Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Stuff and nonsense

There is a place in Target that makes my child go insane. No, it's not the toy department. It's that "Dottie Loves" area in the girls' clothing section where they keep the really skanktastic outfits, the artificial hair falls, the press-on nails, and the rhinestone-festooned cowgirl hats. Apparently there's some sort of personality-altering chemical being pumped through secret vents behind the display, because as soon as G comes within 10 feet of it, she starts flouncing around like a miniature Paris Hilton. She uses a fake, annoying voice and squeals that everything is sooooo cute, and I'm left looking behind the racks for the pod that contains the real G. She doesn't act like that in the paper-towel aisle, I can tell you. And no, she's not allowed to wear press-on nails or artificial hair. Yuck.

In more pleasant news, G and I have been a pair of reading fools lately. G read Beastly Tales: Yeti, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster in the car while we were out doing errands; she also read most of Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist: Attack of the 50-Foot Cupid and finished it later with me. Together, we read the remaining three Franny books: The Invisible Fran, The Fran That Time Forgot and Frantastic Voyage, all of which we loved. (I'm just waiting for my chance to quote one particular line from Frantastic Voyage.) We also read two more of the Daisy Meadows fairy books: Abigail the Breeze Fairy and Pearl the Cloud Fairy. I was expecting Britishisms of the mom/mum, color/colour type, since these editions are from the UK, but some of the terminology left me puzzled -- if anyone knows what a "marquee" (not a sign over a theater, but something to do with a carnival) or a "Tombola booth" is, please relieve my curiosity!

As for my own reading, I got about halfway through The Rice Mother before putting it down to read Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads: Dealing With the Parents, Teachers, Coaches and Counselors Who Can Make or Break Your Child's Future. I read Queen Bees and Wannabes a year or two ago and found this book just as true to life. Though it's geared toward parents with kids in public school, I think everyone encounters these personality types sooner or later, whether it's in a playgroup, a church group, a dance class, or some other location where kids and parents congregate.

Around the time I finished that book, life got stressful, and I retreated to the womb (figuratively) by hiding under the covers and rereading old childhood favorites like Farmer Boy and Over Sea, Under Stone. I'll get back to The Rice Mother soon, and I've got The Poisonwood Bible waiting for me too, but I think I'll finish rereading the whole The Dark is Rising sequence (of which Over Sea, Under Stone is a part) before then. Comfort reading is such a small vice I don't think it even counts as one.

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