Little Bella Dances for Lisa

(Image from here)

“Bella!” I yell up the stairs. “Please come down here and pick up your toys, they’re going to be here any minute!” My friend from high school who was also my roommate in college is coming over in a half hour. She is bringing along her newborn daughter, Lisa. Of course, like any other time I have someone over, the house is a mess. It looks like a Little Bella tornado went tearing through it. Survivors are doubtful.

She doesn’t respond, so I call after her again, and finally she makes gallops down the stairs and starts to clean up her doll clothes. In between each pile she picks up she does a ballet move, swaying from one pile to the next.

“What are you doing Bella?” I ask.

“I’m practicing,” She sings.

“For what?” I ask, interested to see where she goes with this, since she isn’t having any sort of formal recital anytime in the near future.

“For my dance, mom! I’m going to dance for Lisa when she comes over!” she twirls around to the other side of the living room. “She’s going to love it!”

“I’m sure she will!” I tell her and go off into the kitchen to finish preparing our snacks.

Minutes later the doorbell rings and a have to run in order to get to the door before Little Bella. I’m working on teaching her stranger danger, and that includes the front door. Last week she opened the door for a delivery man, it was quite unnerving to see how quickly and easily she was able to open it up to someone she didn’t know.

I swing the door open and reveal my best friend, Trisha. We share the usual corny squeal and hug and I usher her into the house, where she carries in her baby in her cozy pink car seat and makes a big deal over Bella, swinging her around while Bella laughs her head off.  Once Trisha puts Little Bella back down on the ground, Bella tentatively walks over to baby Lisa, she has been excited about Lisa, but she has never met a baby before, and is unsure what to expect of someone so little, tiny and fragile.

I bring out the snacks I prepared and Trisha and I catch up while I cuddle her beautiful baby girl. Little Bella sits to my side, quietly observing Lisa. Suddenly she pops up off the couch and announces that she has a special “predent”, her word for present, for Lisa.

“You do? That is just so sweet of you Miss Bella!” Trisha muses.

“Let’s see it, Lisa is watching,” I say. I watch Little Bella walk to the center of the room and start to twirl around the room and skips from one corner to the other, with a big smile on her face. She spins four more times around and gracefully gallops over to Lisa, stepping a little too close, too suddenly and stomps her feet for a finale. But what she doesn’t realize, is that that could startle baby Lisa and she runs away, frightened when Lisa lets out a cry. Trisha jumps up and assures me that she has Bella handled if I will rock Lisa. She would love a try at comforting a child Bella’s age, since Lisa will be that age before she knows it, and will have to settle things like this all the time.

I rock Lisa and try to soothe her cries. I can’t help thinking back to when Little Bella was this little, she always loved being rocked, in fact, she would do it all day long if she could. The only reason she’d take a break was because she fell asleep mid-rock. I hear the hushed tones of Trisha talking to Little Bella, telling her that everything is okay, and Lisa is fine. I hear the sound of Little Bella’s laugh and Trisha comes out looking triumphant. She succeeded in making her happy and fixing the situation. And Little Bella comes out smiling and sits down next to me, once again.

“I’m sorry Lisa!” Little Bella whispers to the now calm baby Lisa.

“I think she forgives you, in fact, I believe she would like to see your dance again…but quieter this time,” I tell her.

This sends her tiptoeing to the center of the room again and she quietly jumps and twirls, and very smartly does not stomp on the ground near the baby. Lisa kicks in my lap, and is without a tear. Little Bella is relieved, and Little Bella takes a bow.


Little Bella and the Almost Boring Shopping Trip

(Image from:

Little Bella spent hours playing with Christie yesterday. They found two more fairy princesses that are safely tucked away in their fairy houses they created and they successfully turned Little Bella’s room into a disaster zone. Today, after the house was put together again, we needed to tackle the weekly challenge: grocery shopping. Little Bella absolutely hates grocery shopping, in fact, if you were to ask her what her worst nightmare is, she would tell you grocery shopping without missing a beat. I used to tell her that if she doesn’t clean up her toys will go to the grocery store, and that would be enough to get her to do as she is told. But that bites me in the butt every week when we actually do have to go.

“Bella!” I call up the stairs.

“What?” I hear her little voice say from her bedroom.

“Get your shoes on, we’re taking a trip!” I holler up the stairs. Okay, so maybe I neglected to tell her the entire truth. But, in my defense, a trip sounds a lot more exciting than a trip to the store. It has more promise of getting her to cooperate and get into the car willingly than telling her what we are really, truly doing.

