Any of this sound familiar? If it’s any consolation this has been the bane of mothers for all of history (or at least as far back as early-twentieth century England, if Miss Potter is to be believed).
But here’s the thing. Little Lucie didn’t go and find her mother to help.
Truth bomb #2: Ask for help – you will find it in the most unexpected places
Instead she began to look for her lost belongings herself, while recruiting help from various onlookers. The cat and the hen both ignored her completely. But the little robin redbreast gave her a clue as to where to go.
Truth bomb #3: Children have an irrepressible sense of adventure – and no sense of consequence
And little Lucie ran with it literally. Out of the farm, over the style and up the steep, steep hill until her home looked like a toy farm. Are any of you having heart palpitations at the idea of your child just leaving like this?
But Lucie didn’t worry – there was no sense that anything could possibly go wrong. And while the range of likely outcomes today in our cities relative to 115 years ago in rural England are very different, certainly my children’s response is no different.
They pout when I tell them to stay where I can see them.
They will go and walk next to the swimming pool when I tell them to stay away.
No sense of consequence. So it’s my job as a mother to teach them that. And it can be pretty tricky to do without terrifying them about the horrors of what is lurking out there in the world…
Truth bomb #4: Children will walk in pretty much anywhere uninvited
So, at the top of the hill, Little Lucie finds a small door in the side of the hill. And she pushes it open and marches right into Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s kitchen…
Note to self: lock that bathroom door if you don’t want to be disturbed. Otherwise I am fair game and it will be a community event.
Truth bomb #5: 21st century blessings – we seldom use starch and have electric irons
But before you think I am bemoaning the scariness of our times in favor of a misplaced sense of idyll for 115 years ago, I am busy counting my household chore blessings.
- I have a washing machine;
- I have an electric iron (and amazing fabrics that mean I don’t always have to use it anyway);
- Have you ever starched anything? I haven’t.
And more importantly, I have the right to vote. I can work both to support my family and for my own self-actualisation. I have a legalized of acceptable working and living conditions. We have healthcare facilities that no early 20th century science fiction writer would have dreamed of. My children have a very high probability of living to five. I have a very low probability of dying in child birth.
So I’ll take it and count my blessings daily.
Truth bomb #6: People are more than what they seem
I know that I take huge umbrage when I think that people are labelling me. But it doesn’t stop me making snap judgements…it’s very human.
And so the scene of the short, stout washerwoman shedding her clothes and morphing into the recognizable hedgehog is a reminder that EVERYONE is more than the obvious. That we are all multi-faceted. And we need to be kind rather than judgmental.
And here is a handy Amazon link if you would like to read "The Take of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle" for yourself.