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That's Life by Pam Marra for web

I've been doing a lot of singing lately and it's been very scary.

And not just because of my pathetic voice.

Since I've been babysitting my eight-month-old twin nieces, I've been entertaining them with my falsetto renditions of various nursery rhymes.

Now either I'm so old I've just forgotten, or I never paid attention when I was little, but I'm appalled at the actual words of these little ditties, aimed at innocent little children who are hanging on our every word. If someone were to write things like this today, they'd probably go to jail.

Take this one, for instance:

Rock-a-bye baby

on the tree top,

when the wind blows

the cradle will rock,

when the bough breaks

the cradle will fall,

down will come baby,

cradle and all.

Down will come baby, cradle and all? Is that the most horrifying image you can imagine? Was that supposed to soothe a little one's fears and send him or her off to slumberland?

Then there's:

Three blind mice,

three blind mice,

see how they run,

see how they run,

they all ran after the farmer's wife,

who cut off their tails with a carving knife,

did you ever see such a thing in your life,

as three blind mice.

Cut off their tails with a carving knife? I don't even like the thought of hunting, let alone a story about maiming a helpless little mouse!

Can you say "Animal cruelty?" If the girls are really listening to this one, I'll have to hide my Gracie when they start walking!

Here's a real goodie:

Goosie, goosie, gander

where shall I wander,

upstairs and downstairs

and in my lady's chamber;

there I met an old man

who wouldn't say his prayers,

so I took him by the left leg

and threw him down the stairs.

Took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs? Yes, indeedy. Elderly abuse. That's a nice little thought some maniac could put into a child's head. "If you don't like something grandma or grandpa does, well, you know what the nursery rhyme said to do...."

Then there's:

Peter, Peter,

pumpkin eater,

Had a wife and

couldn't keep her;

He put her in

a pumpkin shell,

and there he kept

her very well.

Put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well? That's just got domestic violence written all over it. Enough said.

Remember this one?

There was an old woman

who lived in a shoe,

she had so many children

she didn't know what to do;

she gave them some broth

without any bread,

she whipped them all soundly

and put them to bed.

Whipped them all soundly and put them to bed? Okay. That's it. S omebody call Child Welfare Services!

I'm sure I'm taking this all way too seriously. I mean, I was raised on these nursery rhymes and I turned out all right.

Okay. Not the best argument.

Maybe I'll just start reading to the girls out of The National Enquirer. Or Star Magazine. At least that way, they'll hear about life in the real world, not some horrible circumstances prettied up with a nice little rhyme set to music.

Besides, it's important for them to be prepared when they meet the aliens. And know which Hollywood celebrity shows the most cleavage.

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