Ben is now well but Shira, while her fever has broken, is still not feeling great and is very, very, very, very delicate. Did I say she was delicate? Perhaps I understate things when I use the word "delicate". She's my child who cries at the drop of a hat, who becomes frustrated at the drop of a hat and who beats herself up at the drop of a hat. That's when she's well. Take this behavior and multiply it a thousand fold and you have Shira when she's not feeling well.
We had half a dozen eruptions before 8am. I then decided that school was just not going to happen today. Instead we're listening to Patricia Wrede's, "Dealing with Dragons".
Cimorene, princess of Linderwall, is a classic tomboy heroine with classic tomboy strengths--all of which are perceived by those around her as defects: "As for the girl's disposition--well, when people were being polite, they said she was strong-minded. When they were angry or annoyed with her, they said she was as stubborn as a pig." Cimorene, tired of etiquette and embroidery, runs away from home and finds herself in a nest of dragons. Now, in Cimorene's world--a world cleverly built by author Patricia C. Wrede on the shifting sands of myriad fairy tales--princesses are forever being captured by dragons. The difference here is that Cimorene goes willingly. She would rather keep house for the dragon Kazul than be bored in her parents' castle. With her quick wit and her stubborn courage, Cimorene saves the mostly kind dragons from a wicked plot hatched by the local wizards, and worms her way into the hearts of young girls everywhere.
We're having such fun. While we're listening, Shira's drawing dragons, Ben's building dragons with legos and I am having peaceful times blogging and futzing around in the kitchen.
Every time Cimorene tried to do an activity she enjoyed, she was told that "girls did not do that", when she questioned it, she was told, "because that's the way it is". This was a great springboard for a discussion about perceived roles and societal pressures.
Our children are being brought up by parents who make choices that don't fit the mainstream or their extended family's preconceptions of what is right and proper. It's good for Ben and Shira to read literature that deals with these issues.