Monday, 24 March 2014

Through the Eyes of a Child - WEP Challenge for 26 March 2014 - Write Edit Publish

Welcome to WEP's Blogfest for March [=Write-Edit-Publish, formerly 'Romantic Friday Writers'] Challenge for 26 March 2014 - 'Through the eyes of a child':

Through the Eyes of a Child

Ida and Karla were both nine years old. Ida lived on a farm with horses. Karla lived in a city, an hour's drive away. But Karla's father owned the nearest farm and that was where they spent holidays and weekends. 

Ida and Karla were very modern children, and kept in touch through their i-phones. Karla sat in her room with make-up on a small table with the image of Ida on her i-phone propped up against a bottle of nail-polish remover.

'What do you think of this colour, Ida?' showing off her lip glans*.

'Did you get real earrings?' asked Ida.

'No, they are glue-on earrings from the children's department at Ahlén's department store.'

'Really? They look like real earrings. Everyone here has pierced ears. My older sister and my second cousin and everyone at school. I got my first pair of earrings last year.

'Almost everyone at my school wears earrings now.'

'Do you want to get your ears pierced?'

'Yes. But Mum won't allow it. I'll do it when I'm eighteen and can do what I want.'

'That's nine years from now. Why won't she let you do it now?'

'Because of the risk of infection. She says my heart leaks.'

'Your heart leaks?'

'Yes. I have a huge scar on my chest from the heart-operation I had when I was only one week old.' 

'Well, maybe she's right. You have to be careful in the beginning before it heals. I had to wash my ear lobes with alchohol every morning and night for six weeks.' 

'Do you like my nail polish?' asked Karla holding her hand to the phone camera, changing the subject.' Karla then brushed her eye lashes with mascara. 'Can you see that I have mascara on my eye lashes?'

'Just a little. Are you coming to the farm on Friday?'

'Yes. I'll be there.'

'Good. I want to show you my new pony. And then we can play with my Barbie dolls.'

'I'll let you know when we are on our way.'


Word count according to WordCalc: 357


I bet you all were expecting something horrble to happen here. Am I right?  Originally, I was going to do just that. 

This everyday scene is very much like a conversation, that I happened to overhear, between my daughter and her friend. 

My babies are growing up. Little girls start early wanting to be little women. They also want to be exactly alike. It is hard for a little girl to be different; to be the one who does not do what everyone else is doing.

I know. This is just a sketch. It's not really a story yet. But it will be. Karla arrives at the farm, and the two friends take a walk through the woods where, in the moonlight, a spaceship hovers and Karla is beamed up and abducted by aliens! 


Best wishes,

'Lip glans' is meant to be 'lip gloss'. I was thinking in Swedish, temporarily.


First Commenter:
Niljanjana Bose




Nilanjana Bose said...

Hi Anna,

Horrible things happening are easier to believe, but I am mighty glad nothing like that happened here.

In my culture, it is pretty much given that ears will be pierced, mine were at four. I didn't much care or notice till in my early twenties.

I do feel this mum is right to wait till the daughter is grown a bit more, leaky heart or no. Girls should be aware, and of an age to understand what is being done to their bodies for any piercing. Just saying.

I found the conversation between the girls rather charming, the voices convincing.

Sorry to hear about your back, hope you feel better soon


Unknown said...

March 24th, 2014

Dear Nilanjana,

Thank you so much for your interesting comments about pierced ears!

Actually, there are a lot worse things that I have seen young people do to themselves than one tiny hole in their ear lobes for small earrings. Things that did not exist when I was a child or a teen.

When we are at the swimming-pool, I see these huge ugly tattoos covering large parts of people's bodies - both men and women! The tattoo-artists who live and work in my town must be incredible salespeople! I would be horrified if my children came home with something like that.

Both of my nieces have let themselves be tattooed and navel-pierced. I don't understand what my brother and sister-in-law are thinking. Children need to hear the word "no" at the right times, in order to to save them from their themselves and their temporary whims.(In Sweden you have to be 18 years old to get a tattoo.)

This text-sketch is a true story. I did said no to my daughter. I do buy her glue-on earrings to help her fit in with the other girls. Elisabet does have a long scar on her chest.

You are first and get an extra link.


Kelly Steel said...

I was riveted by the post throughout. And yes girls have to be aware of whats happening to their bodies before any such thing is done.

Unknown said...

March 25th, 2014

Dear Kelly,

Thanks for visiting.