Little Bella strolls down the stairs in an outfit she has picked out herself: striped leggings, a cheetah print skirt and a polka dot shirt.  A moment that every mother stumbles on and debates with herself about. Do I make her change into something that matches? Or do I let her wear what she likes, because she should be able to express herself? That is while she is young, because it’s different when she’s older and her way of expressing herself is showing skin that should remain covered and piercing and inking up her skin.

“Let’s get in the car, honey. It’s time to go,” I say, and she leads me out the door, mismatched clothes, and all.

Once we get to the grocery store parking lot, Little Bella knows full well what we are actually doing and she quietly pouts in her seat. She slowly gets out of the car once we  are parked and reluctantly takes my hand as we walk in. Did I mention she hates going to the grocery store? To her, it’s the end of the world, to me I believe it is just as dreadful. No matter what time I go, it’s always packed with people who are often cranky and rude. They always seem to be out of whatever item is the most important on my list and the lines to the register resemble the line you’d see at the midnight premiere of a popular movie. But unfortunately, we need food to survive.

She slumps from aisle to aisle, trailing behind my cart and throwing in some sighs for dramatic effect. When we turn around the corner to the frozen foods section, I immediately head towards the middle to get some vegetables.

“Mommy!!!” Little Bella screams, the kind of scream I would expect to hear if she was being attacked. I run over to her and see her standing in front of one of the frosted doors and covering her eyes with her hands.

“What’s wrong?” I ask frantically.

“In there, mommy! Look!” She squeaks behind her hands. I look at the frosty doors and see a little face pressed against the door. I look closer and see that it’s a little boy who is pressing his face and hands against the door and is smiling, obviously getting a good kick out of scaring my daughter to death.

“Oh, you know what, why don’t you open the door. There’s nothing to be afraid of in there. Go check it out,” I encourage. She takes to tiny steps closer and then looks at me for reassurance. I nod, and she keeps going. Her tiny little hands grasp the handle and pulls it open to reveal a small boy her age grinning on the other side.

“I scared you!” He yells, his teeth chattering from the cold freezer. He’s laughing and at first Little Bella didn’t think it was so funny, but when he continued to laugh and laugh, she soon joined in. I can see her feeling more comfortable and no longer scared. Now, she actually looks like she is having a good time because now she wants to join in on his fun and scare some other child unaware of their master scheme. They managed to scare a lady near my age, who just so happened to be the boy’s mother who didn’t even realize her son was missing, until she discovered him in the freezer, handing her a bag of peas.

I retrieved my daughter, who now didn’t want to leave and finished the shopping and headed for the exit. She kept looking back and scanning the crowd for the little boy who changed the way she thought about grocery shopping and made the boring something fun. And as I think about how much easier it will be to get her to go shopping with me, I also realize I can no longer use grocery shopping as an ultimatum when I am begging her to do as she is told. Oh well.

A Short Story -Little Bella The First in the Series.

bella tutu


(Image from:

One afternoon Little Bella presses her face against the window, wishing that every car that comes near the house, will pull into her driveway. She is dressed in her ballet leotard, pink tutu and her hair in a messy bun from a morning’s worth of play.

“Mommy?” Little Bella says, with her face still flat against the window.

“Yes, Bella,” I answer, looking up from the load of laundry I am folding.

“What if she doesn’t come?” she asks.

“Well, why wouldn’t she come, Bella?” I ask. This morning she was bouncing off the walls with excitement, I could barely get her to sit still long enough to eat breakfast or brush her teeth.

“Maybe she found the fairy princess without me and now she doesn’t want to come back to play with me,” Little Bella explains, referring to her and her friend Christie’s most recent game of fairy princess. Last week they started to hunt for fairy princesses.They drew pictures that they laid out for fairy princesses to find and respond to, telling them where they can be found.

“Well, I think if Christie found a fairy princess, she would make sure to come show you and introduce you to her fairy princess. Maybe she is late because she is telling the princess all about her wonderful friend, Bella.” Little Bella smiles brightly. Her eyes sparkle in excitement, the same excitement I saw this morning when I told her Christie was coming over to play. Little Bella returns to her post at the front window and moments later a silver van pulls up, sending Little Bella to the door. She swings it open and before she could run out in her usual screaming frenzy to greet her friend, Christie charges up the front sidewalk and takes a giant leap over the welcome mat and into the front foyer.

“Want to see what I have?” Christie asks, with a smile spreading across her face. Little Bella is wide-eyed with excitement. She looks at me and I can see that genuine happiness little kids have when they are with their best friends, the kind of reaction they have is one you would only expect for someone you haven’t seen in years. But for them, everyday they are together is like a brand new adventure, a whole new celebration with new found joy for those around them.

Christie pulls out a little box from her backpack and whispers, “Look, I have our own fairy princess inside!”

Little Bella smiles and they run upstairs to play in their own magical world where anything is possible, and where she has her friend always by her side.