Friday, November 30, 2012

More Handmade Gifts

Julia is still homemade-present-happy, adding more to her collection of hand-crafted Christmas gifts under the tree.  Today's project was an activity book for Madeleine, which Julia excitedly showed to me, page by page, explaining all of the fun projects in store for Madeleine.  I even sat down with the author and got her own description of each page for you all to hear.

Cover page:
JULIA: "My Book By..." and then she writes Madeleine Rowe.

Page 1:
JULIA: Now, that one is FINDING THE LETTERS IN YOUR NAME, and tracing those letters.

Page 2:
JULIA: This one you're supposed to find the NUMBER YOU ARE, and put it in that box.
(And by box, I'm guessing she means big black circle.)

Page 3:
JULIA: That one is...DRAWING ONE OF THOSE SHAPES, but... (pointing to the shape underneath the circle) that one is NOT the BOX, that's an OVAL.

Page 4:

Page 5:
JULIA: Okay.  And, um, THAT one is finding which ones don't belong, and the SNAKE doesn't belong, because dolphins, whales, and people are all MAMMALS.
(Is it me, or does that dolphin look to be in a pretty sad state?  The whale's not looking much better himself.)

Page 6:
JULIA: Okay.  And, um, THIS one is finding which ones are WINTER ones, and the snow ball, the snowman, and the wreath are all WINTER things, and the rocket ship and the fish don't belong.
(At least the fish, as opposed to his other under-the-sea friends on the previous page, is looking pretty cheerful...)

Page 7:
JULIA: This one is which food you like best, an apple, peanut butter, spaghetti, or two pieces of bread, and she's probably gonna pick the PEANUT BUTTER.
(I'm really glad I had Julia there to explain what each food item was, because aside from the apple, I was pretty much at a loss.  I figured I was looking at a piece of abstract art.)

Anyway, I definitely think Madeleine is going to LOVE her new activity book, even though it is currently being aired out for the night after Julia tried to glue wrapping paper onto it, only to discover she actually glued the book to the paper and had to rip it free.  If all else fails, I'm sure we can photocopy the pages and staple the new, unglued pages together.

And, switching gears, I share with you the following gems that came out of Madeleine's mouth today:

MADELEINE: Mommy?  Can I ask you a favor?
ME: Sure, honey.
MADELEINE: (opening to a page in her "On Christmas Morning" book and pointing to the dog) Why is that DOGGIE sitting out on CHRISTMAS?

Wow.  I've never been asked a favor of that magnitude before.

MADELEINE: (sitting in her carseat while we waited in the left turn lane at a red light) Mommy?  (pointing to the car ahead of us) That lady doesn't have her POINTER on, but WE do!
(Don't worry.  The lady turned her left pointer on a minute later...)

Later on, during the same car ride, while we were stopped at another red light, Madeleine overheard my cell phone call to Ethan, who was working from home today.
ME: (on the phone, to Ethan) I was wondering if you can start hard-boiling some eggs for me for lunch.  I'm way behind in everything I need to do and I'm having a tough time getting it all done. 
MADELEINE: (after I had hung up) Mommy?  Why is a tough time DRIVING?
ME: It's not a tough time driving, I just have LOTS AND LOTS of things to do today, and I don't know how I'm going to get it all done.  What do you think?  How will I be able to do it all?
MADELEINE: (thoughtful) Well...Mama...maybe Daddy should ask you, because I don't KNOW!

(Sure enough, as soon as we walked in the door, Madeleine traipsed up to Ethan and asked, "Daddy?  How is mommy gonna get it all DONE?")

And finally - as Ethan sat typing at his computer, finishing up his work day this evening, he was suddenly greeted by the following image, standing before him:

MADELEINE: (sweetly) Daddy?  Would you like to marry me?
ETHAN: I would.
MADELEINE: Okay.  After you're done working, you have to do your BEST to come dancing with MEEEE!  (twirling around the kitchen.)

I can't wait for the wedding of the century to begin!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Big Election

When I returned home from work last night, Julia was involved in a very complex pretend game with her baby-sitter.  Apparently this game involved some sort of election, and Julia had rummaged through the recycling to find a cardboard box in which she and her sitter could cast their votes.  The box was full of ballots in favor of both Julia and the baby-sitter.