I agree that Nilanjana's comment about girls being more aware of what is happening to their bodies, puts another light on my story-fragment.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Anna. Your story fragment brings to mind what my students in Junior High tell me about the expectations on them. If they want to run with the popular crowd, wearing full make up is de rigeur. So sad that it's happening to Year 7, 8 and 9 girls. They say the boys expect it too. I thought girls were a little bit more sure of themselves than this, but apparently girls still do what the boys want.

I wouldn't let my girls get their ears pieced until they were about 13. It is very much a personal decision, but these days ear piercing seems very innocent compared to tattoos, extreme dieting and binging, vomiting, gym membership at 9 years old etc. It's a demanding world out there for our children.

Thank you for creating this piece for the WEP challenge, Anna. Your entries are always much anticipated.

Denise said...

Lots of girlie talk in this piece. Cute!I was taken aback by the words lip glans, not heard that expression before.

Scheherazade said...

This conversation between children seems all very innocent and believable. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. :-)

Trisha said...

This reminded me of my childhood, except I don't think my bff and I were that into nail polish at the age of 9. :P

Lisa said...

What a lovely setting. I could imagine both places and the whole set up with the cell phones on facetime. Cool idea. Even if it's a sketch, as you say, it held me and gave me a sense of the two girls.

D.G. Hudson said...

I'm glad you put that info at the bottom. If there's a spaceship involved, I'd be interested. It does seem like little girls want to look the same, but they are more aware of their 'image' than kids were in the past.

An interesting story! I enjoyed reading it. (with two daughters, it awakened memories. . .)

Nilanjana Bose said...

Hi Anna, it's me again doing the second round. Whoa, navel piercing for a child? That's extreme in my book, agree that ear piercing is tame by comparison.

Girls are being sexualised at an earlier and earlier age, and often times the adults around just give in to the pressure from the child to conform. I see girls as young as five, six wearing clothes with provocative, sexualised slogans, they are of course not aware, but the parents must be.

Where I live women's freedoms are quite restricted, therefore young mothers probably give in to their daughters thinking that the child won't be able to do as she wants once she reaches puberty, so let her enjoy whatever she wants to, including salon hair-dos, make up and even hair removal. But that has consequences, and some of them not very desirable.

Extreme piercings, tattoos are all part of the same thing, and children need to be protected from themselves till they are old enough to understand, as you said. This body image issue is truly difficult to tackle.

Purely my opinion. Individuals bring up their children as they see fit, of course.

Your post has opened up an interesting thread!

Best wishes,

Sally said...

Hi Anna, I think you've managed to capture the voice of the young girls and I can see how you can use this extract to go places with a story. Spaceships in woods - how intriguing.

Ananya said...

hi, Its always fun to listen to what kids have to say, nice post ! NICE BLOG

Unknown said...

Dear Denise,
Thank you for your kind words. I was not satisfied with this text, but just could not put the time in to make it better. I am using a tray-table in bed to be able to write this now. I should have done this earlier because it relieves my backache.

I'm so glad that my little fragment started a discussion about children, thanks to Nilanjana.

Dear Madeleine Sara,
Thank you for catching the word 'glans'. It is Swedish and means 'gloss'; 'läppglans' means 'lip gloss'.

When I eaves-drop on my children, they are speaking Swedish and I write exactly what they say in Swedsih first and then translate it to what I imagine it would sound like if they were speaking English. Yes it is artifical, but fiction-writing is artifical.

Why did I write 'glans' instead of 'gloss'? That happens when I am tired. (And I was in pain too.)

Thank you for your help. Please let me know if you see more strange words in my texts.

Best wishes,
Anna (I'll take a break here.)

Charmaine Clancy said...

Hi Anna, simple can be strong, it didn't need anything horrible. Great snippet and I'm sure you'll turn it into a lovely story, there's a sense of truth in the emotion of this piece.

Yolanda Renée said...

I'm so glad nothing bad happened, but having a heart problem as a child must be so limiting and such a fear for the parents.
I could see the two girls talking and fiddling with things, just the easy honest flow of being a child! Excellent!

Oh, and hello again, trying to catch up and come back from break, but alas I did not do a WEP post this time.

Tanya. said...

What a lovely conversation you have transcribed here Anna. I do love to listen to the conversations of children!!

Tanya. said...

What lovely little conversation you have captured here....I always cherish the conversations I hear between children.

Translate a text here: