Ane’s Frances moment

Ane and Tad had a pretty fun day yesterday. Our day started off with the kids’ free movie at the local movie theater, where we met up with Friend, the Brain and Head (thanks for saving us some seats!!) to watch Curious George. Tad sat rock-still in my lap for almost the whole thing. The fixation that boy has on that monkey is scary sometimes.

Then we went over to Grandma and Gichan’s for lunch, and Ane got to play with Libby, the almost 10-month-old neighbor girl that my mother baby-sits. Ane is very good with babies, and Libby is a favorite of hers. When she asked if we were going home after the movie, and I told her no, we were going to Grandma’s house and she could play with Libby, she said, “Oh, hurry, Mommy – Libby needs me!”

After lunch and some playtime, we headed home. Tad fell asleep on the way home, and Ane stayed awake until we got home (a minor miracle) and took a very good nap. Both kids woke up happy from their naps, and the Webmaster came home while I was fixing dinner and the Mariners game was on (we beat Baltimore!). After dinner, Ane and I made mint chocolate chip cookies. She was working on using the cookie scoop. As I was taking a sheet out of the oven, she said, “Those are for Gichan – and one for Grandma.”

Then I mentioned to her that we would be having Tad’s birthday party on Sunday, and she began to wail hysterically. You would have thought that I’d just told her that we were going to burn her dolly in the fireplace. She totally lost it.

“Tad can’t have a birthday!” she cried.

“But honey, he’s turning two. There’s nothing we can do to stop that,” I told her.

“He doesn’t want a birthday!”

“Oh, I think he wants to have a birthday.”

“He doesn’t want a party!”

Ah-HA. Ane knows that birthday = party, and this one is not for her. AND that she won’t get to open any of the presents.

The Webmaster and I exchanged looks over her head. “We’re having a Frances moment,” I said. He nodded.

Frances is a little girl badger, and the star of a series of children’s books written by Russell Hoban. I grew up reading these stories (most of which were written in the 1970’s). The first is Bedtime for Frances, which is still my favorite, but Ane’s favorite is Bread and Jam for Frances. During the series, Frances acquires a little sister named Gloria (her birth is the focus of A Baby Sister for Frances, which I bought for Ane prior to Tad’s birth). It is Gloria’s second birthday in A Birthday for Frances, in which Frances resents the fact that it is her sister’s birthday and not hers. When told by her mother that her birthday will be in two months, Frances remarks to her imaginary friend Alice that “Your birthday is always the one that is not now.” Of course, Frances eventually comes to terms with her sister’s birthday, giving in first with bad grace and then genuine good wishes.

On reflection, Ane is a blend of Frances and Olivia.

So, I think I know what we’ll be reading a couple of times before Sunday.

I wonder what Olivia would do when it was her brother’s birthday and not hers? Oh, the horror, the horror.

I completely recommend the Olivia books and the Frances books for kids, but especially little girls. The illustrations for both series are very likeable, and the colors of the Olivia books are very eye-catching for kids.

One Response to “Ane’s Frances moment”

  1. Little Cousin's Mommy
    August 8th, 2007 10:32

    While visiting Captain, Q-Bee and Belle, I read Little Cousin Belle’s copy of “Olivia” a few times. I loved it, but – and I think this is childhood talking – “Frances” has a special place in my heart.

    By the way, I’m getting my girls some of my favorite childhood books for Christmas, so talk to me before getting them books.