The salami

Each night I put Daisy to bed. Whether Rob is home, or not, it’s a little routine we have gotten into and as much as I complain about it from time to time and may or may not use phrases such as “Why do I have to do every bloody thing all the bloody time?!” in my very own special 33 year old tantrum way, I like it. I like the unwind. I like watching the day slip away. I love our chats. I love her questions. I love the promise of sweet dreams and things that will happen on the morrow.

Each and every night after toilet and teeth she picks out 3 books for me to read, jumps into bed, pulls up the covers and waits for the stories to unfold. The books are most likely from the library as we try and get there every other week. She picks up to 15 books at a time so I don’t get bored and I very rarely pay attention to which books she picks because when we are at the library I am usually pulling Harper off the shelves or picking up the path of destruction she leaves through the magazine section. And or doing important things like using the free wifi to tweet and ignore my kids. As one does.

Last night Daise picked out three books and we started. The first two were fine – easy, breezy, pretty and best of all – quick! When I got to the third I saw the cover {below} and thought “Oh, nice, an animal jungle adventure.” Cause you would looking at it wouldn’t you?

It was a few pages in that I started to think there may be a little more to the story. For one it was set in Thailand {no biggie} but they mentioned “tourist resorts” more than once. Then they showed the calendar – again no biggie – but the date picked something from the back of my mind. Somewhere. And why would they show the date?

The story went on, about this elephant, who was meant to visit some kids in a village – except that on this day the elephant was unsettled. Uneasy. And as the questions started from Daisy such as “What’s wrong with her Mum? WHY IS SHE UNEASY?! WHY?!” I started to feel a little like that elephant.

Then the next page was this:

Which had Daisy is a state – “What do those big letters mean Mum?! WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN? Why is she UNEASY…?”

It was the freaking Tsunami.

Or as Daisy calls them – the Salami. With all the natural disasters that have occurred this year combined with a Dad who will explain anything to a curious 4 year old, she has a pretty good grasp of tsunamis. And the fact that they were portrayed like this {exactly how we said they don’t look} well Daisy had those covers stripped back and was sitting up anxious to see what would happen.

My face at this stage kind of looked like the first kid with the pony tail.

Incidentally these were the kids who were going to be saved by that gigantic wave by SITTING ON THAT UNEASY ELEPHANT. Yep.

And this is how it ended. All the kids and the elephant {saved nonetheless} by that elephant. Because as they were mentioned at the start “they are so high up.”

Now I get that the story needs to be told. That upon further inspection of the front cover I discovered that proceeds of the book sales went to the tsunami relief fund. And that I need to pay more attention to the books that my kids pick before bedtime and stop tweeting at the library. But really? A wave? A massive, huge, destructo wave? Like that?

Bedtime took a little longer. Many, many stories later. Many explanations. Many reassurances. Promises of elephants for the backyard despite our location from the sea. And a stiff drink for me when I finally got out of there. Uneasy indeed.


  1. Dude at least it wasn’t a story about the OTHER salami. That could have been really inappropriate. And awkward.

  2. oh dear you poor thing – its one thing to have to explain those events, but another when you are unprepared and worse still at night time!! Sounds like perhaps the book was at a good level for your daughter – they are always so inquisitive and questions everything!!!

  3. I loved this post. x

  4. We have that book – it was a gift and I put it in the cupboard as I thought it would disturb my kids.

    Farmboy is 6 now and I did bring it out and read it after he saw the recent Japanese footage on TV (so hard to hide from kids as it was on every channel, all the time – in the end we went TV free for a week) They also discussed Japan at school and did a little fundraiser. The book proved really useful and Farmboy settled down a bit as he was very upset about Japan.

    I agree that it is too disturbing for kids much younger than 5 or 6 though.

  5. I remember overhearing one of my aunts talk about how Brisbane was overdue to flood, when I was about 12. I was terrified and didn’t sleep for about a week, waiting to have to jump out of bed and evacuate.

    No matter what, these things are hard to ‘hide’ from kids, something has to screw them up one way or another!

  6. Geez, mate, I was really starting to wonder why you’d called your post ‘the salami’ and then when you were all uneasy about the book I thought… oh god no, don’t tell me it was a sort of weird sex book in a children’s style or something, dear god no, not that.

    The book wasn’t that, but it was still a bit weird. Do we really need children’s stories to cover natural disasters? Really? x

  7. We live nearby the Fremantle Literacy Centre and the illustrator of that book Frane Lessac is often there. She does amazing artwork and signed some of my kids books.
    I am glad it didn’t upset your daughter and that it talked about hope and reminded us all that even in disasters there are good news stories.

  8. I love, love, love love love this post.

    All of it … the naming after a processed meant, the free twitter wi-fi, the escalating fear. And there was no real happy ending – the tsunami sucked, and bedtime was made harder.

    That’s life.


Speak Your Mind