, so we were pretty puzzled.

Then I looked down and saw she was holding a book.

Old Yeller.

Needless to say, I felt terrible, especially after she told me that it wasn't just the dog that freaked her out, it was the scene where the uncle contracts rabies, ties himself to a tree because he knows what's coming, then tries to eat his wife and kids after the onset of the disease.

Somehow I hadn't remembered that part.

In related news, Derek has decreed that all children's book titles must be first screened by him.

I'm not sure why; it only took thirty minutes to calm Adelaide down.  And sure, she'll be haunted for the next couple years or so, but I'm sure the memory of the book will start to soften and she'll look at it with nostalgic fondness.

Or maybe not.


  1. I can't remember reading 'Old Yeller' and I guess I'm glad I didn't - I'm a pretty sensitive reader. That scene with the rabies sounds nightmarish. I do remember reading 'Bridge to Terebithia' (as an adult) and had a lot of reservations about letting my kids read it. But I'm pretty sure my girls did read it, and shrugged it off.

    I found that, with kids who are voracious readers, it becomes impossible to keep up with screening their reading material.

    1. I used to read every book Adelaide before I let her pick it up. There is no possible way I could do that now. She reads way, way too much. I still try to flip through and learn something about each book/series before she reads it, but man. It's a job.

  2. Wow --poor girl! I'm not sure I read that book either, but like CHM, I did read Bridge to Terebithia and then hid it from Emma (not that she's a huge reader, anyway). Way too sad!

    1. I remember loving Bridge to Terabithia, but you guys are making me question my memory of it. Looks like I'll just have to re-read it!


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