Journal Entry

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Teatray, Prince of Bears

Pictures from Halloween:

Pre-Haloween lounging, Noah: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8  

Pre-Haloween lounging, Aviva (trying on Rabbit Hat): 0   1   2  

Pre-Haloween prancing about, Aviva: 0   1   2   3   4   5  

Putting on makeup: 0   1   2   3   4   5  

Aviva said several days before Halloween that she wanted to be a rabbit. (She later declared she was Buster). The other costumes were last-minute things -- I was Harlequin because I saw the clown hat sitting in the attic; my mom, who came over without a costume, was assigned to be a rugby player who, for some unexplained reason, is holding an American football; and Noah was given a bear hat and declared to be Teatray, Prince of Bears.

The pumpkins (and Rita, Esther's mom): 0 1 2 3
(Aviva drew the faces for all the jack-o-lanterns, except for the more traditional small one on the right)

Trick or treating: 0 1 2 3

The business about "Teatray" bears explaining (ha, bears explaining, get it, snurfle). Aviva has assigned everyone names from a pair of nineteenth century children's songs: she is Diamond, I am Bat, Esther is Star, Noah is Teatray, Rita is Twinkle, Karen is Wonder, and so on.

The other day she was singing in the supermarket aisle:

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
how I wonder where you're at
Up above the world so high
like a tea-tray in the sky...

A nice lady leaned over to say, "No, honey, it's twinkle twinkle little star..."

I cleared my throat: "actually, that's the Lewis Carroll version she's singing..."

That was Halloween, though. Now we're in a whole other week, and we have a whole new set of names. I am now Buster, Aviva is Arthur, Noah is D. W., Esther is Francine, Goa (who you will remember is Aviva's little sister, not hindered in the slightest in this capacity by the fact that she is a doll) is Kate, and Cereina, typically, is Bionic Bunny. (Cereina is the punchiest, sassiest, most assertive, and wildest of Aviva's six doll-children).

I have now watched so many episodes of PBS's Arthur series so many times, I can quote it chapter and verse -- and it really is a well put together show with a lot of heart. It's pretty much the only thing that our TV has been used for for the past three months (except for one of the presidential debates... but let's not even get on that topic, shall we?). Aviva gets to watch two Arthur videos a day. It's become a major part of the folk literature of our family -- "Aviva, remember when D.W. went into the forest to look for deer and she was really quiet? Well, this is just like that..."

I find it fascinating that Aviva is this huge fan of these videos about an eight-year old boy... and that she clearly identifies with him and not with D.W., his five-year-old sister. Boy, if this keeps up, is she ever going to be ready for the social and interpersonal challenges of third grade -- she'll know what to do about social ostracism of asthmatics, rivalry over baby-tooth-loss, and accidentally taking the bus to the wrong part of town -- she'll have all those scripts memorized.

Posted by benrosen at November 4, 2004 01:18 PM | Up to blog
Comments

I used to watch a lot of Arthur when my 8-year-old was younger. Now, my 2- and 3-year-old are just getting old enough to be interested. It's a good show, though I wish they'd make it a little clearer for the younger crowd that DW's behavior is mostly bratty. My favorite episode is the one with the South Park-style version of Arthur.

Joe

P.S. Trivia: What is DW's name?

Posted by: Joe Ganley at December 16, 2004 10:40 AM

Dora Winifred Read. We learn this in "D.W. the Picky Eater" where she flings a bowl of spinach onto the head of a waiter, and her mom says, "Dora Winifred Read!!!"

What episode has the South Park version of Arthur? Holy moley! Does he talk like a South Park character?

My favorite episode is the postmodern, send-up one with the green potato chips, "The Chips Are Down", I believe. Favorite line: Binky, in the audience at intermission, learning that his tough friends think his ballet performance was in fact cool, flinging off his trenchcoat and crying "I've got a swan to catch!"

I went to Toys R Us to buy stuff for Aviva's birthday, and to my horror, everything was branded. You can't just buy party hats. You can only buy My Little Pony party hats or Spiderman 2 party hats or Power Rangers party hats or Barbie party hats. This infuriated me. I realized the only branded objects Aviva would actually groove on would be Arthur ones. But they didn't have any.

I love D.W.'s behavior -- she's tough, sassy, smart, and refuses to back down. She's a perfect counterpoint to Arthur's studious, nervous earnestness. Bratty isn't the worst thing in the world. (But I'm all about the strong women).

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at December 16, 2004 10:54 AM
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