Mother Goose has always related well to this incredible story.
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.
And here’s an alternate last line. It’s a little more graphic…
She whipp’d all their bums, and sent them to bed.
There are many people who would take great offense at this little ditty.
The freedom of women’s choice folks would say, “She didn’t really have to have so many children. We recommend birth control for this old woman, and if that fails, she could just ‘take care of it’.” “Tsk tsk,” says Mother Goose. “And honk honk.” Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord, and Mother Goose would know. For goodness sakes, she has a stepson and six children of her own
How interesting that this story is about an OLD woman — probably past the childbearing years! So who do all of these kids belong to? My guess is that they are her grandchildren. Where are their parents? We really don’t know, but isn’t she kind to keep them all with her in the shoe? Mother Goose is very proud of the old woman — she is the sole guardian and custodian of all those kids and they are her grandbabies.
Now let’s talk a bit about her dinner plans for the kids. The “Feed the Children” advocates would be all over this woman for the lack of substantial meals for her children. She could be planting a garden and growing some organic veggies for the kids. She could go to the local food pantry for decent groceries for the tots. For goodness sakes, what about food stamps and the WIC program? She’s obviously not aware of the options available to her as a single guardian of many children. Where is her social worker? Who is her welfare contact? C’mon, she couldn’t even bake a loaf of bread for the kids?
Here’s Mother Goose’s take on the hunger issue at this shoe: there’s nothing at all wrong with a little broth before bed. It warms the heart and settles the children so they can sleep better. I think this old woman is very wise to feed them a bit of soup!
And now the bottom line of the poem. Is spanking children EVER a good idea? Child protection agencies have been all over this one for years. Should kids be spanked before they go to bed? Or is it better to spank them when they wake up, and get it over with? Imagine the kids going through their whole days knowing what bedtime brings! I would guess there’s such a lot of anxiety building in the hearts of the children by dinner time and then afterwards as well. Perhaps life in the boot is getting pretty crazy with all those kids running around trying to escape the bedtime spanking ritual.
Mother Goose highly recommends that children be spanked when they rise in the morning. That opens up the evening to all sorts of fun activities like playing xbox 360 and watching family movies and even reading books together on the couch. The children would be happier at bedtime, and the old woman could relax a bit too after her long day.
What are your thoughts on rearing children in an old shoe? Is it safe? Is it sanitary? Is it smart?
Mother Goose wishes you well — come back tomorrow for more nursery rhyme studies! Bee Blessed!