Ballots cast for Julia looked like this:

While the sitter's ballots appeared like this:

After explaining all about the ballot casting, Julia proudly displayed the crowns she had made, imprinted with this somewhat befuddling statement:

"I Don't Win Because of Love."

According to the baby-sitter, Julia decided it would be nicest to vote for the opposing party, rather than voting for oneself, so the reason Julia did not win the election is because she voted, out of love, for the other candidate.  Apparently her baby-sitter didn't win the election either, because she too sported a crown proclaiming "I Don't Win Because of Love."  So I'm not sure if there was some third-party candidate in the mix as well; perhaps Madeleine was the winner, although there didn't seem to be any ballots with Madeleine's name on them.  I'm a little thrown by this part of the game.  Maybe there WAS no winner, because of love.

Julia also decided that she and her sitter should write down something poignant about love.  The sitter's statement was:

"Love is magical and great!"

And Julia's message was:

"Love is My Love."

Woah.  Heavy.

Madeleine, who may or may not have been the winner of this election, did not choose to make any profound statements about love, but instead decided to make her paper plate into a purple-haired person with what appears to be either five eyes, or ears, eyes and a nose that are all in perfect alignment:

Speaking of Madeleine, she was definitely not in a blissfully loving mood this morning when we dropped Julia off at school.   As we walked back to our car after saying good-bye to Julia, Madeleine started to come unravelled because, in her words, "My COAT isn't being NICE to me!" 

The sullen pouting continued in the car, where Madeleine announced, "Mommy, I DON'T look like a GIRL."  This then led to the following, completely ludicrous conversation:

MADELEINE: (pouting) Mommy, I don't look like a girl named MADELEINE.
ME: You don't?  Do you look like a boy?
MADELEINE: No.  I look like... the letter S!
ME: Oh.  So should I call you Essie, then?

Next thing I knew, Madeleine had fully embodied the character of Essie.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  Essie can TALK.
MADELEINE: Mommy?  Essie is a BABY.
MADELEINE: (whimpering) Mommy?  Essie is sad because she misses her Mommy S!

Before long, Madeleine had tired of Essie and declared herself to be a baby tree instead, one who is also sad because she misses her Mommy.  Luckily, we arrived at her preschool shortly, so the grouchy behavior was soon replaced by manic hopping.

And with that, I am now off to pick up my S-shaped baby tree from school.  'Til next time!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Madeleine's Commentary and Pretend Play

Madeleine has been full of it today, from the moment she first got up.  Trotting downstairs and into the bathroom at the exact moment that Ethan was stepping out of the shower and beginning to towel off, Madeleine paused in the doorway to announce brightly, "I love your nice worm, Daddy!"

Later in the morning, after we were home from dropping Julia off at school, Madeleine decided she needed to be a ballerina, and somehow became convinced she had accomplished this task by putting on a dress-up wedding gown and ballet slippers.  I had just started running through music for a concert I'll be performing in this weekend when Madeleine decided she needed the floor clean in order to dance.

MADELEINE: Mama?  Can you clean up our MESS?
ME: No, honey, you need to clean it up.
MADELEINE: No, I want YOU to do it.
ME: I'm singing right now, honey.  You need to clean up your own mess.
MADELEINE: But...I can't right now, because I'm doing BALLET.  So, if you do it, I will be sooooo HAPPY!
ME: I can't, sweetheart.  I'm singing.
MADELEINE: One...two...three...four...five...TIME OUT!

Don't worry, I pulled a Madeleine and ignored my time out, preferring to continue singing instead.

After being a ballerina for awhile, Madeleine then got busy with the wooden figurines from our manger set.  You may remember that back when I started this blog, Julia, who was Madeleine's current age at the time, was going through a heavy manger-folks-obsession.  It's interesting that Madeleine has now become fascinated with the manger people, herself.  She set them all out on the living room table and began a whole, complex pretend game with them:

The wooden nativity set figurines, joined by one brown Little People horse.

The manger people started out playing nicely enough, but before I knew it, the angel was getting all uppity with the brown horse.

MADELEINE: (pushing the angel up to the horse's face) I'm VERY angry.  I need to get a NEW horse.
ME: Uh-oh!  Why is she so angry at the horsie?
MADELEINE: Because!  He knocked down GOD!

