This week, my oldest daughter received a Nook tablet from her grandmother. A greatly anticipated, much longed-for Nook tablet.
Here was the problem: With my technological skills being what they are, I had only enough knowledge to fully charge the contraption.
So both Trinity and I greatly anticipated the arrival of my husband at home. Me, because then my daughter would stop saying every five minutes “I wish Dad would come home and hook this thing up to the library.” And Trinity, because, well…then her dad would be home and able to hook this thing up to the library.
However, the best laid plans often fail. Dad’s work ran late, dinner interfered, and before we (and by we, I mean my husband) could do more than set up the Nook itself, the kids and I were headed out the door to swimming practice.
Trinity was determined to not let this setback stand in her way of using the much beloved Nook tablet.
As she was scrolling through her new device, Trinity discovered that Pride and Prejudice was downloaded for free from Barnes and Nobles. And she decided she was going to read it since she was unable to get any library books downloaded.
Have you ever sat in a car with an eleven year old boy and nine year old girl smelling heavily of chlorine and tried to give a succinct, yet age appropriate synopsis of Pride and Prejudice? I don’t recommend it.
“Well,” I started out, “The Bennets have five daughters named Jane, Lizzie, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. And this book is about how they try to marry them all off.”
My son interrupts. “FIVE kids! Haven’t they heard of birth control?”
I try to explain, “Actually, no son, this is the 1700′s. There really was no birth control. And no doubt they kept trying for a boy.”
Trinity’s feminine outrage was ignited. ”Why? Why were boys so important?”
Again, I tried to explain. ”Only men could hold property and wealth back then. There were no jobs that ladies could have to earn money. For woman to be financially secure they had to get married.”
Trinity begins muttering about how English people in the 1700′s were stupid and how she’ll never be dependent on a man for money. Will, however, has found his own strange tangent and has decided to run with it.
“That’s because of all the child labor! They made the children do all the horrible work, so the ladies couldn’t! I’ve seen those pictures of kids working in factories!” Will then bellows out, “CURSE YOU VICTORIAN ENGLAND AND YOUR DUMB CHILD LABOR TOO!”
Gentle reader, I now realize there is a reason we don’t introduce children to Pride and Prejudice until they’re older: Children are insane and don’t deserve classical literature.