Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween: The Reawwy Scawwy Dwagon (or not)

I picture Momblogs all over the world hissing and cracking with febrile Hallowe'en posts. This is a kids' holiday like no other, and the obligations are substantial:

1. Costume for preschool costume party (simple and washable)
1.a. Class treats for same
2. Costume for trick-or-treating (preferably a weather-responsive update to preschool costume)
3. Decision about trick-or-treating: downtown or local Treat Street?
3.a. Travel for same
4. Selection and purchase of pumpkin
4.a. Decision about same: grocery store or pumpkin patch?
4.b. Travel for same
5. Carving of said pumpkin

Even Hanukkah is easier:  hit Walgreen's for 8 days' worth of little gifts, pick up a package of odd-sized candles, and yer done.  Shalom.

But Hallowe'en is a lot of parental work, and I am sometimes tempted to declare the whole holiday Satanic and just forbid the kids to participate, like my parents did. (As a parent myself, I now wonder if that was a totally religious decision, or did they just perhaps get the tiniest bit tired of dealing with the whole shebang?)

But, that rant ranted, I enjoy the ramp-up to Hallowe'en, and I particularly enjoy making the costume. My parents made our costumes before Hallowe'en went Satanic, and I remember with great joy the painting of cardboard boxes for a robot, stretching fabric over chicken wire for an ice cream cone, and selecting princess dresses for the obvious. He'en also is highly tolerant of Mommy's dress-up fixation.  So, when it came time to start dressing my child for Hallowe'en, I was On It.

The first year, she was a tiny buffalo complete with a faux-fur hood and hump, felt hooves, and little felt horns. The next year,  I made a frog costume with a yellow felt tummy and glitter-glue spots. (That year, we hastily trick-or-treated in an unfamiliar town due to a surgery in the family and the costume didn't really get good air time).

Last year, she expressed preference for a Pink Cat costume. I found a pair of plus-size pink fuzzy leopard print pajamas (I know, right?!) and sewed a tunic out of them. Added black tights and eyeliner whiskers:  win-win. She helped a little and has joyfully worn the Pink Cat for dress-up all year.

This year, we flirted with Princess, briefly discussed a couple others, and then He'en announced "Oh! I KNOW, Mom! I want to be a . . . Reawwwy . . . scawwy . . . DWAGON! Wif' gween eyes! Yike Maweficen'!" Yes, of course, like Maleficent. I should have known.

I launched the project with great enthusiasm, recycling the barely-used Frog costume by sewing a little silver lame quilted dragon belly. There was much painting of foam and fitting of wings. The horns were duly affixed to the mask.

All was in order. A very happy He'en trotted off to yesterday's preschool party, flapping her wings and roaring all the way.  She came home apparently delighted with both the costume and the whole experience.  I started to think about adult dragon costumes for DH and me, which I'd vowed were Just Too Much this year and which in the last 24 hours have become the subject of crippling momguilt.

This morning, however, He'en announced her decision to trick-or-treat as the Pink Cat again this year. "I wan'," she reflected, "to safe da scawwy dwagon for somefing REAWWY spessul."

I wonder what that "something really special" would be, if not the event of her escaping a motherly strangulation on Hallowe'en morning?

But it's not worth a throw-down because Hallowe'en is for happy. And, in all honesty, it's a lot easier to whip up some adult cat costumes than some adult dragon costumes by 4:00 p.m. today. 

So we looked up some cat makeup over breakfast, and that wandered us over to YouTube for some songs from Cats, and we had some fun while she ate her egg and apple. It was a serendipitously great morning. 

I will therefore conclude that Hallowe'en is not Satanic, per se, but it can be sneakily devilish.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stories: The Boastful Shark

Once in a while, Helen requests a story with a "mowwa." It took some drilling-down to realize that "mowwa" translates to "moral." So here is a story with a mowwa, which she will occasionally entertain as a variation on the Maleficent Stories.

Once upon a time, a shark lived in the light blue waters of a reef. He was a very nice shark, except for one thing: he tended to boast.

Mom: What is boasting?
Little voice: I doan' know.
Mom: Boasting is when you say something about yourself in a way that makes others feel bad.

Well, this shark liked to boast about his teeth. "I have the biggest teeth on the reef," he would say.

He swam up to a barracuda and said, "I have the biggest teeth on the reef!" But the barracuda only smiled with his sharp pointy teeth, and said "That's very nice," and swam away.

Mom: When someone boasts at you, that's what you do, okay? Just say, "That's very nice," and walk away.
Little voice: Okay.

