We’re still reading The Book at storytime. Wonderbaby asks for it, and in any case, it’s become something of a personal challenge to find ways of discussing, with her, the vulva-like flower and the abbreviated erotic haiku that accompanies its image without explicitly discussing, you know, gynecology and cultural interpretations thereof, while at the same time affording ourselves ample opportunity for dirty giggles.
Why flower hot Mommy?
- Because the flower’s on fire, honey.
Why flower got fire Mommy?
- Because sometimes, sweetie, when flowers are really, really happy, they burst into flame.
I’d like to thank* the ever-thoughtful Kittenpie for pointing out that Georgia O’Keeffe’s Red Canna does kinda look like it’s on fire – which, really, makes the whole erotic subtext of the board-book page in question all the less subtextual, to my mind, but still. And, too, I’d like to thank dear Bubandpie for consulting her own experts on this particular text and reminding me that the story continues on the very next page:
*Thanks, too, to the ever-scorching OTJ, who nicely underscored my point about the inherent lameness of using botanical imagery in depictions of female genitalia by e-mailing me a link to a page with more colourful descriptions. It is, of course, much more, um, vivid to use wildlife imagery than imagery involving flowers and jewels. Although now we have to put away Goodnight Gorilla. (You won’t get that joke unless you follow this link. But I warn you, the language that you are about to encounter is not for the fainthearted or excessively prudish. Consider yourself warned.)
1) Sicky preggos out there – I’ve discovered something that sorta helps the nausea, which at this stage, for me, is a discovery of epic proportions: decaffeinated Lady Earl Grey tea, with honey and lemon. TRY IT.