I Love You So Plays Loose and Fast with the Safety of Our Children

“I Love You So…” is a book that’s on heavy rotation in our house, which means I’ve read it several hundred times. It’s been driving me crazy for weeks now– to the point where I stop in the middle of the book and hold pages up and point out the book’s absurdities to my wife while my toddlers look at each other and roll their eyes. So my wife said, “Write about it.” Here we are.

On the surface, Marianne Richmond’s classic is ostensibly a story about the parental capacity for limitless love, a feeling all parents know well, that children conjure depths of love unimaginable. It’s not at all about that. The title of this book is “I Love You So,” but it should be “I Love You, So I Will Repeatedly Put Your Life In Mortal Danger Because I Am Not a Responsible Parent and The State Really Needs to Intervene.”

The Camping Adventure

Hey, mom, great job leaving the bag of marshmallows in the open like that. It might attract wild animals. Oh, look. It did. One that carries rabies. There’s 1/16th of an inch of vinyl protecting you from the rabies parade to the marshmallow buffet tonight. Enjoy your son never sleeping again and eventually becoming Tyler Durden because you didn’t put the snacks away.

The Zoo

Zoos cost a lot of money. I get it. But if you’re going to cut corners, is the lion’s den really the habitat you want on the cheap?

“Where should we put the lions?”

“Right here. Seal it off with a 4-foot tall fence, but leave gaps between the fence posts wide enough so that a toddler could walk through.”

“Should we add something to separate the lions from the humans? Like a moat?”

“You think we have moat money to piss away, Frank?”

“It’s dangerous, Bill. There’s nothing to stop the lions.”

“What? YOU THINK I’M MADE OF MOATS? HERE’S A MOAT FOR YOU. AND HERE’S A MOAT FOR YOU. TWO MOATS? HERE. HAVE TWO MOATS! I AM THE MOAT FAIRY. I WAVE MY WAND AND MOATS JUST MAGICALLY APPEAR.”

The Storm

The clouds and lightning appear at window level. Window. Level. That’s not a storm. That’s an apocalypse. Did you hear? The channel 5 Doppler weather guy says there is a 100 percent chance of rain for the next 50,000 years, followed by lava covering every inch of the earth. So, yeah, soccer game’s canceled. So’s humankind. Common sense: You do not want to be anywhere near a window during an apocalypse.

The Seesaw

It’s the seesaw you’d expect in a Russian YouTube video with 146 million views.

The Beach

Why is there a bubbling fish visible behind the mother’s back? Only one reason. The water has risen up over beach level, the fish is still submerged, and a rogue wave (or tsunami) is seconds away from crashing down and sweeping away the family, which remains blissfully unaware of Poseidon’s wrath.

The End

“I am meant for you, and you are meant for me, the one I love forever more. Undeniably.”

Forever more.

Forever is a matter of seconds in the world of “I Love You So…”

– @joedonatelli

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Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles
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