Then the shark swam up to a grouper and said, "I have the biggest teeth on the reef!"  But the grouper only smiled with his tiny sharp teeth, and said "That's very nice," and swam away.

Little voice: What iss a gwoopa?
Mom: A grouper is a very tasty fish, but very smart, and some of them are bright pink and have spots.
Little voice: [cheerfully] Okay!

Then the shark swam up to a parrotfish and said, "I have the biggest teeth on the reef!" But the parrotfish only smiled with his little parrotfish beak, and said "That's very nice," and swam away.

Now the boastful shark had nobody left on the reef to hear his boasting. So he started to swim.

He swam through the light blue waters of the reef.
He swam through the medium turquoise waters of the deeper ocean.
He swam to the deep dark waters where the whales live.

And there he swam and he swam until he found a pod of . . . orcas!

Little voice: [deliciously fearful inarticulate squeak]

And that boastful shark swam up to the biggest orca and said, "I have the biggest teeth on the reef!"

Well, the biggest orca didn't say anything at all. He just smiled.
And he smiled.
And he smiled.
And he SMILED, bigger and bigger, until the boastful shark could see that the orca had . . .

"Oh, my!" gasped the boastful shark. And he turned around fast fast and began to swim as fast as he could!

Back through the deep dark waters where the whales live!
Back through the medium turquoise waters of the deeper ocean!
Back to the light blue waters of the reef!

And when he got back to his reef, panting and panting, the boastful shark didn't boast any more. In fact, he was quite nice to live with after that.

Mom: And what is the moral of the story?
Little voice: [with great satisfaction] Dere's always someone wiff a biggah set of TEEF!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lest We Get Too Smug . . .

Kids keep you humble. This morning, I packed up:

- the show-and-tell items
- the snacks for preschoool
- plates/cups/napkins/forks
- the go-bag with a change of clothes and naptime items
- a nutritious lunch complete with vegetable
- a well-fed preschooler
- with teeth brushed
- and a nice hairclip.

I schlepped it all to the car. Plus the baby:

- fed and happy
- wearing a clean diaper
- dressed in a super-cute knit union suit
- with a clean blanket.

I found the car keys without too much searching.
I found clean clothes for myself.
I am even wearing a swipe of BB cream and mascara.

Riding the Supermom high, I gushed to He'en as I strapped her into the carseat, "Well, you're all set for an awesome day! You have your show-and-tell stuff, a great snack to share, and we're even on time! Your life is pretty awesome!"

She thought about this for a moment, then judiciously observed,

"Well, but I doan' have a pet butterfye."

Can't win them all.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Good Dose of Guilt

Last week, I started my day with a good dose of guilt. Parenting offers near-unparalleled opportunities for guilt. In fact, the more I think about it, I would say "unparalleled opportunities" without qualification . . . so much so that I am today starting a "mom guilt" label.

This particular packet of Guilt is hanging out with its good friend, Shame. Last week, I watched a huge semi truck back in to the grocery store loading bay. I mean, this truck was massive. The driver handled it like a surgeon's scalpel and edged it into the bay, next to another truck, with literally inches to spare.

Enter self, in the Huge Silver GroceryGetter, at the library this past summer. We are backing out, and I am dutifully resting my chin on my shoulder, looking behind me but talking to He'en at the same time.


Mom: "!@&&##!"

He'en: "Mom? What wass DAT?"

Mom: "Um, that was Mommy bonking into another car."

And that word you heard Mommy say, I hope you never repeat that. Or, if you do, say that you didn't learn it in this house.  I wouldn't mind cussing like a trucker if only I could drive like a trucker.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Banana: A Tragedy

Driving home from preschool, apropos of [I thought] nothing, the following issues from the carseat in a piping soprano:

"Mom? When we git home, kin I haff a ba-nana?"

Well, glory be, the child actually requested something healthy.

"Yes, dear child, of course you may have a banana."

But it's not that simple.

He'en: "Wiff a cut on da side? So I kin peeel it?"
Mom: "Sure, we can cut the side."
He'en: "An' I kin peeeel it?"
Mom: "Yes, definitely."

This already has gotten complicated enough that I know some further clarification is required.

Mom: "Now, do you mean, cut into pieces and then with cuts on the side so you can peel the pieces?"
He'en: "No, a hoe [whole] ba-nana."
Mom: "Ok, a whole banana. With a cut on the side so you can peel it?"
He'en: "Yess."
Mom: "You do know that I will have to cut a little around the top, to fix the banana so you can peel it."
He'en: "Oh."
Mom: "So is that OK?"
He'en: "Yes."
Mom: "A cut at the top. Then a cut down the side."
He'en: "Wight."

