The anti-princess

I don’t know what it is about pink and princesses that pisses me off so much (ok, maybe I do, pink seemed frilly and lame when I was little, only prissy girls wore pink, strong capable girls wore all the colors of the rainbow, and princesses didn’t *do* anything, except wait for some prince to marry them, or eat an apple or grow long hair while locked in a tower…) but just when I was giving a little on the whole issue, I’ve discovered how difficult this battle actually is.

Minna and I go swimming every week together. The last few weeks her class has progressed to “separation”, and so I and the other parents sit alongside the pool and the kids swim without us. I thought it was all going so well, Minna was happy and swimming great. Today two other children joined our class so separation wasn’t possible. And with me, Minna decided she didn’t want to do the very activities she’d done so happily without me just last week. Our instructor came over to help.

“Minna, do you want to be a cat or a princess?”

“A princess!” said Minna

Horror on my face.

“Ok, let’s put on your pink princess gown, and your pink gloves and pull them up. And your sparkly crown and…” and on it went in an attempt to get Minna excited about the exercise.

It didn’t work, and princess or not, Minna wouldn’t budge from my arms. But I was so irritated to learn that this was happening RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE for the past two weeks. If we have to pretend to be something else while swimming, why not be a whale? Or a shark? Or a fish? Something that actually SWIMS! Not a cat or a stupid princess in a crown and evening gloves. Who swims in that anyway?

And why can’t kids just swim? Why the need to pretend to be anything but a happy kid swimming?

It’s dedoubt time: no more pink in the house! And I swear pretty soon when people say, “Oh she’s so pretty!” I’m going to snappily reply, “And very CAPABLE too!”

 

The Whale Period

Ollie's huge whale

Minna is the one who started the whole whale thing in our household. For some reason she just loves whales, and has since at least this past summer. But now both of them have taken to drawing whales. This is Ollie’s latest creation. He drew it, colored it in, and then cut it out. It’s probably 16″ wide and it’s stuck to the pantry cabinet in our kitchen. I love it. I think it’s my favorite art he’s done yet.

Sunday morning drawing

Whales

Scene: Ollie and Minna, sitting on living room floor, drawing.

Ollie: “That’s a really nice whale Minna!”

Minna: “Thanks! Ollie, nice whale too!”

Ollie: “Thank you Minna.”

Silence and drawing.

Minna: “That’s a big whale Ollie.”

Ollie: “It’s a sperm whale. All whales are big whales Minna. Except killer whales.”

Minna Kottke, a serious portrait

Minna Kottke, a serious portrait

I love this picture of Minna, taken with 35mm film (!, I’m shooting more film these days, maybe more about that later, maybe not) about a month ago. The print in my kitchen looks even better than the scan, a little deeper, a little darker. Still there’s something so old-fashioned about her pose. It really is a portrait, not a snapshot.

More more more

Here's your latte from a stern barista

I am doing a lot of sewing. I am doing a lot of cooking. I am not doing enough photography but am trying to do more. I am going to post the photos here when I take them, like this one of Minna from this morning at the playground. I am not doing any writing but am trying to do more. I may enlist Siri’s help on that last one to see if I can dictate the writing in my head and get it posted here more easily.

Sewing clothes for the kids

When I was young I did a fair amount of sewing, but never with patterns. For Christmas 2007 I received a sewing machine, and had visions of sewing all kinds of clothes for Ollie. Well that didn’t really happen, until now.

I sewed shorts for Minna!

These are the shorts I just made for Minna. I used this awesome tutorial for basic kids pants and just made them shorter. And the pattern was free! And you just print it out at home!

Oh sewing-interweb, I had no idea you existed in this way. My sewing machine pedal will be to the metal this summer, watch out for pants and shorts and skirts and dresses galore!