According to my four-year old granddaughter Emma. I’ve never heard that take before. But she’s an unusual little girl. So I’m in my writing cave–the couch with my laptop and fur babies–when Emma appears, as she does when weary of being on the farm with her adored father. No, I didn’t want to go outside and swing, or pick flowers, or dig in the dirt. A gusty wind blew and dark clouds were gathering. And we heard the ominous rumbles of thunder.
To avoid a session of Wonder Pets— that darn song stays in my head for hours, or worse, Dora the Explorer, I suggested a much neglected favorite to entertain while I worked on edits, Disney’s Cinderella. A film I first saw when I was a child. This agreed to and a snack provided, we settled in, as much as one can with Emma.
Rapt silence for an extended length of time and then, “Cinderella lied.”
This gained my immediate attention. “What?”
“She said she wasn’t going to the ball and she went.”
“But Cinderella only said she wasn’t going after the wicked stepmother heaped so much work on her that she didn’t have time to make her dress, but then her little mice friends made one so she changed her mind.”
“Is changing your mind like lying?”
The vagaries of truth is a frequent topic of conversation as she tries to fathom the difference between harmless pretend and willful tale-telling, plus, plus. I’ve decided this earnest child takes after the Puritan side of the family.
Emma also pointed out that Cinderella didn’t fess up to being at the ball after she’d gone. Exasperated, I said she would’ve been beaten with sticks and shut up in her room. And some things are best left unsaid.
A blank look. I also got a blank look when in Cinderella’s defense I reminded Emma that they made her do all the dishes and cleaning and cooking and then remembered how hard her mother works. So, no biggie there. Emma was not accepting excuses.
But she did like the shoes. And the fairy Godmother. She could definitely find a use for one of those and made inquiries. But Cinderella? What a whiner. Apparently she should have asserted herself, made the dress, and gone to the ball. The prince didn’t seem to impress Emma one way or the other. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer but a good dancer. And she liked his castle.
Women have married for less.
*Next up, Emma on musicals. “Why do they keep on singing?”