artsy fartsy,  Bug,  illos

The Dinosaur and the Princess

The Dinosaur and the Princess

The other day after tumbling class*, Baby Bug and I ambled on over to the playground that is on the same elementary school grounds that our tumbling class gymnasium is on. While we were walking around inspecting the new gear that is different from any of the parks that we usually frequent, Baby Bug started calling me “Dinosaur” for no particular reason.

I used to worry that Baby Bug might grow up with a lack of imagination because I play with her all day long. And when I’m not playing with her, I’m tuning her out with the help of my favorite babysitter: the always-on-ever-present Noggin channel aka television. I worried because I attribute my own active imagination to the fact that I was bored out of my skull most of my childhood and I never had television to occupy me. So will Baby Bug grow up completely dependent on others to amuse herself, I wondered?

The answer is no. Baby Bug’s imagination is alive and well. And guess what? I’m part of it. I’m a dinosaur.

It was kind of funny to be called a dinosaur since I often feel like a big awkward dinosaur when I’m trying to climb up ladders and fit down small skinny playground slides with her. She refuses to go by herself down the slides and often gets stuck at the top with no way to get down so I, being the agreeable mom that I am, often just go up on the playground after her. I figure it’s good exercise.

Except sometimes there is water at the bottom of the slide. In fact, a lot of the time there is water at the bottom of the slide and often I slide my big fat dinosaur butt right into it, leaving a not-so-appreciated wet stain on my pants. You’d think I’d learn to look before sliding one of these days, but I never do.

“What’s wrong, Dinosaur?” she asks in her polite manner.

“Mommy has a wet butt.” I answer.

“No, you’re not Mommy, you’re Dinosaur!” she proclaims.

On and on and on we go like this. I decided I’d play along and start calling her “Princess.” She loved that. I think it’s her new favorite game now. The Dinosaur and The Princess: an on-going series. Off and on all day we fell into character. Sometimes she’d shake off her princess disguise and declare she was just regular Baby Bug again. I don’t mind. I think it’s kind of funny.

I’m thinking it would be super fun to illustrate. I can see sketches where the Dinosaur starts falling out of character and the “Mommy” emerges only to be yelled at by the Princess. I’m not really where I’d like to be as an illustrator. I can see the pictures in my head but I think it would take me weeks just to get one page just right.

The Princess is supposed to have a GREEN dress!

I worked on it a little today. And true to character, “the Princess” yelled at me because I made her dress pink and not green.

Get it right, Dinosaur!

*Yes! We’re taking a tumbling class together! It’s so fun. I’m taking my camera with me next week so I can share.


  • Gingermog

    Totally with you on that one, what you have in your head and what comes out on paper or as in my case mostly my monitor these days. I really like the Dinasour he has a good strong silhouhette and a warm, friendliness about him. I think he would be good to animate. I like the serendipity water colours splodginess too which is missing from my work these days as I’m drawing straight into Flash. Although on my present project I’m importing textures, to mix it up a bit. I really have to learn Illustrator.

  • Britt

    I worry about the imagination aspect as well. I mean, I think I got mine from making do with being outside all day with nothing to occupy me but sticks and dirt…I need to stop buying ridiculous toys for the kids. You have inspired me to be more grassroots in this imagination effort.

  • julia

    Our son does the same thing as your daughter. He’ll pretend to be something…dog, cat, snake, whatever — and will not answer you if you do not address him as such. I’m happy he has such a great imagination. Last night as I was leaving his bedroom he told me that I needed to go through the red forest and the green forest to get back to my bedroom to sleep. “Don’t forget. Red forest and green forest.” I know my house is cluttered, but geez — I didn’t think it looked THAT bad.

  • Katie

    Ha ha! Just from reading your blog and your posts about Baby Bug, I think it is definitely safe to say that she has a wonderful imagination, just like her Mom-err, Dinosaur!

  • Jackee

    She is darling! And a Mommy/daughter Tumbling class how fun! (to quote an old 80’s Boy George….I’ll tumble for ya, I’ll tumble for ya…) MAKE me stop!
    Immagination in a child later brings a more interesting adult. Just my thought.

