14 November 2013

An Open Letter to Peter Rabbit

Dear Peter,

So, my 1-year-old son is obsessed with you. Obsessed. And it’s starting to worry me. Plain and simple, I do not think that you are a good role model. I know watching you calms him down enough so that we can keep him from wiggling around for 30 seconds to clip all his toenails and fingernails. I suppose that’s worth something. But I definitely worry about the “lessons” that you’re imparting to him.

I’m worried he’s starting to think he is a rabbit himself. God help us when he chooses to act on this impulse by smack-talking a fox or a badger out in the woods. That’s not going to end well for anybody.

What kind of lifestyle choices are these? How many close-calls and near-misses do you think you can really have before a pitchfork-wielding human, a crafty fox, or a giant badger gets the better of you? How long do you think you can keep this going? All you do is thieve and antagonize larger, meaner creatures. Every day, all day. What kind of plan is this? Where’s the future in this?

Where are you headed?

Which begs the question, why aren’t you in school? Your “community” seems to have all the other trappings of civilization. But not once have I seen you in a school. What gives?

Also, why do you wear a coat but no pants? This I really don’t understand. Is this why my kid loves to run around naked? How are you not freezing all the time?

According to your origin story, your father was caught by Mr. McGregor and baked into a pie. Have you gleaned absolutely nothing from this history? Have you heard the phrase “history repeats itself”?

My main concern is that my son won’t be able to separate your adventures from reality. What you’re doing is providing entertainment. Which is fine, I suppose. But you also appear alongside Dora and Diego and those kids from Team Umizoomi which gives the mistaken impression that you’re providing some educational benefit. But I really don’t see much call in my son’s future for mocking woodland creatures and stealing vegetables from someone else’s garden.

By the way, you spend so much time in that garden, have you not picked up even a rudimentary understanding of how to grow your own crops? Is this a side effect of not being in school? Are you learning impaired? Or just averse?

And don’t even get me started on poor Benjamin. That kid will follow you anywhere in completely blind adoration. But here’s the thing: he’s not nearly as clever you are. One of these days you are going to get him killed. Do you want that blood on your hands? Do you?

You even bring danger right to your door sometimes. Do you ever think about the consequences of your actions? You have a family to think about. Your mother, your sisters, do you ever think about them when you’re out in the world causing mischief? Are they just collateral?

In conclusion, thank you for keeping my son’s attention occupied for 23-minute stretches so his mother and I can think about something else for a moment, check Facebook, doze off, drink wine. But seriously, would it hurt to do something else than steal? To think about someone besides yourself? Maybe you could go to school someday. Or plant your own garden. Hell, I’d settle for just one episode where you decide to wear a pair of pants. That would be a nice change of pace.

A Concerned Parent

(I’ll be watching you. Literally. Because this kid will have a complete meltdown if we don’t.)

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