Sunday, February 28, 2010

More on princesses

Julia and I had the following conversation last night as she was getting ready for bed:

JULIA: Mom, why are princesses just pretend?
ME: Well, princesses are not just pretend. There really is such a thing as a princess. Princesses are real people. It's just that the Disney princesses in your movies are just cartoons. They're not real people.
JULIA: But Mom, what princesses ARE real?
ME: Well, there's a princess named Camilla Parker-Bowles.
JULIA: Oh. And Mom, what songs does SHE sing?

I tried unsuccessfully to explain to her that real princesses don't just spend their days frolicking around in beautiful dresses singing songs and cavorting with fairies. But I don't think she really got it.

In order to demonstrate just how deep her obsession with the Disney princesses is, here is a little video I initially recorded because I thought her description of her book "The Bear Detectives" was funny; the subject very quickly diverged into the story of Sleeping Beauty:

The Loser

Julia has been really interested in her collection of Shel Silverstein poems lately, and is especially obsessed with the poem "The Loser." For those who are not familiar with this poem, the basic gist is that the narrator has lost his head and can't look for it, call to it, hear it, think about it, etc. because his eyes, ears, brain and what not are in it. So he sits down for a minute on a "rock" (which happens to be his head) to rest. Julia is simultaneously fascinated by and terrified of the picture that accompanies this poem:

We were recently driving in the car and Julia suddenly asked me, "Mom? Why do they have a lot of losers at the mall?" At first I had no idea what she was talking about; my first instinct was that Ethan had slipped up and made some derogatory comment about teenage mall rats to Julia. After mulling over how to try and respond to her question, it suddenly dawned on me. I asked her, "Do you mean why do they have a lot of mannequins?" Apparently she remembered that in the GAP at the Chestnut Hill Mall, the mannequins are all headless. And apparently to Julia a "loser" means someone who is missing a head. At least I don't have to worry about her calling other kids losers, unless, of course, she happens to make any headless friends.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The ostracized car, and Madeleine's new love interest

Along with princesses and religious figures, Julia also has a big obsession with matchbox cars. She has collected a fair number of them at this point, and one of her favorite things to do, for some reason, is line them all up on the windowsill and then leave them there all day. I recently discovered one car who had been left out of the pile-up on the windowsill; it was underneath our dining room table right by the window and I assumed Julia had dropped it and forgotten about it. When I tried to hand it back to her, she put her hands out to stop me as if the car were carrying some nasty infectious disease and protested, "Uh, no, he's mean." Taking a better look at the car, I can understand why she would make that assumption:

After weeks of finding this particular car in exile all over the house - underneath the love seat, behind the tv, on the back ledge of the sofa, etc., I suggested we try and give the car away to someone so she didn't have to be so nervous about him. She agreed, and the next time Julia's friend Nate was over to play, I offered him the car. After taking one look at it, he exclaimed in a panic-stricken voice, "I don't want him!! Get him away!" So, word of advice to parents out there: cars with sharp teeth are apparently terrifying to 3-year-olds, so hold off on acquiring them until your child is older. Here are two photos to show you how this poor, fanged car is left out of all the fun around here:

The "in" crowd on the windowsill.

The poor loner. I kind of feel bad for him.

In other news, I caught Madeleine making out with Dickie Dragon this morning:


I wasn't doing anything!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Obama meeting with the Disney princesses

So last night Ethan and I had NPR on while Julia was cleaning up her toys before bed. We were listening to the special report on Obama's health-care summit. As Julia was putting away pieces of her puzzle, she appeared to be listening pretty intently to the report, and had the following questions/comments: "Mom, what does dot org mean?" (That one was tough to explain to a 3-year-old.) "Mom, what does consequence mean?" (Much easier.) "Mom, they said Obama had a meeting, just like I have meeting time at school!" Just as I was sitting there marveling at how smart she is, and what good attention to detail she has, she then reported, "Mom, they just said Cinderella on the radio. They're talking about Cinderella, like the princess in my movie." I must have given her a skeptical look, because she then clarified, "I guess they must be talking about a different Cinderella." Aaah, yes, indeed. I must say, Cinderella would have probably had an easier time of things if she had met with President Obama and pushed for fair wages, affordable housing, and what not, rather than just waiting for a magical fairy godmother to make her a sparkling dress so she could win the heart of Prince Charming.

Mr. Cause-Cause and company

Okay, this post is for John and any others who have followed the imaginary characters in Julia's world of pretend play. While this is just a smattering of her pretend friends, I got a chance to hold a photo shoot for Project Daddy, Cartacarizza, and many others, so you can all put a name to the face. As the lives of these characters further unfold, I promise to post more.

Mr. Cause-Cause

Project Daddy

Cartacarizza. She's the mommy of all the other Little People figurines.

Princess Courtney and Emma

Aunt Kathleen. (unfortunately her friends Treadmill and Cous-cous are at my mother's house, but they are two similar-looking figurines.)

And finally, Dickie Dragon.

And here we go...

At long last, a blog about the Rowe munchkins has been born! Thanks to all who have prompted me to get this started. A synoposis of the girls: Julia is 3 years old, attending preschool 2 days a week and loving it, totally into Disney princesses (we get to act out the Disney movies all the time. I get to be Prince Charming and yell, "Wait! Come back! I don't even know your name!" when Cinderella runs off at midnight. Or I get to be Maleficent and say, "Touch the spindle! Touch it, I say!" when she, as Aurora, touches the spindle of a spinning wheel and falls to the ground. However, I never get to be any of the princesses), completely obsessed with Jesus, Mary and Joseph (I *still* have to read "On Christmas Morning" every night before bed, and sing "Away in a Manger with the Baby no Crying" - meaning with the second verse - as her lullabye), and incredibly into pretend play (more on that later.) She has also memorized a fair number of the books we own, including long ones like Strega Nona, and can "read" them to us straight through. She either has my freakish memory, or we have read those books to her waaaaaaay too many times.
Madeleine is just about 5 months old, and so far has been an incredibly sweet, easy baby. While her older sister was quite high-maintenance, Madeleine has been pretty mellow and adapted quite well, rather quickly, to life outside the womb. She's a great eater and good sleeper, doesn't fuss a whole lot, and seems to take everything in stride. She *definitely* does NOT have my personality! She currently seems to be teething, or else has taken the oral fixation stage to an extreme. She will go to any length to get her mouth on something... she is capable of sitting up on her own and has been for some time, yet lately when I sit her up she will slump her entire body forward until her mouth is on the ground so she can start sucking on the rug, her blanket, or whatever she happens to be sitting on.

Okay, I have blathered on long enough about the kids for one post... more to follow, complete with characters from Julia's fantasy world...