Instead I drew the following family tree to give them an idea of how the monarchy looked.
|Crayon over a latex wall. I believe Monet used the same medium|
One big question was why the Queen’s husband was a Prince rather than a King. I answered because the Queen was of royal blood, and as such her husband could not be a King. That disappointed the girls and they insisted that he get a hat with a leaf in it if he couldn’t have a crown. I think Prince Phillip would approve.
After they were as bored as I was about the royal family, my daughter’s friend told me her favorite Princess was Juliet, and wanted to know more about her. As I am a theater major I told the story in the simplest of terms. Note: I am not actually a theatre major, I went to Community College and have a diploma in General Arts and Science with a concentration in theatre. A diploma so useless that I refused to trade in the blank scroll handed to me on stage at graduation, wrote “Dyploma” on it and hung it in the bathroom.
Back to the story: Basically the Montagues and Capulets hate each other and when their kids fall in love the parents won’t let them marry. So Juliet pretends to die so she and Romeo can move away and get married. One of the girls then asks why they didn’t just run away. Not knowing the answer, I thought quickly and offered cookies. After forgetting their question in the dreamlike ecstasy of peanut butter chip cookies I continue, glossing over the over the whole suicide aspect of the ending and said they accidentally drank poison.
This lead to the question, “What is poison?” I explain that the reason they aren’t allowed under the kitchen sink is because there are things that are poisonous under there that will make them very sick or kill them. This then lead to Shakespeare's greatest work of art being called “The story where the kids went under the sink”.
After the synopsis my daughter’s friend informs me that her Daddy told her that Juliet doesn’t die in the story. My heart races, we tend to be pretty frank with our kids when it comes to this stuff. The cat didn’t go to the farm, it was hit by a car, I didn’t let the spider out of the house, I squished it’s eight legged body and flushed it down the can, that man isn’t sick he’s a huffer. I was worried that I have now added the idea of death to this girl’s head and she will go home and challenge her father. You never want to be the asshole parent whose comments lead to a big serious discussion at home. You want to be the one who forces the other parent to find a way our of explaining the definition of feltch while you snicker quietly in the background.
It was only later that I was told by her parents that she was only referring to a Taylor Swift song called Love Story, where it ends with Romeo talking to Juliet’s dad. Shakespeare missed that obvious ending didn’t he? The Capulets just believe in old fashioned chivalry.
So then the girls ask me what happens to you after you die. Instead of curling into the fetal position and screaming I tried to answer. “Well, it depends on what you believe. Some people believe you go to heaven, some believe you come back as another person or animal and other’s believe you are just gone.” If I believed in the first scenario I would have prayed for no follow up questions. My daughter piped up and said she believed you became a skull in the ground. Being a theatre major I shouted “Hamlet”.
|Actual centerpiece for my daughter's 4th birthday|