I hear the word "Belle" (as in, "Beauty and the Beast") about 80 times a day. Belle dress, Belle movie, Belle shoes, Belle Belle Belle. "The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe always springs to mind. Not a normal mind, just mine.
My daughter has been obsessed with the princess in the yellow gown for the past year or two. As Disney heroines go, I have to admit she's not that bad (a slightly better role model than the princesses who do nothing but wait for the dashing menfolk to save them from an endless slumber and whatnot). Belle is bookish and loyal. She's a brunette - always a plus. The movie itself is the soundtrack to long car rides and to my life in general. I think I know every song, every word of dialogue.
There goes the baker with his tray, like always
The same old bread and rolls to sell
Last year, A was Super Girl for Halloween. I knew that she regretted the decision almost immediately (although her nerdy, comic book-loving dad was thrilled with the choice) once she spotted some princess gowns at Target. But it was too late - we already had the other costume. So, on November 1st, literally the day after Halloween, she announced that she would be Belle the next year. "Well, call Meemaw and ask her," I suggested.
So we did. My mother, powerless against a tiny little voice asking her, "Meemaw, would you make me a Belle dress?" agreed to make the gown. In the 11 months since that time, my daughter has called her Meemaw regularly to assess her progress on the dress. My mother should be glad my daughter does not yet know how to dial her number - otherwise the calls would have been daily. The kid is still young enough to buy excuses like "I'm pretty sure Meemaw's not home right now." My mother lives 1,000 miles away and could be naked on the roof for all I know, but let's just say my spidey sense keeps track of her whereabouts.
As Halloween 2010 approached, I let my mom know that since she was going to so much trouble to make this ornate gown, I in turn would take the kid to every possible Halloween-related event in town. I mean, this kid would be SEEN. I called her last week and let her know that the first such event would be held on the 16th. I heard silence and then "Whaaaaaaaat?"
So, God love her . . . she took it right down to the wire and overnighted the dress to us. My daughter was over the moon when she saw the box and demanded to try the gown on immediately. As scheduled, we attended our first Halloween event yesterday. It was held at the zoo and every time someone would say, "Oh, it's Belle!" my daughter would hold her princess-y head just a little higher.
Here it is, in all its glory. Belle Belle Belle Belle!
From The Bells:
Hear the sledges with the bells -
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.