OK, this sounds simple enough, by He'en standards.  We arrive home. I pack He'en, school bag, lunch bag, today's craft, and a plastic fire helmet all up the stairs (leaving a peacefully sleeping Dragon Girl in the car, because Dragon Girl is Child #2 and we do things like that). An immediate round-trip secures Dragon Girl in her little lounger chair (I add that for those who are reaching for the phone with Child Services on speed-dial), and then I get about the business of the banana.

Mom [holding the banana and demonstrating]: "So, a cut here, and here?"
He'en: "Yes."

I make the careful slits in the peel.

He'en: "No! Moa cuts."
Mom: "Um, where?"
He'en: "Dere. And dere. Yike Brandon's mom cuts his ba-nana in his yunchbox."

Oooh, like Brandon's mom does it. Yes, of course. Now we get to the heart of the matter. I had no idea that yunch envy started so young.  This is now completely out of control even by my flexible standards, but I got myself into it, and the only way out is through. So I soldier on, although I cannot help thinking that Brandon's mom must be a very patient person.

Finally I have the banana skin slitted to specification. I hand the banana to a very satisfied He'en and dash off to -- at last -- use the bathroom.

Sweet peace reigns for about as long as it takes to say three-two-one-MELTDOWN.

From the kitchen:  "WAAAIILLLLL!"

From the bathroom, sotto voce: "Name of God, now what?"

With visions of knives and skull injuries flashing into my brain, I dash from the bathroom to the kitchen. "He'en?! He'en, what is wrong?"

She is sobbing over her banana, which reclines, vivisected, on the counter in a sodden nest of peelings.

He'en [gasping with grief]:  "It isss cut all da way fwew."

Stifling the urge to make banana paste out of the whole thing with one swift hand movement, I hug her instead and carefully inspect the offending banana. It is, indeed, cut all the way through. When I scored the skin, I cut too deeply, and the banana fell into neat sections as soon as she took off the peel.

After kissing and comforting with small effect, I remembered a trick from my own mother, bless her. I dished up a little sour cream and dished up a little brown sugar. Then I showed He'en how she could dip her poor battered banana wedges first into the sour cream and then into the brown sugar.  This adequately mollified/distracted her.  I turned to kitchen cleanup quite pleased with my mad mothering skills.

Until I heard, with a residual sobbing hiccup:

"Pease can I haff anuzzah ba-nana?"

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stories: How Maleficent Got Her Crow

[N.B. - This was the second of the Maleficent Stories. Accordingly, it's a little more elaborate than subsequent Maleficent Stories. I started to scale back the complexity once I twigged that He'en apparently was going to request a "New Mayefficen' Stowy!" every single bedtime until she left for college.]

Once upon a time, Maleficent was flying around the kingdom, making mischief --

Aside: "What does that mean?"
Little voice: "Making twubble. Because she iss twubble."
Aside: "That's right, she is trouble."

-- and a thought came into her head. And the thought was, "I think I would like a companion."

Maleficent thought a bird would be a good companion. So she found a hummingbird, because hummingbirds are very fast and good fliers.

"I challenge you to a race," she said to the hummingbird. "If you win, I will give you gold and riches. But if I win, you have to be my companion."

"Very well," said the hummingbird.

So they came to the starting line. "One, two, three, GO!" And away flew the hummingbird, ZING, fast and far!  But Maleficent cheated. In a POOF of green smoke, she magicked herself to the finish line. When the hummingbird arrived, she said, "I win! You have to be my companion."

"You cheated," replied the hummingbird. "I will not be your companion." And ZING, away flew the hummingbird, fast and far.

Well, Maleficent could not do much about that, so she looked for another companion. And she found a dove. Now, doves are not very good fliers, but she challenged the dove to a race.

"I challenge you to a race," she said to the dove. "If you win, I will give you gold and riches. But if I win, you have to be my companion."

"Very well," said the dove.

So they came to the starting line.  "One, two, three, GO!"  And away flew the dove (but not very fast, and not very far). Again Maleficent cheated. POOF! In a puff of green smoke, she magicked herself to the finish line. And there she waited. And waited. And waited. But the dove never showed up.

So Maleficent went back along the racecourse, and she found the dove sleeping in a tree.

"You are too lazy to be my companion," she told the dove.

