July 10, 2003

I'm Shocked and Appalled

by the amount of money someone was willing to pay for a Maisy birthday party set: tablecloth, party hats, loot bags, and the like. It's not available at any of the birthday party theme shops I've visited (online) in the past few days, I think it's a UK thing. But I found a set on eBay, and asked my husband to place a bid. I thought his bid was scandalously high: and now it turns out we've lost the auction! But I guess I can almost understand, since our son is crazy for Maisy.*

Guess we'll have to make do with colourful but non-themed balloons and streamers and party hats. I'm no Martha Stewart (hmm...and a good thing, too -- I guess that statement has a different resonance nowadays, doesn't it?), but I've got an idea for some mouse cupcakes that I think I can pull off.

*If you don't have a toddler, you may be wondering, Who the heck is Maisy? Maisy is an anthropomorphized mouse, basically female though more or less androgynous, and a huge hit with human toddlers of both sexes. I'm still trying to figure out the basis of her enormous appeal. One clue: bright, primary colors, but all is simple and low-key: nothing overcrowded or overpowering. And then there is the excitement of complete independence -- she seems to live in a house by herself, without any adult supervision that I can discover: she even gives herself a bath! -- but this boundless liberty is exercised within the confines of a jolly little world that is utterly safe and predictable. Oh, and she and her friends (a chicken, a squirrel, an elephant and a crocodile) have commandeered a train, which they ride up hill and down, and then back to the station. "Maisy? and the train?" are the first words uttered by my son every morning...

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at July 10, 2003 09:17 PM

Sylvia loved "Maisy's Bedtime" for a several-month period before she was talking much, but when she found out about Clifford he eclipsed all other anthropomorphic animals in her pantheon. Winnie-ther-Pooh is still kind of interesting (though in direct competition with Clifford he would not last a round) but Maisy warrants not even a yawn.

Meanwhile I'm trying to get her to listen to Just So stories because I get bored, bored reading this monosyllabic junk.

Posted by: Jeremy Osner at July 11, 2003 01:50 PM

The big birthdaydom. You should blog the highlights.

Posted by: Michelle at July 12, 2003 01:34 AM

To quote Charley:


EBay often surprises me, that's all I can say.

The Maisy software we found is one of the better computer programs for toddlers I've seen--my daughter has no trouble at all doing everything in it herself. Kind of like the program: simplicity presented well, without condescension.

I love the narrator's voice in the show.

Posted by: Timothy Burke at July 12, 2003 08:49 AM

Maisy software? This I will look into.

I agree about the lack of condescension. I think it has to do with coming as close as possible to a child's eye view. Too often, children's characters are based on adults' wishful/wistful projections.

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at July 12, 2003 09:43 AM

if you get bored with monsybballic junk, through in the odd bit of your day jobs worst/best jargon in pointing out and describing the background objects and props

it works for me

Posted by: meika von samorzewski at July 13, 2003 08:25 PM

Maika -- that is a good idea and I have tried it some -- but Sylvia's memory is pretty good and she knows after hearing the story a few times, how it goes; and gets upset if you deviate (not always, but enough for that strategy to potentially get me in trouble.)

Posted by: Jeremy Osner at July 14, 2003 10:27 AM

Just-so stories. "The great grey-green Limpopo River." I just realized that one of my surrealist poems of 1967 referenced that book.

Posted by: zizka at July 14, 2003 11:22 PM

Ah yes, great grey green greasy... Kipling at his alliterative finest. But I ask Sylvia if she wants to read a fine story 'bout an elephant and she says "No... I want Clifford!" -- of which it must be said, the Clifford TV show is actually all right, but the books are about as bad as you can get.

Posted by: Jeremy Osner at July 15, 2003 12:01 PM

I, too, am looking for Maisy party supplies. My sone adores the show and we can't find any of the party supplies anywhere.

If someone has a clue, please post it.

Posted by: Jeannette at August 20, 2003 02:36 PM