Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Miss Potter

We watched a lovely movie tonight called "Miss Potter." It is about Beatrix Potter, my favorite children's book artist (N.C. Wyeth, Jessie Willcox Smith, Arnold Lobel, and Howard Pyle running closely behind). It stars Renee Zellweger and the guy who played young Obi Wan Kenobi in the most recent Star Wars trilogy.

During the first part of the movie there are scenes when Peter and Jemima come alive on the painted paper. All the chldren liked it, but Max and LMark became restless during scenes in which one could see the relationship between Beatrix and Norman beginning to blossom.

So we stopped the movie and decided to get everyone ready for bed.

As one of my wedding gifts I was given a boxed set of the Peter Rabbit series in little books. I put it away after Margaret tore the cover off the box. Over the years I would take them out, but some form of disrespect or indifference would force me to put them away again.

I pulled them out tonight because I wanted the children to understand that the magic of Peter Rabbit was in a book, not on the television. While Mark read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe to the girls, I showed the boys my beloved books. I read the tales of Benjamin Bunny, Two Bad Mice, and A Fierce Bad Rabbit.

I started Squirrel Nutkin too, but the boys became restless again. Then something fell out of the book and tapped my wrist.

I rustled around where I thought it fell (praying it was not a bug) and discovered a thin, faded-pink ribbon tied into a bow. I knew immediately what it was.

When Rose was a baby she didn't have any hair. She wasn't exactly bald, but her hair never wanted to grow in the places that would make a little baby girl (or in reality, any child or grown person) look cute. Not that she wasn't cute, she just had to rely on her face and fat belly to pull it off. During her first year of life, "Patchy and Bald" might be good words to describe her hair--or her head, depending on what region you're viewing.

Because we didn't discover her sex prior to her birth, we were well stocked with neutral colored clothes. Of course, people would always guess she was a boy. After that began to irritate me, I replaced the neutral outfits with pink, frilly dresses so there woudn't be any confusion.

After the first fifty people saw her in pink and still cried, "Oh what a cute little guy!" I decided to do them a favor. I began sticking bows on her head.

Nothing would stay because there was no hair on top. I didn't like headbands, so I opted for a homemade bow. I tied a little bow out of ribbon and stuck it to her head with toothpaste. It worked marvelously. Moreover it was cheaper than a regular infant headband, and gave her head a minty-fresh scent.

So I found this little bow (with dried toothpaste on the knot) and deposited it in a safer place than Squirrell Nutkin.