  • Brittany

    How cute!

    Off topic, I thought you might enjoy hearing about a theme party I’m planning. It’s an Anne of Green Gables Party! We’re going to make our own bonnets (Decorate simple prefabricated bonnets if I can find them online), have tea, scones with preserves and raspberry cordial, and watch the BBC version of the book. It’s going to be so much fun!

  • bethany actually

    The dino could be a reddish color…some lizards are red, aren’t they? Then the princess could have a green dress.

    I’ve always figured climbing on the playground equipment is good exercise, too, and have always thought it was a little sad that I’m the only mom on the playground climbing with her kid.

  • Oopsy Daisy

    I love the book idea! In fact, last summer my 7 year old granddaughter and I did sort of the same thing as a summer project. We wrote a childrens books together about a girl who wanted a pony. A Pony Named Penny. It was published last Sept. I could totally see how awesome a dinosaur/princess book could be. And when the dinasaur starts getting out of character you could have the mommy’s head on a dinosaur body, and then the princess hollers “focus dinosaur, you aren’t mommy, you are a dinosaur.” Then the dinasaur is whole again. Near the end of their adventure the princess is so tired from their day of protecting the castle that she doesn’t notice the dinosaur has a mommy arm. Then a mommy foot is where the dinosaur’s big foot was. As princess starts nodding off (after all protecting a castle with your trusty dinosaur is hard work) the dinosaur is all gone and it is all mommy now. Or is it? The last page of the book shows mommy carrying the sleeping princess to her bed and as you see the back end of mommy, she has a long green tail. Oh I love it. I want to write it now!!!!

  • Red Lotus Mama

    Very cute! I always worry about the affects of TV on Little ‘Ny, but she (like Baby Bug) has quite the imagination. Form some time now she pretends to be a puppy. Lately, she pretends to be a doctor or cooking all kinds of delicious snacks for me and Hubs. It is wonderful to see her imagination developing.

    I think you could make a very cute children’s book out of the Princess and the Dinosaur!

  • Ashley

    You’re imagination is one of the greatest gifts for your daughter! Through watching you she’ll develope a creativity that’s bound for great things.

  • Melissa

    I love the illustration! I am always envious of people who are so creative! I am delurking to tell you that I love reading your stories of your adventures with Baby Bug and hope that I can be half as adventurous with my little girl when she gets bigger. Keep up the good work!

  • Janna from Honeyed Hashette

    You should seriously consider turning this “The Princess and the Dinosaur” thing into a children’s book. The illustration is perfect (of course with a green princess dress…ahem).
    If I had a daughter, I would buy your book for sure!

    Her little grumpy “My dress is not green” face is priceless.

  • Melissa

    I can see the illustration you are suggesting too. As the Mommy appears maybe her hands turn back into human hands or her nose shows through and then as soon as the ‘princess’ corrects her, she turns back into the dinosaur. Maybe it is a attention thing or as the Mom starts to do ‘mom things’. It would be a great idea for a book.

  • Kuky

    Hee hee! :-D Your illustration is great. That’s so cute that BB calls you dinosaur. Isabelle doesn’t think of stuff like that. She calls me mama bear occasionally but she gets that from Noggin.

  • MargieK

    Green is a rather ordinary color for a dinosaur, don’t you think? Perhaps the dinosaur should be pink, and the princess’s dress can be green.

    If the dinosaur parts occasionally morph into Mom’s features, all the better if the dinosaur is pink! ;)

    Or maybe the dinosaur gets to change color depending on her mood! (*insert evil grin*).

    I never tire of baby bug pictures. I saw a little girl swimming at the pool that looked a lot like her. But she was with her dad, who didn’t look anything like Toby, so I knew it wasn’t her. :D

  • BeachMama

    That is so cute. So far, I get called all sorts of characters, but they are usually from Star Wars, Indiana Jones or the latest Transformers. I would find it fun to be called a dinosaur for a day :).

    Love the water colour.