"Very well," yawned the dove, and flew away (but not very fast and not very far).

So Maleficent kept looking for a companion, and she met a crow. Now, crows are very smart, and they are excellent fliers. So Maleficent challenged the crow to a race.

 "I challenge you to a race," she said to the crow. "If you win, I will give you gold and riches. But if I win, you have to be my companion."

"Very well," said the crow.

So they came to the starting line. "One, two, three, GO!" And away flew the crow, fast and far!  Maleficent cheated again, and in a POOF of green smoke, she magicked herself to the finish line. But when the crow arrived, before Maleficent could say a word, the crow turned around and flew back toward the starting line.

Well, Maleficent was so surprised that she couldn't catch up. So she magicked herself back to the starting line, where the crow was waiting.

"You cheated," she said to the crow.

"No, I didn't," said the crow. "You didn't say whether it was a round-trip race."

Maleficent and the crow glared at each other. Until, finally,

"I like the way you think," said Maleficent.

"I like the way you think," said the crow. "I will be glad to be your companion."

And that is how Maleficent got her crow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Turning In

Last night, feeding Dragon Girl in the quiet darkness, I welled up with a moment of pure gratitude at how lucky I am to have small children. And while this sentimentality might well be extremely short-lived -- say, until breakfast -- and was certainly triggered by sleep deprivation, I did think:  how lucky are we to have time with these new lives, a time in which where the home is their whole world, and a time in which to reassure them that they are always loved.

At our last visit with Dragon Girl, my pediatrician mentioned the following study findings*: when a mother picks up her baby, some huge majority of the time -- let's say 87% for fun -- she holds the child turned face-inward, close to her, sending the message this is your world; you are safe. When a father picks up his baby, an equally huge majority of the time, he holds the child turned face-outward, facing the room, sending the message this is your world; explore it!

As a family, definitely are turning inward this fall. DH has been furiously spinning plates on the end of sticks for most of this year, and has been running even faster since Dragon Girl's arrival. His nesting instinct has seriously kicked in.  And he finally has succeeded in making two huge business deals. We are not really celebrating until all the checks clear and closing concludes, but DH is optimistic enough that he's pulled the trigger on a huge, massive, major project:  Looking at Houses. 

We started on Monday, and accordingly Dragon Girl is not to blame for all of last night's sleep deprivation. I had a squiggly-Christmas-morningy vibe going all last night about today's lineup of viewings. Five! We will see five maybe-homes today!

Ooooh, a home of our own,
to paint as we please,
to plant as we please . . .
. . . and, since we're not first-time homebuyers, I must add from experience . . .
to fix when it breaks . . .
to rebuild what we hate . . .
but ours, our own!

I am so excited to have a "growing-up home" for our girls, a place of goings-out and comings-in, and a cozy space for Dragon Girl that is more than a bassinet in the TV room.

So last night in the wee small hours, in the cozy dark when I really should have been sleeping, I planted and re-planted endless herb gardens, elk-proofed them, and re-planted them yet again; excavated a fire pit; painted the girls' rooms walls four or five times; ordered new furniture for same; stripped that headboard; ordered storage for the mudroom; and had two very firm discussions with DH about his penchant for wildlife artwork and heavy Victorian furniture.

It's time to turn in. Winter is coming. The air is honeycrisp at night.  The porch plants have been taken in. Our neighborhood mama bear is perched atop the neighborhood dumpster every night, trying to get fat for the winter. Nuthatches are fluttering over the feeder. Chipmunks are fat-cheeked with thistle seed. It's time to turn in.


*OK, it made for a nice introductory paragraph, but between us, dear reader, I have some serious questions about this study. For example, did the designers statistically adjust for the fact that fathers -- around here, at least -- seem to live in utter fear of getting spit-up on their shoulders or piddle on their shirts? Or that fact that the female is often feeding the baby either by breast or bottle, so why pick up the child face-out only to twirl them around for a feeding?  Plus, if Dragon Girl is any indicator, the parental message has a pretty narrow channel of travel. So far, the only messaging that Dragon Girl seems capable of processing is "I'm being held! Yay!" or "I'm NOT being held! Dammit!"

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Superheroes, Take 2

My previous post by the same name got derailed. Another thought wanted to be thunk, apparently, so I thunked it, posted it, and now return to drafting the post originally designated for this title.

As the mother of two girls, I thought it would behoove me to spend some time digging around on Miss Representation's website. This indie documentary, in the words of its own website (a new quote, germane to this post, as compared to Superheros, Take 1), "challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself."

