Where some Dads go wrong…

An eighteenth-century French nursery rhyme “Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman”, set to music similar to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” (the lyrics of which were written later on), has some timeless wisdom to impart to fathers the world over, above and beyond the immediate context of a child’s sweet tooth:

Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman,
Ce qui cause mon tourment?
Papa veut que je raisonne,
Comme une grande personne;
Moi, je dis que les bonbons
Valent mieux que la raison.

Ah! Let me tell you, Mother,
What’s the cause of my torment?
Papa wants me to reason
Like a grown-up.
Me, I say that sweets have
Greater value than reason.

What a loss to shackle this sweetness of chldren with dull reason too early and too soon! Without children’s play, imagination and storytelling, their lives (and ours) would remain disenchanted.


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