Thursday, May 19, 2011

Up Too Late

On the way to school this morning, I was telling the girls that I hadn’t had enough sleep the night before. I went out with some friends for a late 3D showing of Thor and didn't get home until about midnight, so only about five hours of sleep before the day started.

Celeste said that wasn't good because people need "seven or eight or nine or ten or eleven hours" of sleep. I agreed, but noted that as people age they generally need less sleep, although five hours still wasn't enough.

I also said that some people need more sleep than others, some people do fine with less sleep, and some people think they do fine with less sleep, but really need more sleep.

At which point, Quinlan pipes up: "That's me!"

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Celeste just work up crying because she dreamt that "someone cut down all of our curly tree," referring to our Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana 'Contorta'), which she loves to play under, picking leaves for the fairies to use as dresses.

Fortunately, it was a fairly easy matter to let her look out our bedroom window and to see that the tree was fine — excepting a few places where someone's pulled off too many leaves.

Yesterday morning, Quinlan woke up screaming. When I went to comfort her, she kept pushing me away, saying she wanted Mumma instead. When I pointed out that Evelin had already gone to work, she cried harder for a little while and complained that I didn't feel as good as Mumma does.

Eventually she calmed down enough to tell me about the dream; I think, she wasn't entirely awake because her explanation seemed still "in the moment."

Apparently, there was a wolf-dog "over there" (pointing at the wall) that was going to bite her neck. My first attempt was to remind her of the very wolf-looking German shepherd dog we met at the farmers market a few weeks ago, but she wasn't looking to like this wolf-dog and she started crying some more.

I then told her that I wouldn't let the wolf-dog hurt her and that I would scare it away ... which, apparently, is why I am not as comforting for her as Evelin is. Quinlan shouted: "Mumma would cut it's head off with a knife!"

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Princesses in the Morning

I'm no monarchist by any means, but I am clued in to mass culture enough to know that the royal wedding was happening on Friday morning. So, when Quinlan woke up at 5:45 a.m., ready to go for the day, I decided to let her watch some of the pomp and circumstance.

Long ago, I lost the battle against Disney princesses a long time ago, unfortunately. It started when Celeste went to kindergarten, and in a way we thought her interest in Cinderella, et al., was good in that it was a socialization and acclimation to her peers sort of a thing. But Quinlan, oh Quinlan, really feel hard for the princesses at nursery school. I'd prefer they had stuck exclusively to Miyazaki's Ĺ“uvre, much of which they do like, but since they haven't, we've tried to steer them towards the stronger characters — more Mulan and Pocahontas (despite the problems it has) than Snow White and Cinderella — with varying degrees of success/failure.

Despite my misgivings, I have tried to use real-life royals as examples of how princesses can differ from the Disney ideal. For example, when Celeste was in the nascent phase of refusing to wear pants, I tried showing her some pictures of Princesses Catharina-Amalia and Princess Alexia of the Netherlands and Princess Madeleine of Sweden to show her that real princesses can wear pants, even jeans. It didn't really work; she still likes to wear only dresses or skirts.

Despite not knowing a Mountbatten-Windsor from a Montblanc pen, Quinlan was fascinated with the pomp and the ceremony.

There were a lot of questions — I had a lot of trouble explaining primogeniture and why the Duke of Edinburgh isn't the King — but she was entranced by it. When I went to wake Celeste around 6:15 a.m. to see if she wanted to watch any of a royal wedding, she said "That's okay, but Quinlan probably will want to see it" ... and she was right.