If you’d asked me a few years ago, I would have told you 4 year olds drag around baby dolls and cook play food. They do . . . but there’s also an awful lot of murder mystery going on. . . .
As I folded towels while Sally was in the bath, I learned that Raspberry Torte (of the Strawberry Shortcake gang) was missing. She disappeared while her friends Orange Blossom and Strawberry Shortcake briefly left the house to buy party supplies. Neither Miss Blossom nor Miss Shortcake called the police, which should automatically make them suspects (Yeah watch out, I sometimes watch Law and Order reruns). In fact, nothing came to the attention of the authorities until Lemon Meringue nearly drowned in the bathtub.
“Help, help!” I hear her shriek. “MOMMY! Do Strawberry’s voice.”
“Not like that, do it REAL.” (That’s preschool direction for ‘from the top, with feeling!’)
So, with charisma, I play along and eventually Lemon confesses she recently escaped from a shark’s stomach. But–insert ominous music–Raspberry was there, too. She and Lemon argued over which, er, “direction” to exit the animal. I didn’t ask for details, but suffice it to say they took separate paths and only Lemon emerged. Sally, wide-eyed: “Raspberry is STILL. IN. THE. SHARK. …Probably. Lemon just swam away so she doesn’t know for sure.”
Lemon’s kind of a jerk.
We try desperately to think of a way to rescue our pink-haired friend. All of my plans are useless, natch. Sally’s plans–which typically include Lemon Meringue gliding across the water on a bar of soap like it’s a chariot (MY plans are dumb?!)–are well crafted, but ultimately fruitless. Sally announces that we must give up the search.
WHAT?! I think of the Chilean miners, and the fact that we live in an earthquake “black zone” and my kid will probably try to dig me out of the rubble that once was our house for, oh about seven minutes, and then give me up for dead. So I stress that surely we can find some way to rescue Raspberry.
No. We cannot. Even though this clearly makes it look like the berry gang set the whole thing up and the congressman is in on it, I have no ground to stand on. The bathtub is Sally’s jurisdiction, I’m like the city police up against the FBI (I’m telling you, Law and Order). She begins to climb out of the bath and says, with the chilling steadiness of an officer who has seen this sad outcome all too often: “But it’s okay. In every home and in every café, they will hang a picture of Raspberry Torte.”
Um, okay, I need to check my Tivo because I’m starting to think Sally has been watching Law and Order.
**** This is my 100th post! Who’d have thought I’d be so annoyingly persistent? To help me celebrate, write a comment telling me which post is your favorite. (You don’t have to know the title, just tell me “the one where…”) This will help me learn what readers like the best, AND I’ll put all the commenter names into a hat and draw one to win a prize. Oooh, exciting! [Drawing will happen on December 15. Comments must be submitted before the 15th.]****