Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Extremely obsessed

True dedication: reading and watching Charlie and Lola simultaneously!

I've spotted another gap in the market. Where is the 37-part animated series of Shakespeare? I speak selfishly of course: if it existed then perhaps when Louis springs a line from one of the "episodes" at me out of the blue I wouldn't feel quite such a fool quoting the next one back. I've lost count of how many scenes from Charlie and Lola we've reenacted on the bus/walking down the street/in the bath/at dinner/in bed etc etc. 

"What's that funny noise? That's not growling, Lola, it's drilling/ Is your daddy Mr Wolf? Is your mummy Mrs Wolf? And are you Arnold Wolf? A Wolf? I knew it, I knew it!/ Charlie! Mum! Dad! Wake up! It's all gone extremely white!" 

Not that I've got anything against Lauren Child's prose; it's really extremely charming. Which is just as well as it seems to be Louis' main source of new vocab. Whenever he comes out with something unexpected, you can bet it's something that Charlie or Lola have just done. This morning he pointed to my tea strainer and said: "That's Louis' tennis. Like Charlie has." And I couldn't quite understand his excitement at my new skipping rope, until I realised that Lola and Lotta are, of course, skipping queens. He is also a dab hand at somersaults and coping solo ("Louis do it on my own"). With thanks, again, to Lola. 

Last night his C+L obsession hit a totally new level when he declared, on climbing the stairs for "bubbles", that he actually was Lola, which meant I could be Charlie. I'm just waiting for him to have an imaginary friend called Soren Lorenson. 

Given how seriously he takes it all, I couldn't help wondering whether Lauren Child ever considers the implications of what she writes. My heart skipped a beat the first time he watched I will not ever never eat a tomato because I'm always waiting for the day he stops eating his vegetables. So when I wound up interviewing Child last week that was the question I most wanted her to answer. (Well, that and the real reason she doesn't have children, but I'm just not that kind of journalist.)

For some reason, I didn't end up including her answer when I wrote up the piece, but if you're curious, no, she doesn't. The other main conundrum she solved was DJ's: he's always been worried that Charlie and Lola lived in East Dulwich but it turns out their extremely lovely life is set in Copenhagen. Even better: it's 1970s Copenhagen. Which explains the funky fabrics. I now covet their sofa, not to mention several of Lola's dresses. Surely far more worrying than being able to recite the scripts?  


Iota said...

I have mixed feelings about Charlie and Lola, for the very reasons you give. It never occurs to my daughter that bedtime is something to avoid or resist, so when she picked a C&L book on the subject from the library shelf, I left it on the table before we got to the checkout. We were given the "never ever eat a tomato" one, and I feel it totally blew my cover! My kids didn't fall for the trick of calling food by whacky names trick so easily after that.

Of course people LOVE the TV series over here, because of those irresistible English accents.

Hackney Hackette said...

"Where is the 37-part animated series of Shakespeare?"
Here! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Animated_Shakespeare Well, six part...

There's a book called Eat Your Peas or something that I have been trying to avoid reading to my son, where a mum offers increasingly desperate bribes to get a child to eat her peas, and another mum read ti to him at the children's centre the other week while I was feeding the baby. Luckily it didn't seem to make much of an impression.

I found your blog via BMB by the way!