Let me introduce to you the true reason I began a blog. I needed to exploit the truth behind Mama Monkey.
Mama Monkey is the single (?) mother of juvenile quintuplet simians, more commonly known to the literary world as “The Five Little Monkeys.” And who, according to my in-depth research and with the addition of common sense, can be described only as a hot mess.
I began this blog because 1.) The world needs to know, 2.) I may or may not have spent too much time pondering this, and 3.) I need to tell someone about my findings!
Our family was first introduced to Mama Monkey in Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed by Eileen Christelow. Due to the popularity of this board book with George, I quickly impulse-bought another five volumes in one — Five Little Monkeys Storybook Treasury, which includes Five Little Monkeys (FLM) Jumping on the bed, FLM Bake a Birthday Cake, FLM Sitting in a Tree, FLM with Nothing to Do, and FLM Wash the Car.
Side Note: Never EVER buy “treasuries” or “five stories in one!” tomes. Your toddler will NOT believe you when you say it’s five separate stories and will insist you read the entire 184 pages every time he spots the book in it’s special holding spot (where Mama and Dada stash it on a very high shelf). Learn from my rookie mistake.
With subsequent tales discovered in FLM Trick-or-Treat, FLM Take a Bath, and FLM Play Hide-and-Seek, we can determine only that Madre Monkey might need a run-in with DCF sooner rather than later.
Let’s begin with the classic — Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. While I’m sure you’ve heard the repetitive rhyme at some point, I’ll write it out to give us a baseline measure.
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed,
one fell off and bumped his head.
The mama called the doctor. The doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”
And then four monkeys jump and fall, then three, two, one, etc. Each time a monkey hurts his or herself, Mama calls the doctor, then scolds her children with the sound medical advice of “no jumping on the bed.”
- First question: Where is Dada Monkey? Someone clearly needs to stop sparing the rod in this household.
- What parent scores the personal home phone number of their pediatrician? Obviously, Mama is calling after hours.
- Why does the doctor keep answering the phone and doling out the same advice? And why does Mama keep blithely following it?
In the end, all five little monkeys are sleeping in (one!) bed wearing ice packs or bandages, and we see Mama slipping out the door with a “Thank goodness!” and a smile.
“Now I can go to bed!”
Now. I. Can. Go. To. Bed.
She was told five times by a medical professional, who is apparently a close, personal friend, that monkeys should not jump on beds. She repeatedly bandaged each of her children after they had fallen off their California King and concussed their craniums. Now, when she is the sole responsible authority in her house of five, sleeping, injured toddler-monkeys, what does she do? Please see image for more information.
Let’s move on.
Page turn to Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree. Yes, this is in reference to “Five little monkeys, sitting in a tree, tease Mr. Crocodile, ‘Can’t catch me!'” You can see where this is going.
Mama takes her five little preciouses to the river for a picnic supper. At this point, I’m assuming Dada Monkey works nights (more on him later), so bravo for Mama to brave taking five rambunctious monkey-littles to a body of water while toting dinner. However…
When they get to the river…
…and, of course, the juveniles climb a tree to “watch” Mr. Crocodile. They clearly knew the carnivore would be prowling the waters below. Did their mother?
One by one, the crocodile takes a “Snap!” at each monkey, and each monkey disappears. You see a crowd of unfamiliar monkeys gather on the bank, clearly distressed by the loss of each little monkey. By the time we get to three monkeys left, someone yells loud enough to awaken Mama, who still is sprawled on her picnic blanket. We lose three more monkeys, with Mama simply covering her eyes by the last “Snap!” She cries some crocodile (ha!) tears before realizing that her monkeys are actually hiding in the tree.
She then hugs them and scolds them, “Never tease a crocodile. It’s not nice — and it’s dangerous.” Then she gives them cake. And she lets them give cake to the crocodile, while she watches from afar.
OK, I think I’m making my point, though I’m unsure of the level of her insanity. Moving on to Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do.
Brief synopsis: Mama puts her monkeys to work cleaning the house and fixing dessert for “Grandma Bessie,” who is coming for lunch and for whom “the house must be neat and clean.”
I have a theory. What if the children only think this woman monkey is their grandmother? What if she is, in fact, their case worker, trying her best to keep the little ones on the straight and narrow? I think the evidence will support my assumptions.
Observation #1: When we learn that “Grandma Bessie” is coming for a visit, Mama is cleaning and wearing nice clothes (is that skirt LuLaRoe?). “The house must be neat and clean” for “Grandma” Bessie,” she tells her children. She repeats this three times.
Also, she clearly is handling that picture frame. We haven’t heard any mention of Dada Monkey, but now we see a wedding picture. Is it really Mama and Dada Monkey, if those are their real names? Is she putting the picture out as a front or removing evidence of some hidden life? Also, “Grandma” Bessie’s photo has a label. Would her children really not know the name of their grandmother? Additionally, that photo looks pretty professional, eh?
Observation #2: When the children whine about boredom, Mama puts them to work, which is clearly a first for this slovenly woman. They pick up their bedroom, scrub the bathroom, beat the rugs “until there is not a speck of dirt left,” and pick berries down by the muddy, muddy swamp.
Observation #3: The bathroom. There are seven toothbrushes hanging on the wall (five little monkeys, Mama, and…Dada? Male friend?), but only six towels. Whatcha got for us there, eh, Mama?
Mama’s only contribution is holding a vacuum, straightening the now-clean rugs, and picking flowers for her guest.
In the end, the little ones get the blame for the messy house, as they’ve undone all of their work by following Mama’s orders.
Let’s hope “Grandma” Bessie sits down to ask the tough questions. Someone needs to get a lock on this woman before the situation combusts like a barrel of monkeys.
OK, even I’m rubbing my eyes now, so it’s time to wrap up my investigation. For more evidence against the sanity and moral standing of Mama Monkey, watch the first 19 seconds of this video. I may continue to support my hypothesis in the future, but, as it stands, I let my accusations rest.
What do you think? What is Mama playing at (or “At what is Mama playing?” but I can’t legitimately bring myself to type that)?