I can get behind this one hundred percent, but my still small inner voice is compelled to ask whether girl-children inherently suffer any more than boy-children from the urge to be something more than what they are?

Case in point: when dropping He'en off at preschool last year, I noticed one of her playmates leaping around the room. He would leap, then freeze, crouch, and glare at me. He did this six or seven times.

I confess that I sort of glared back, which must have disconcerted the kid's mother because she tossed me one of Those Looks from across the playroom and said with a little fake laugh, "Oh, he's just pretending to be Spiderman!"

It was on the tip of my tongue to say, Well, tell him not to be Spiderman near my daughter, because it's damned creepy. Instead, of course, I gave a little fake laugh back and weakly chirped, "Awwww, how cuuuute."

So here we are, browsing Netflix on Roku last week [Roku = best $90 a parent will ever spend], and He'en asks to watch the animated Spiderman. I told her nyet. Instead, I said, she could pick a new Barbie movie. Is this because I am trying to drive my daughter into an eating disorder? Hell, no. It's because I don't want my daughter leaping around the room, freezing, crouching, and glaring at strangers! 

Plus, in the wake of the horrible Aurora shootings, I am really hesitant about exposing her to any superhero franchise before it's absolutely unavoidable.  Barbie may not send the absolute best messages for girls, but at least I know that nobody will be beaten up or explode on-screen into bloody goo.  Additionally, He'en is sick of Little Einsteins and refuses to watch Sid the Science Kid because the first episode she watched was about getting shots at the doctor and she is terrified of reliving that experience.  We've watched every episode of Doc McStuffins at least twice. (For those who don't wish to follow the link, this animated series features a female child "doctor" to her stuffed animals, whose mother also is a female doctor, and whose dad is a SAHD. Awesome.)

In real life, I've switched to a great female pediatrician in part because I think she's a terrific role model for the girls. Her professional staff happens to be all-female as well.  And I try to "deprogram" in real-time when I read He'en the books that I had as a child:  "Can girls be firefighters? Of course they can! Can men be nurses? Of course they can! Our neighbor Mister Colin is a nurse. He was the one that you watched using the chainsaw to cut up that tree last summer, remember? Well, his job is helping hurt people get better. Someday Mom will teach you to use a chainsaw, by the way."  And so forth.

I think Miss Representation's messages and goals absolutely are in the right place. But I cannot feel overly guilty about fanning the flames of the Barbie franchise, either.  The raising of girl-children is an exercise in complexity. It's often an exercise in choosing the lesser or least of evils.  All you can do is your best, which I submit is a good and positive message regardless of whether it comes from Mom, Barbie, Doc McStuffins, or Condoleeza Rice.

Superheroes, Take 1

In the local news -- which I read about every third day if I a) am lucky and b) remember to take the phone into the ladies' room -- I recently read about a screening of Miss Representation. As the mother of two girls, I was interested enough to visit the website and read a little more about this indie movie, which, in the words of its own website, "explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence."

Um, okay, but I don't think we can blame the media for every woman's position.  Take me, for example, 'cause it's my blog and I can:  of late, I've been patently un-powerful and un-influential. As I type, baby snot is drying on my right forearm. I changed my hair color from platinum blonde to light brunette four days ago; my husband still has not noticed. And a piece of dried fetuccine fell out of my bra last night when I was getting ready for bed, which occurs in the guest room so that Dragon Girl's nocturnal antics -- she still is taking 3 night feedings -- do not disturb DH who is working across three continents and trying to close three or four deals-of-a-lifetime in the timespan of 14 days of one lifetime.

And, let's note, said bedtime is only kicking off the night shift, which begins when I am done with a 12-hour day of providing cheese slices, making sure the Correct Top is on the Correct Sippy Cup, and pretending amazed delight at my preschooler's prowess at jumping onto her beanbag, each time accompanied by a commanding squeal of, "Mooom! WATCH what I CAN DO!"

Yep, definitely exploring the bottom of the "power and influence" heap nowadays. 

According to any major indicator, I shouldn't be. I have a full-time nanny in the wonderful personage of Sister Mine. I have an advanced degree and professional licenses in two jurisdictions. I was #2 in command of a multimillion dollar service business in Florida. I had direct paths available into politics, law, and the judiciary.

But I took none of them and here I sit, baby snot and all, honestly quite content with my life.