I looked down on the floor and saw poor God, lying supine on the dining room floor.

Apparently God is a shepherd.  They don't say "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd" for nothing, after all.

A few moments later, God had been rescued and laid gently back on the dining room table.  Unfortunately, the troubles were not over, as Mary desperately attempted to get God's attention, to no avail.

WISE MAN: Oh, he's sick!  He can't answer you.
MARY: Ohhh, my heart is broken.
MADELEINE: Mom?  Mary's heart is broken, because GOD is SICK.

The horse, feeling guilty, started trying to get himself back in Mary's good graces by walking around the table saying "Neeeigh!  Neeeigh!"  Finally sick of Mary ignoring him, the horse then violently knocked one of the three kings onto the floor.  A wise shepherd came to reprimand Horsie.

SHEPHERD: Horsie!  You CAN'T just knock down my KING!  I'm a PRINCESS!

But Horsie wasn't done there.  He next knocked another Wise Man to the ground, and man, oh man, did the shepherd have at him.

SHEPHERD: Horsie!  You CAN'T just knock down my KING!  She's my SISTER!

Once the sisters were re-united, attempts to reconcile with Horsie were made.

SISTER: Yes, sweetie?
SHEPHERD: Um, my HORSIE just knocked you over.  Is that okay?  Is that okay, horsie?
HORSIE: Neeeigggghhhh!

Finally, the attention was drawn back to God, who seemed to be doing better, at least spiritually, as Baby Jesus came to comfort Him and lay by His side.

God and Jesus, together at last

MADELEINE: Awwww, Mama, lookit, Baby Jesus is laying with God!

And finally, in a happy ending to the game, ALL of the manger folks decided to lay down together in peace and harmony.  I don't think Madeleine quite realized the symbolism she achieved by ending her game this way, but look, here they are, united and together in sleep.  Even the brown horse managed to get himself back into the circle:

Phew.  I'm so glad to know that the trouble in Bethlehem came to a tranquil resolution.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

School Stories

Julia has been a total chatterbox this evening, telling me one thing after another about her school day.

One of the anecdotes she shared was this:

JULIA: Mommy?  At school we have pictures of kids doing the WRONG things, and then, like, one picture of a kid doing the RIGHT thing.
ME: Oh, you do, huh?
JULIA: Yeah.  And Mama?  One time I was doing something that nobody else in the class was doing.
ME: What were you doing?
JULIA: Just...sitting on the rug QUIETLY.
ME: Oh.  And what were all the other kids doing?
JULIA: I think...(furrowing her brow) just, like, talking LOUDLY.
ME: Oh, I see.  Were they not supposed to be doing that?
JULIA: Well, I they weren't supposed to be talking SO loudly.
ME: Oh, so maybe they should have been using more of an indoor voice.
JULIA: Well, I think because the LIGHTS WERE OFF, and usually that means it's time to be quieting down, that's why they were supposed to be talking quietly.
ME: Okay, I see.  Did your teacher notice you were sitting quietly?
JULIA: (nodding her head, looking bashful)
ME: What did she say?
JULIA: (furrowing her brow, thinking hard) Well, I up her face in concentration) Something like...I notice Julia is sitting quietly even though all her friends are talking loudly.  (Looking embarrassedly pleased and smiling shyly.)

After I heaped loads of praise on her for not succumbing to peer pressure, she was eager to share more of her school accomplishments.

JULIA: Mama?  Do you want to hear ALL the letters we learned in school so far?  There's a LOT of them, so I might not be able to remember them all.

For all you lucky readers, Julia was willing to do her Fundations Letter exercises on video:

Madeleine is not quite on the same plane of stellar listening as Julia today.  After about twenty minutes of asking her to come to the dinner table to eat, with her COMPLETELY ignoring me and continuing to single-mindedly color in her My Little Pony book, I had reached the end of my rope.  Apparently she had, as well.

ME: Madeleine.  That's enough coloring.  You need to come to the table and eat now, please.
MADELEINE: Mama!  Come ooooon!  This is getting RIDIKALIS!

