I thought my enjoyment of the stories came from my sense of humor, but I'm rethinking that. I'm pondering the possibility that the pleasure (ohhhhh, way too many "p's" in this sentence!) I felt watching the show came more from a sense of familiarity. I believe my family and I (along with the Bullwinkle crew) have the fracture gene.
We fracture (often unwittingly) nursery rhymes, songs, sayings - in short, anything that gets in our path. I could tell you stories...and I probably will...
During a recent visit Little Princess was heard to sing some shocking words to "Bye Baby Bunting". Suffice it to say that Daddy did not go "a-hunting" - whew! Not wanting to embarrass LP I didn't correct her, but sang along a number of times and substituted the conventional (though less interesting) wording because there's only so far you can fracture a nursery rhyme before it just isn't OK !!
Little Princess lives in a house with older children, so lately her musical influences have leaned more toward the Britney Spears type, and less toward nursery rhymes or kiddy songs. But I still find it strange that she could forget some of the words to classics like "Mary Had a Little Lamb". It's got to be the fracture gene at work.
One morning during that same visit, as LP sat on my lap snuggling and singing all kinds of things with me (including tidbits from tv commercials that she taught me, which we fractured the daylights out purposely!), we had a discussion about the aforementioned "Mary Had a Little Lamb".
Somehow, in Little Princess' mind, Mary had gone from having a little lamb to having a little man. Now I'm all for that - I mean, Mary has my blessing. But I thought I ought to at least talk about it with LP, since her future SAT scores might be jeopardized if she didn't know that most folks remember Mary's lamb when they're singing about her - not her little man.
Of course, I'm also guilty of kicking it up a notch when it comes to "Mary Had a Little Lamb". I almost always trip on my tongue when I'm singing that little ditty (which, btw, doesn't occur that often - unless LP is visiting) because the lyrics that come to me first are not the original ones.
My father's fractured version of "Mary" (not unwitting), which is my default version, went:
she also had a bear.
I often saw her little lamb,
but never saw her bear.
Little Princess catches on quickly, so we were able to have many laughs around Mary's little man predicament. Such as: If Mary did, indeed, have a little man - what in the world was "his fleece"? And why did the children laugh and play when they saw him at school? And, for that matter, why did he follow her to school?
We found these all to be great sources of belly laughter. Ah, humor - and singing (music again! - I still say it can save your life) - and snuggling - and bizarre family influences - I'm awash in gratitude!!
*After story: I wasn't able to put this post up when I wrote it, as I had some running around to do first. I'm just back from the running - and want to report seeing something which might not technically be considered fractured, but definitely got my fractured brain racing.
On one of the aisles I ran past I saw a large display of Elmo dolls. He's cute, so I stopped and got closer. There was a "Try me" note on each Elmo suggesting that one press his adorable foot. I did! Elmo reached out his furry little arms, his mouth opened and he said "Elmo loves you!" very emphatically while wiggling.
What got me thinking was another note on each box: "Elmo does so much more at home!" Pray tell!!
Photo copyright Lauren Caterson 2008