Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Weddings, princesses and outlandish threats

Berry's latest threat, when life (or a parent) doesn't let her have her own way: "YOU NOT COMING TO MY WEDDING!"

It is absolutely delivered in all capitals, and in a voice that means it.

Apparently, Berry's wedding is imminent and invitations are in great demand. When I went to pick her up from preschool the other day she was wandering around the playground alone, so I stopped and watched a minute. She wove around trees and posts, in and out of crowds of kids, oblivious to all of them. Even after she looked my way, it took her a moment to come out of her dream.

When she came running over I said, "What were you doing there, honey?"
"Just telling me a story."
"What was your story about?"
"About I get married."
"Oh. Who are you marrying?"
"Just Jacob. Jacob like to get me married."

It's all about weddings and princesses these days. I really don't know where it comes from, since we have banned the Disney Princesses in this house (Berry doesn't know it; we just 'mysteriously' retain no Disney Princess paraphernalia), and her main information on weddings comes from asking questions about our wedding photos on the wall. She believes that all weddings take place in Italy, of course, because that's where mommy and daddy got married. She has a 'princess wand' that she got at Brooke's birthday party, which she can barely go anywhere without and which has given me some (possibly ill-advised) leverage in the battle of wills.

We were out for a walk the other evening, the four of us, and Berry was trying on several varieties of whining and defiance. Our usual disciplinary measures were failing (it's hard to follow through with a time-out on a road with no footpaths) and she was getting worse and we were getting fed up.

Finally I snapped, "If you don't do as you're told, I will take your princess wand and give it to a dog!"

We don't have a dog. I have no idea what I was talking about. It was just a stream of pure frustration, and Nathan looked at me in surprise and said, "Awesome", and we both started laughing. And Berry laughed too and said, "I just kidding!" and she was fine after that. Maybe she believed me.

The princess obsession continues unabated, with Berry making imaginary cinnamon rolls at breakfast because "that's what Belle makes" (huh??) and nearly passing out with excitement when she sees a Disneyland ad on TV: "Looooooook! PRINCESSES!"

I think Jacob fell out of favour in the marriage stakes across the weekend because I heard some other little boy's name mentioned when we were threatened for the 37th time with not coming to her wedding and when I think of how many boys are going to be in and out of favour over the next two or three decades, it just wears me out. I won't even mention it to Nathan. He might not have thought of that yet.

But with a view to the future, I have a thought... Allow me to take this opportunity to say, Berry, if you read this somewhere down the track when you're older, I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear. I am going to try my hardest to be a good mother, and a sweet mother, and a kind and supportive and constructive and not-too-interfering influence as you grow up, and I absolutely love you to bits. But if, when you do actually decide to get married, you so much as think about not having me there at your wedding, so help me I WILL TAKE YOUR PRINCESS WAND AND GIVE IT TO A DOG.



  1. Lol! Too funny! You might want to tell her - if you don't get to come to her wedding, you're not going to PAY for it! Although I guess not many people follow that tradition anymore. Love the pic!

  2. That is priceless! I laughed at loud at your husband's stunned response.

  3. Oh bless you. Your stories always brighten my day. I love Berry's sense of humor and I hope that wand is still around on her wedding day- and that this story graces Nathan's speech!

  4. Helen, that was great. A fantastic start to my day! I'm particularly impressed by Nathan's response.


  5. I laughed so much at this post, Helen. Actually, I can think of a lot of people who I would like to strip of their wands to give to dogs....

  6. this is wonderful!