My sentiments exactly.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back to School

Julia was excited to get back to school today and report on all the events of the holiday weekend.  Specifically, she was extremely excited to tell everyone that she's NOT FIVE anymore.  It seems that reporting on the weekend was also part of the school day activities in class, as she came home with some school work describing her Thanksgiving dinner:

Thanks to Julia's drawings and descriptions, the class now knows that we had a feast of trke, pie, muchroom, and bed.  While we all certainly did have bed over Thanskgiving weekend, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Julia actually is referring to bread in this picture.

Julia also told me, on our walk home from school, that the kindergarteners had to do their usual Monday project of drawing a picture of something fun they had done over the weekend, and sounding out the words to caption the picture.  (You may recall the "rlcr" that Julia drew and wrote about back in September.)  Julia shared what she made in today's picture as we strolled home.

JULIA: Mama?  Well, I already did "go to the bagel store" on another day, so this time I did "go to church," even though that's not SO exciting.

Interesting that the two options that sprang to mind were the bagel store and church.  Nothing else occurred to her, such as, say, her birthday trip to the zoo, or attending her friend's Build-a-Bear party, or putting up our Christmas tree, or, hey, even celebrating Thanksgiving.  Nope.  The most memorable parts of the weekend, in Julia's mind, were going to the bagel store and going to church.  Apparently Julia likes to portray a day in the life in the *most* everyday sense when she does her Monday project.   

Meanwhile, Madeleine remains her usual self, full of random and unexpected commentary throughout the day.  A few examples...

MADELEINE: Mommy, I want some milkie!
ME: You've had enough milk.  How about a juice box?
MADELEINE: Oh!  Yes!  (grabbing a juice box from the fridge, and pointing to the Sesame Street characters printed on the front.)  Oh, look!  It's Ernie and Burp!

(And speaking of burping)...

ME: (vacuuming the living room rug)
MADELEINE: What's THAT sound?
ME: What do you mean?  Do you mean the vacuum?
MADELEINE: But why is the vacuum BURPING like that?

MADELEINE: (applying her cherry lip balm) Mommy?  Can I kiss you?
ME: Sure!  (leaning my cheek towards her)
MADELEINE: Uh...Mommy, I don't want to kiss you, because I just put some POISONOUS cherries on my lips and you don't want to get POISONOUS!

And finally, the comment Madeleine absolutely felt the need to make to Julia's kindergarten friend, who is over for a play-date after school today:

MADELEINE: Um, one time...I had a WEDGIE!

Fortunately, my attempts to quickly change the subject were completely thwarted by Madeleine, who instead decided to yell the same comment repeatedly, getting louder and louder to try and drown out the sound of my voice as I aimed to talk about other matters.

Okay.  Time to go pick Madeleine's wedgie.  Til next time...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Excitement

Well, with a month still to go until Christmas, the girls are both so excited they can hardly stand it.  Both were up at the crack of dawn this morning, raring to go.  My day began with Madeleine's little knock on my bedroom door.

ME: Yes?
MADELEINE: Mommy!  I had a WISH in my BED!

WOW.  How exciting!  And totally worth waking me up to tell me about.

I tried to ask the girls to play quietly in Madeleine's room until 7, but after about ten minutes of hearing their rampant rambunctious squealing and thumping through the bedroom wall, I gave up and brought them downstairs.  Madeleine scooted herself onto the potty, suddenly distracted by the candle Ethan had placed on the back of the toilet.

MADELEINE: (pointing at the candle) Mom, Daddy BLOWED this out, so there wouldn't be FIRE cast on us.

Phew.  What a smart Daddy.  I'm so relieved that there was no fire cast on us.

As we drove Ethan to his church choir gig after breakfast, the Christmas mania continued, as well as the impetus for the most ridiculous argument ever.

MADELEINE: Mom?  WHEN is it gonna be Christmas?
ME: In one month.
MADELEINE: Is it Christmas TODAY?
ME: No, honey, not yet.  Right now it's Advent, which means the time of year when we get READY for Christmas.
MADELEINE: (turning to Julia) Julia, uh, my mommy said it's not Christmas yet.
JULIA: Madeleine.  You said MY MOMMY.  YOUR mommy is MY mommy too.  So don't just call her YOUR Mommy.

Yeah, Madeleine.  How dare you?

