Monday, March 12, 2012

The Pink Castle

As you may have noticed if you've read previous posts, Abby has a bit of a "thing" for Winnie the Pooh. Really though, who wouldn't? A cute cuddly, charmingly obtuse, bear whose main goal is to fill his tummy with honey, all the while enlisting his band of friends to participate in his silly schemes - it's pure genius!

A few weeks ago we got Abby the newest installation of the Winnie the Pooh series. The first time we watched it, she sat close by my side, laughing hysterically and with rapt attention, as Pooh and the gang tried to save Christopher Robin from the dreaded Backson. Since then, not many days go by without her asking to watch Winnie the Pooh, and typically at night she will order me to sing her the "Hundred Acre Woods song" to put her to sleep.

This afternoon when she got home from school she once again asked to watch Winnie the Pooh while she ate her dinner, and we weren't even past the first song before she asked for the addition of the iPad so she could "read" her Winnie the Pooh book at the same time. In other words, she was surrounded by that "willy nilly silly old bear". This got me thinking about the pull of the world of Christopher Robin's imagination. I came to the conclusion that these stories are not really about a bear and his woodland friends, but they are about childhood, or the part of childhood when we all wished there was a place of our own fancy, filled with our closest friends, and where we were the hero. These thoughts lead to another: Did I have such a place as a child? And another: Does Abby? Then I remembered The Pink Castle.

For years we have been making up stories for Abby at bedtime. There are many elements that change, the setting, the plot, even some of the characters, but one thing stays constant - Abby is always a part of them. She's been an astronaut, a spelunker, a dancer, even a deep sea diver - you name it, she's been it. Depending on who is in charge of the story, she can have some pretty crazy adventures. Some of the best stories are when Mom and Dad try to one-up each other. For months now though, we have settled on the setting of a pink castle - a castle that didn't start out pink, but became so one evening as Princess Abby invited her friend Strawberry Shortcake over to give some decorating advice. The stories always start the same way:

As Abby closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep, she once again found herself on the path to The Pink Castle....

That's where things change. See, once she crosses the mote and walks across the threshold of the castle she magically transforms to Princess Abby, and her pajamas change to clothes that offer a clue as to that night's adventures. From there she meets friends (both real and imagined) who travel through the magical castle with her.

Now, if I were being completely honest, some nights I have more fun with them than she does, and there are some stories that have been better than others. (It isn't uncommon for her to fall asleep before the end of the story, but embarrassingly enough there was one night when we both fell asleep while I was telling it.) Mostly these stories are nonsense, but I will keep telling them because sometimes life calls for a little nonsense, especially if it happens in our own little "Hundred Acre Woods".

As you can imagine there are many, many Princess Abby pictures. These are some of the most recent.
She inherited this crown from a King!

Princess Abby was tired of the paparazzi
following her this day. They are a tiresome lot, aren't they?

Here Princess Abby gives her soulful rendition of
"Jesus Loves Me". It was beautiful!

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