Ever had a fairy tale moment?

Nell wants a black rose. Lola (here) wanted an apple from gravity-guru Isaac Newton's orchard. Simple gifts can be tough to find!

I’m just about to go to the Chelsea Flower show, lucky me as the tickets are a gift. Although I garden with both my daughters I am with Nell,10, more often, so we spend quite a lot of time discussing plants growing in the front gardens we pass. Recently roses have become a big favourite – especially the heavily scented ones. So when Nell heard what Chelsea was – a vast London flower fete from 24-28 May – she put in a request for me to bring back a black rose.

“This sounds like the start of Beauty and The Beast,” I told her rather worried, “and you know what happens in that story – you’ll end up married to a great big monster!” Nell shrugged and reassured me, ” but I want to breed black roses.”

Science learning here we come
I think tonight’s Chelsea debrief at the kitchen table may include seeing if we can get cappillary action to soak up black paint  and magically turn a white rose black. That way Nell will get her request, and I reckon I save face and finances…

The incident reminded me of a Facebook message from a spin-off of Love Outdoor Play, Playing Out which listed all the bad examples we teach our children if they – and you – are a fan of fairy tales. It’s quite funny (you could even say subvervise) to think of Sleeping Beauty as a lazy stay-in-bed teenager, Cinderella impolite (she rushed home at midnight without saying thank you!), Little Red Riding Hood forgot/disobeyed instructions, Snow White lived with seven men, etc… I guess I should have realised it wouldn’t be long before my kids were demanding the impossible too.

For more writing by Nicola Baird see her latest book, Homemade Kids: thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children.

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