Julia is, in fact, anticipating Christmas so eagerly that she decided to make pictoral graphs of the gifts she'd like to get her sister and father.  This is after she already made and wrapped several hand-crafted gifts and put them under the tree.  Apparently her little love notes saying things like "I love you much" were not satisfying enough, however, as she felt the need to put a wide range of possible gift options on her pictograph.  Madeleine's was full of animals and dolls, while Ethan's was more varied:

Julia's planned Christmas gifts for her daddy

Just in case you can't decipher Julia's incredibly clear drawings, I will translate for you: beer, bagels, coffee, a Barbie doll, America's Next Top Model, a tiger, a woolly mammoth, and yoga.

I think that's a pretty achievable and realistic gift list, don't you?

The Christmas spirit was with us on our drive to and from church, as we listened to various holiday songs, singing along to the ones we know.  And on our way home, as both girls were whining and grumping at each other, I sharply asked them what was going on to cause such grouchiness.

JULIA: Well, Mama, I think the reason we're all so GRUMPY is because, like, we're just so EXCITED for Christmas, and it's, like, the only thing that's really on our MIND.

Aha.  Makes perfect sense.  I too get grumpy when I'm so excited for an event that is characterized by love and giving.  I'm glad that the cheery holiday spirit is infusing my girls so deeply.

Maybe they just need to unwrap a woolly mammoth to help them bide the long wait until Christmas morning.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Tree Fun

Well, we are not wasting any time here in the Rowe household, and we are definitely decking our halls with bells of polly.  Today Ethan and Julia went to pick out our 2012 Christmas tree, which is now proudly on display in our living room.  The family tree decorating was off to a rocky start, as Madeleine seemed confused by the idea of having only one tree to represent the entire Rowe family. 

MADELEINE: But...when am I going to pick out MY Christmas tree?
ME: This is our tree, honey.  This tree is for our whole family!
MADELEINE: But I want to pick out MY Christmas tree.
ME: This is for all of us.  We don't each get our own trees.
MADELEINE: But I need to pick out MY Christmas tree.
ME: We only get one tree for our whole family.  This is Madeleine's tree, and Julia's tree, and Mommy and Daddy's tree, and on Christmas morning there will be presents all underneath and-

Seriously.  Broken-hearted tears over the injustice of not getting to pick out her own Christmas tree.

Madeleine's demeanor improved, however, once she got a chance to riffle through the ornament box with Julia.  Discovering she had her VERY OWN ornament to hang cheered her almost instantaneously.  Next thing I knew, the tears had completely disappeared, and Julia and Madeleine were cheerfully making their ornaments sing made-up songs and twirl around together:

In case the pictures don't do the experience justice, I also captured their singing on video:

Madeleine wound up enjoying herself thoroughly as we decorated the tree, hanging up ornaments and declaring, "Perfect!" after each was set on its branch.  The final product just needed a few adult tweaks to balance the ornaments out, and we were in business:


After the tree was finished, I dressed the girls in their Christmas dresses and attempted to snap this year's Christmas card photo.  I wound up filling the entire memory card in my camera during the photo shoot, wherein Julia smiled obediently the whole time and Madeleine appeared to be completely disinterested in the fact that there was a camera out and people trying to get her attention:

Let the holiday season begin!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Julia!

I can't believe my first-born baby is six years old today!  Happy birthday, Julia!

Evidently, she can't believe it either.  "Mom," she told me, seeming slightly disappointed.  "I feel like I'm still FIVE."  So apparently the overnight turning of age five to six was not the monumental, life-altering experience she had expected.  It's okay, though; she was able to put an optimistic spin on the whole thing.  "But I bet with a little more time, I'll start feeling USED to being six!" she concluded brightly.

Meanwhile, now that Thanksgiving is over, the girls are excited to jump into Christmas preparations.  Not only did we have a boogie-down dance party to Christmas music last night, but Julia has been playing music out of her Christmas piano book to create some festive background music. 

Julia has even randomly burst into song throughout the day; just a few minutes ago, as she sat at the table playing with her American Girl doll, she launched into Deck the Halls: "Deck the Halls with bells of polly, fa la la la la, la la la laaaa!" 

Let the holiday season begin!  And, most importantly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JULIA!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the Rowe family!

And Happy Thanksgiving from the following Rowe family friends as well:

Julia's Hand Turkey says "Happy Day!"  (I think her other hand turkey also wishes you a happy day, but she was clearly dissatisfied with the fact that she had failed to spread her fingers far enough apart when tracing, so she abandoned poor old Mr. Smooshy Feathers.)

