Barbie Princess Charm School

So, there’s this book in our house that I like to call The Great Motivator:


Yep: the Little Golden Book version of the straight-to-DVD animated film, Barbie Princess Charm School, has become A Thing in my household.  I’d call it Officially A Thing.

But first, let me tell me how we acquired Barbie Princess Charm School, because I want it to serve as a cautionary tale to mothers who aren’t paying attention/think their kids are dumb:

One day waaayyyyy last year, we went to the bookstore–Odessa, her friend Ben, and I–and I told the kids they could each buy one Little Golden Book; they’re like $3 or something.  Anyway, I didn’t think that this upstanding little independent bookstore would be harboring anything as feculent as a book about Barbies duking it out for supremacy of the least interesting magical land in literary history, but it did.  And of course both kids made a beeline for it. There was only one copy and both wanted it.  A tussle ensued, and they eventually agreed to share it, week by week, if I would only buy it for them.

And, not having read it, I was like, Jeez guys–fine by me. Saves me 3 bucks AND you worked it out yourselves!

Well, after 3 weeks of trading BPCS back and forth between our homes, Ben’s mom officially declared The Book persona non grata at their house because a) her three boys (Ben, 3, and the twins, 5) were wanting to read it almost incessantly, and b) her kids started BULLYING each other, just like a bunch of Barbie princesses!  They were tripping one another in the hall (yep), talking trash (yep!), ruining each other’s stuff (that happens, too).

And, yeah–had I read BPCS before I bought it, I wouldn’t have bought it.  But Odessa was hooked–she freaking loved it. There were pictures of big jewels and blonde women who made thier own sassy uniforms.  So it hung around for a while, reviled by everyone but its owner, until it “disappeared.”  I hid it in the living room ottoman/storage bin one night with the intention of removing it from the house and lighting it on fire at midnight under a full moon in some out-of-the-way brownfield. Which is the only fate it really deserves.

But as soon as it was out of sight, I forgot about it.  Until last night, when it was exhumed while I was putting all the covers back on the couch cushions.  I had the lid off the ottoman while replacing the cover, and Odessa walked by, looked inside and was all,

So BPCS is officially back in circulation.  And Bryan–who prefers to work smarter, not harder–has decided to turn these lemons into lemonade…by using The Book against both of us.

Like this morning, Odessa wanted him to read it to her before school, and he was like, Hold on little lady–gotta get dressed first.  AND SHE DID! Like, really fast like a little bunny rabbit!

And then when I wouldn’t get out of bed 15 minutes before I was supposed to drive Dessa to school, he hollered at her from the kitchen, “Tell mom a dramatic reading of Barbie Princess Charm School will commence in Mom and Dad’s bed in 2 minutes!”

And I was all,

So the point is, we got out of the house in record time.  All because of the most ghastly putrescence ever committed to paper and cardboard.

Let this be a lesson to all of us.  Somehow.



  1. Kristin Awsumb Liu

    I’m with Ben’s mom – those Barbie books are so hateful! But I’m glad you have figured out how to use the powers of evil for good.

  2. jane

    that octopus gif is amazing and perfect and makes me giggle. bryan is a evil genius! we have a similar Thing with an awful fighting, blowing up, mortal drag-out Iron Man book that needs to disappear, quicker than quick… along with every single one the god-forsaken thomas the train books.

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