Thursday, November 09, 2006

Secrets I keep from my daughter


In the second drawer of my bureau, I am hiding a paper Victorian dollhouse that opens into a carousel shape. Lucia has played with a similar paper-dollhouse before, but she is not the most careful of toddlers when it comes to keeping the little pieces all together. I have a "bits box" where I put all of the little crowns and scepters I find on the floors, behind beds, and under couches, but they vanish anyway. Someday, I'll let Lucia play with my paperdoll house. Right now, it's mine, mine, all mine.

I'm also keeping my fairy tale books illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman on the top shelf of my bookcase. Lucia wants me to read them to her, but I'm not ready. That's what I say to her: "I'm not yet ready to read these books to you. Someday, I will read you these books, but not today." We've started reading some folk and fairy tales together, but they're more along the lines of "The Three Billy Goat's Gruff" and "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Also, "Stone Soup" and "The Old Lady Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle" are new favorites, too. Lucia won't eat soup, but she does like to hear stories about soup.

As you know, I have some issues with the Disney versions of the fairy tales. As a child, I enjoyed "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella," but I have to be honest with you: what I liked best about the films were the costumes and stage-sets. I couldn't care less about winning the love of the handsome prince (my tastes ran more toward Superman and Han Solo), but oh, those fabulous clothes. I even coveted Cinderella's plain house-dress, and wished I could make a dress like it. Of course, I admired the glittery evening dress with long white gloves. Snow White's clothing didn't thrill me. I thought her dresses lacked proper swish.

I suspect that Lucia will have similar reactions to the Disney films when she finally sees them someday. Her favorite Playmobil dollies are the ones with poofy dresses and their "feet peeping out." Then again, her first word was "gace" (her attempt to say "lace"). Right now, I'm in no hurry for Lucia to see the films. If she gets it into her head that princesses don't wear sleeves on their dresses, it is going to be one long winter around here.

Memo to princesses of the world, royal and otherwise: will you please wear more dresses with long sleeves? I'd appreciate it if you'd wear mittens, coats and hats, too. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, for the most part, you are off the hook, even though you look a bit chilly here. Put on a sweater. Please. You're making my teeth chatter just by looking at you.

P.S. Today, I started telling Lucia, "Princesses don't eat boogers." Princesses of the world, I'm counting on you to back me up on this one.

6 comments:

Nonny said...

I totally get the hiding thing. Some things are just too precious for the hands of little ones. She'll understand someday.

Could you possibly scan in a picture of one of those illustrations from the fairy tale books, as you know I'm still looking for that illusive book of fairy tales from my childhood with the awesome illustrations.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Nonny: Here are some links to Trina Schart Hyman illustrations. If you can remember any of the stories (or was it a single story?) from that book you loved, that will be helpful, too.

Snow White

other drawings

Lone Star Ma said...

Princesses do not whine.

Princesses use the potty all the time when they are three and a half.

Princesses go to sleep by 9pm.

Princesses do not like candy.

Princesses wean before 1st grade.

Princesses do not vote Republican.

Princesses learn Spanish.

Princesses do not major in Communication Studies. They major in something employable like microbiology.

Hey - it could be a whole parenting strategy...

My personal favorite: Princesses are Speaker of the House by age sixty-six...

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

LSM: I think you have a book in the making.:)

Gill said...

The best fairy tales have to have wolves in them in them.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Gill: Well, that might explain why I always had scary dreams with wolves in them. Wolves were quite prevalent in my childhood, even though I'd never actually seen a wolf in real life. I appreciate in Trina Schart Hyman's Red Riding Hood the depictions of RRH and her grandmother after they've been inside the wolf. They look a little worse for wear.