I wish I could say the media talked me into this fast slide to un-empowerment, but I'm pretty sure it had more to do with an excess of Christmas 'nog and that cozy B&B suite in Madera Canyon back in 2007.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Stories: How Maleficent Got Her Castle

[N.B. - This was the first of the Maleficent Stories. Accordingly, it's a little more elaborate than subsequent Maleficent Stories. I started to scale back the complexity once I twigged that He'en apparently was going to request a "New Mayefficen' Stowy!" every single bedtime until she left for college.]

Once upon a time, Maleficent was flying around the kingdom, making mischief --

Aside: "What does that mean?"
Little voice: "Making twubble. Because she iss twubble."
Aside: "That's right, she is trouble."

-- and a thought came into her head. And the thought was, "I think I would like a castle."

So Maleficent flew and flew until she saw a castle that was just right. It was shining gold and silver and perched high up on a great knob of rock.

"What a beautiful castle," thought Maleficent. "I will have it for my own."

So in a POOF of green smoke, she flew down to the castle and knocked on the door. But nobody answered. That didn't stop Maleficent. She pushed open the door and went inside.

Aside: "Should she have done that?"
Little voice: (emphatically) "No!"
Aside: "Right, but she did it anyway, because Maleficent is not polite."
Little voice: (with great satisfaction and a little snuggle) "Wight."

And inside the castle Maleficent saw. . .
. . . a dining room, with a dinner all laid out,
. . . and a game room, with games all ready to play,
. . . and a bedroom, with a bed all made and ready!

She walked all though the castle, but nobody was home. So Maleficent . . .
. . . went to the dining room and ate the dinner,
. . . went to the game room and played with all the games,
. . . and went to the bedroom and crawled in the bed to sleep.

But no sooner was Maleficent asleep than the castle's *real* owner came home! He was a magnificent dragon, with red and orange and gold scales and golden eyes. And his name was Firebrand. 

Firebrand walked into his castle and said,
"Somebody's eaten my dinner!"
Then he walked to the game room and said,
"Someone's been playing with my games!"
Then he walked to the bedroom and said,
"Someone's sleeping in my bed!"

But as soon as he said that, Maleficent woke up! And with a POOF of green smoke, she cast a spell on Firebrand and imprisoned him in his own dungeon! And not only that, but she made Firebrand work very hard. She used his firey breath to . . . heat her bathwater.

Well, Firebrand didn't like this at all. So one day, he was looking at the small window of his dungeon cell and thought, "I'll bet I can get out of there." So he used his firey breath and with a great blast melted the bars on the dungeon window. And he gave a little
. . . mmf . . .
and an
. . . oompf . . .
and a big
. . . ungggh wiggle . . .
and POP, he was out of the dungeon!

Firebrand flew away as fast and as far as ever he could. And while he flew, he said to himself, "I don't want anything more to do with HER. She can KEEP that castle!"

So that is how Maleficent got her castle. But, because she was evil, it didn't stay gold and silver and shiny. It turned black and purple, and green clouds swirled around it.

And THAT is the castle you see in the movie.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Maleficent Stories: Introduction

Sister Mine and I debated over whether He'en was ready for Sleeping Beauty. After all, Maleficient had deeply moved both of us in her time. Sister Mine says, "She scared the bejabbers out of me."  I suppose that Maleficent scared the bejabbers out of me, too, but, as my coping mechanism, I channeled Maleficient and went around for quite a long time in high school being all sweepy and dramatic. The villains always had the best makeup.

Because He'en had sailed through Bambi, however, with only some minor discussion about out-of-season hunting -- we'll save the harsh reality of doe permits for another year -- we decided she was emotionally prepared to handle Maleficent in all her wonderful awfulness. So Sleeping Beauty was duly purchased, and it was duly watched, and although I had to sit with He'en during a couple "scawwy pawts," we thought that she had managed just fine.

Well, she had . . . but as soon as the closing credits concluded, she attacked me with a rabid case of the curiosities.
About what, you may ask? 
The good fairies?  Pssht.
Aurora? Take a number.
Prince Philip?  Yawn.

No, no, my daughter wanted to know everything, and I do mean absolutely everything, there was to know about Maleficent:

How did Maleficent get her castle?
How did Maleficent get her crow?
Why are there green clouds around the castle?
Was Maleficent good once before she was evil?
Where did she get her castle guards? (Seriously.)
And on.
And on.
And on.
And at bedtime, no less.

In answer to this dire dearth of information, the Maleficent Stories were born. They have grown so numerous that I've started to forget them, so I will here record them from time to time both for reference and posterity.