Friday, May 29, 2009
Mommy, I want a real, sharp, metal grown-up sword...
It began as a typical pre birthday query....
Me--"Sagie, is there something special you'd like for your 6th birthday?"
Me--"But you have wooden swords and shields that you painted yourselves, from Ren Faire, and some plastic ones that make noise, up in the dress up bin with the knight costumes."
Zilla--"No, Mommy. I want a real, sharp, metal, grown-up sword."
Me-"I think the police would arrest me if we gave a real sword to a 6 year old!!"
Dug-"I don't think you'd find much use for it."
Zilla--"Oh, YES I WOULD."
After a week of earnestly explaining that a real sword was out of the question, she came up with an alternate plan. A barbie dream house? My little pony? Nope. The girl wanted a real bow and arrows.
We did a little research and found a child sized REAL compound bow that came with a wrist guard, quiver, 3 arrows and a paper target. It's aptly named, Tiger, for all the crouching tiger-child archers out there, and is one of the few quality kids bows we found. It's generally recommended for kids a bit older, though, and the listings all emphasized that this is "Not A Toy".
There are a zillion toy bows, but most are cheaply made, poorly rated and really don't work. With this one, the kids can actually aim accurately and learn the sport of archery. The arrow even fits through a hole, to guard against it flopping off to the side. It also has an adjustable draw that goes down to 10lbs.
Sagezilla has strong arms from 5 years of gymnastics, and is one super determined little girl, so I figured if any petite 6 year old could pull back 10lbs. it would be her. Until it arrived, though, I was still concerned that it would be too much for her to handle and frustrating, but she LOVES it. She's had it out 3 days in a row and is getting decent at hitting the target already. Zilla's even being great about giving big bro and his friends a turn.
My fears about raising a girly girl are unfounded. I'm raising a pirate! The other day we were playing and Dad and I were King and Queen, big brother was the prince and Zilla was.... THE KNIGHT.
In case you are raising a little girl like mine, or want to be, here are a few of our favorite stories. The kids still love these two, but I began reading these to them during toddler hood: Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole and The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch. Both are a fabulous antidote to all those other lame princesses sitting around waiting to be rescued or sleeping their lives away.
Recently, we've moved on to chapter books for family bed time reading. We've been thoroughly enjoying numerous Bruce Coville books. His Unicorn Chronicles have a mighty girl protagonist and are delightfully well written. We also highly recommend his Magic Shop series.
Then we were introduced to Cornelia Funke's fabulous fantasy books with great characters like Princess Igraine who runs away and dresses in knight drag and goes out to slay a dragon. Speaking of dragons, we're currently two books into the Dragon Slayer's Academy series by Kate McMullan.
So, here's to mighty girls who prefer archery to high heeled glass slippers. May all your quests and adventures be right on target.