Seth chose an Arthur story tonight for bedtime. I like Arthur. I like the Brain. I like DW. I like Muffy. I like Sue Ellen. I like Buster and even Binky Barnes.
But I cannot stand Francine.
Have any of you parents of young children (or used-to-be young children that remember the Arthur stories) ever noticed how nasty Francine is? She is usually so nasty that I find myself shocked when she is actually nice about something.
Tonight's story was no exception. It was Francine who had to stand up in class and SHOW OFF because her tooth fell out. It was Francine who mocked Arthur because he hadn't lost any teeth yet. It was Francine who invented a game ONLY FOR KIDS WHO LOST A TOOTH, leaving Arthur out. And, it was Francine who spent all of her money from the tooth fairy, while at least Muffy saved it to earn interest.
Francine is one kid who is very difficult to like and whom you have to work very hard at finding something good about.
As we were reading the story tonight, after every Francine incident, it became a catch phrase for me to turn to Seth and say, "Don't ever marry someone like Francine". Hannah caught on and joined me, so I turned to her and said, "Don't ever, EVER be someone like Francine". I challenged Hannah to find all of her Arthur books and see for herself how mean-spirited Francine was.
Now, I realize this seems like a simple post, but the character of Francine always strikes a chord in me. Francine represents everything nasty that a girl can be. Girls can be catty. Girls can be mean-spirited. Girls tell "tall tales" better than anyone. And girls NEVER FORGET.
Although boys can be all of these things, I would bet the farm that if you put a nasty boy and a nasty girl in the same room, the nasty girl would win every time (not speaking physically).
I will continue to use the Arthur books to teach lessons to Hannah of how NOT to act. And even though I was joking tonight when I told Seth not to ever marry someone like Francine, believe me, when he's older it is something I will not joke about. I do not want him strapped for life with some loud-mouthed, nasty, mean-spirited, show-off for a wife.
Now a woman with a strong opinion.............that's another matter entirely :).