“Mommy I want a talking story
tonight,” says Katherine. “Talking story” means “tell me a story”, and must always
begin “There once was a Princess named Katherine”. From there, my feeble imagination
must take over, and since I’m a feminist of sorts (e.g., never shall any Bratz dolls enter my home), I try to create stories
in which Princess Katherine not only wears beautiful jewelry and fancy dresses, but she wears them while learning to sail,
or building a house, or running a race, or becoming CEO of a multi-national conglomerate and revamping their HR policies to
include paid maternity leave and free childcare centers on site. Or something.
So. Anyway. It was Talking Story time last night, and usually
she lays there quietly, thumb tucked in mouth and eyes wide open staring at me, patiently listening as I fumble around
trying to come up with something marginally creative (and not too painfully didactic).
This time, however, I started with the usual “There once was a Princess named Katherine” and she immediately interrupted
“And she had big girl underpants!” - said in a gleeful manner.
“Yes, OK. And one day Princess Katherine - ”
“She had BIG GIRL UNDERPANTS,
MOMMY!” Apparently, a key plot point in need of reiteration by me.
“Right, she had big girl underpants
“Her underpants go over her BAGINA!”
“Yes, indeed. So Princess Katherine, wearing her big girl underpants, wanted to go on an adventure - ”
Now I receive a look of derision
and frustration: “No she didn’t! She
wanted her dessert, and put her plate in the sink, and then she wanted to find her blankie, and she wanted to PEE in the POTTY
ALL BY HERSELF, and then wipe her BAGINA with toilet paper and flush the toilet
and wash her hands and see a My Little Pony movie on the TV and ….”
This went on for about 5 minutes
and I’ve forgotten most of it (must start carrying around portable tape recorder), but it did somehow wind its way back to
the key element:
“… and she had on her BIG GIRL
UNDERPANTS! Because she PEES IN THE POTTY!”
By this time, she was practically shouting. She then sighed, and said
somewhat reluctantly, “OK I’m done Mommy, now I need to go.”
“Yeah, um, ok honey, goodnight-“
“MOMMY!!! I need to go!!!!!”
As in, to the potty.