Madeleine's Hand Turkey also wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving.  (Although he partied a little too hard and now looks like this:)

Julia's freestyle turkey would like to wish you a Happy Julia.

Ramona Quimby, Beezus, Susan, and Miss Binney would also like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  Julia would like to point out that she made a toilet and a bathroom door in her picture of Ramona's school classroom, so if any of the happy people in the drawing need to relieve themselves, they're good to go.

Our turkey dinner would also like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  *JUST IN CASE* you can't tell whether this turkey is a REAL dead turkey or Julia's incredibly realistic pictoral representation, I can assure you that this one is the real deal. 

And finally, as Thanksgiving wraps up this evening, get ready to start anticipating the upcoming holiday season.  Rowe Happy!:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Getting ready for T-Day

Julia is celebrating the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday by playing a song with a somewhat un-PC title on the piano over and over again.  Here she is, bringing in the feast-day spirit with a rendition of the song "Indians":

You can tell Madeleine is feeling the Thanksgiving excitement as she hop-dances in the background.

To further get in the mood for Thanksgiving, Julia released another new novel today, entitled "Thanskgiving."  Follow along with Emme and her family to see what Thanksgiving adventures are in store for them:

Hi, I'm Emme.

It's Almost Thanksgivi

When it's Thanksgiving we have trkey.
(JULIA: [beaming with pride] Mama, does this look JUST LIKE a dead turkey?!?)

And Pie To.
(JULIA: Mama?  Does this not really look like pie at all?
ME: Uh, no, it doesn't really look like pie.
JULIA: That's because I don't really KNOW how to draw pie.  [sighing in defeat] This is the best I could do.)

Its Thanksgiving Day Yay Yay Yay. 

Madeleine does not have a turkey on her mind, but rather another bird.  After watching "Barbie: Swan Lake" this afternoon, Madeleine has adopted the persona of the movie's main character, Odette, as she gallumped her leaden feet around the living room, dressed in a ballet dress and slippers.  Here, on video, she performs a few fancy moves for me:

Graceful as can be.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Book

Julia has been telling me, over the past few weeks, about the Thanksgiving book her class was working on at school.  The initial process involved kids listing things for which they are thankful, then once the class had a list of the most commonly appreciated things, they created a book.  The book was then photocopied for each individual student, and the children then got to draw a picture of what item was listed on each page.  Yesterday, Julia finally got to bring home her special book, and I absolutely loved looking at her own personal touches.

By the way, I believe that the Brbye Julia drew above is the Brbye that Madeleine gave her as a birthday gift over the weekend.  Madeleine had picked this doll out all by herself as a gift for her big sister, and so far, it seems to be Julia's favorite toy.  So much so that it's featured in her thankfulness book. 

However, at the moment, the Brbye is not feeling all that thankful herself, as she is lamenting her fate down in the deep dark cave with Madeleine:

According to Madeleine, "Mom?  She didn't get FALLED in LOVE, because a prince didn't come.  And she's down here in the magic cave ALL ALONE with NO MOM and NO DAD."

Man, oh man.  That poor brbye.

Speaking of Madeleine, she was chock full of wildly random and illogical comments today.  As she sat on the potty after we got home from school, she suddenly let out a loud shuddery sound.

ME: Are you okay, Madeleine?
MADELEINE: Yeah.  I was just scared of MYSELF.

I guess this must be the reason she was scared of herself:

MADELEINE: Mom?  My head is getting TOO big!
ME: It is?
MADELEINE: Yeah!  My head is GROWING to my skin.  'Cause my head is getting SMALLER.  Mom?  It's not getting smaller.  It's getting BIGGER!

Soon Madeleine Big-Head was ready to be wiped, but not without a quick look into the toilet first.  "Oh my God!" she exclaimed in disgust.  "That one looked like a teeny tiny little FLY!"

Then, as she stood, in the nude, touching her toes, bare bum poised up in the air for wiping, she began chanting to herself, "It's time for the ball!  Ding, ding, ding, ding!"

With Madeleine as a role model, it's kind of no wonder that the poor brbye couldn't get a prince to come down and get falled in love.