Monday 11 August 2008

I 'heart' Rainbow Dash....

Sunday, early afternoon. All the family are busy doing the things they love. Neve is asleep in her cot, surround by her vast range of alliteratively named soft toys ('Duck-duck', 'Dog-dog' and 'Skunk-skunk' being her current favourites). Nini is out at a garden centre, shopping for manure - an errand that, quite unbelievably to me, she has actually been looking forward to. I am settling down in the armchair by the window with a cup of tea and the Nintendo DS, so I can enjoy a quiet hour of solving Picross puzzles and 'tutting' disapprovingly at the neighbours parking. And Amelie is....apparently not happy to be left with her crayons and colouring book, and instead has appeared in front of me with a pink box. She is going to ask, I realise, the question that no father ever wants his daughter to ask him...
"Daddy..," she says coyly "...will you play My Little Pony with me?"
I have mentioned, in passing, My Little Pony before, but I should explain for those not in the know (perhaps those of you who are childless, or have only sired boy-children) what My Little Pony is, or rather are. They are pastel coloured horse dolls, about 6 inches high, with hair of brightly coloured nylon that you can comb and braid to your little hearts content. They also feature big manga cartoon eyes, and stike poses that Nini thinks wouldn't look out of place on tennage flirt -"Look at the website, they're all tossed hair and fluttery eyelashes..." Personally I don't know if that statement isn't actually more telling about her rather than it is of the makers of MLP, who I assume were market-savvy enough to realise they weren't going to capture the lucrative 'pre-school girls' toy market if their dolls simply stood there in traditional 'horse ' poses (standing still, gazing into space, lying down asleep, dead with legs in air, stuffed into van going to glue-factory, etc, etc.)
But I digress. Amelie is looking at me with imploring eyes.
"Please, Daddy?" she asks again.
"OK" I say. "What do we have to do?"
"We can have a parade!" she shrieks excitedly.
A My Little Pony parade, it turns out, is exactly as much fun as it initially sounds, which is entirely dependent on your age, i.e if you are 4, its brilliant, but if you are 36 it falls a looooong way short of being a laugh riot. Though, whatever your age, it does have the advantage of being fairly simple to organise: you line your My Little Ponies up along the edge of the table, and then you stop and look at them.
"What do we do now?" I ask, after a few moments of quiet, puzzled contemplation, in which it becomes obvious that Amelie is waiting for me to do something.
"Now you decide who has won", she explains.
" it you?"
"Oh. Is it me, then?"
"No. Don't be silly Daddy, which pony has won?"
"Er...that one?" I point randomly.
"Rainbow Dash?" she asks incredulously, as if the very idea is complete madness."Why?"
"Er...because he is blue, and has a rainbow painted up his leg?"
"No, she didn't win. She came last. The pink and white ones beat her."
"They did? Why?"
"Because they are ahead of her in the parade. I lined them up already."
"Right. I see. So when you say I have to decide who has won, you mean I just have to say the name of the one in front?"
"Yes.." she says patiently, as if in fact I am the small child in this scenario.
There is a pause, during which she looks at me expectantly.
"Oh! Is it still me? Erm...that one, then. The white one is the winner." I announce.
"Her name..." hisses Amelie, pointedly, " Sunny Daze."
"Ah. OK. 'Sunny Daze' won. Nice work. A deserving winner. Good ponying all round."
Amelie claps. She makes all the other ponies bow, by knocking them all over. Sunny Daze is awarded a small plastic hairbrush, which is placed reverentially at her feet.
"What happens next?" I ask
"We play again."
I sigh. "Amelie, I don't think Daddy is very good at my Little Pony parade."
"Don't worry," she smiles reassuringly. "Mummy is not here. We can keep trying..."


Misterimpatient said...

I waited and waited for the bomb to drop. Nothing. No postal madness. No, violent rage against the pre-school industrial complex.

Are you well?

PDC said...

I am, as ever, smiling through the tears, my friend. Smiling through the tears...
Hope all is sunshine and bunnies with you...