Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Little Girl With A Curl

There was a little girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead;
When she was good, she was very, very good,
And when she was bad she was horrid.
(Thank you, Grandma Dodie)

Tonight I miss my little girl with the little curl. 
Tonight she is a young woman. 
Tonight she was not horrid, but our interaction made me sad.
(Just as much me as it was her.)
When they are little, life is a bit less complicated
even though there are some adventures.

"This actually isn't a nursery rhyme. It is a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The line "she was very, very good" should actually be "she was very good indeed". Longfellow's second son Ernest says of this poem: "It was while walking up and down with his second daughter, then a baby in his arms, that my father composed and sang to her the well-known lines .... Many people think this a Mother Goose rhyme, but this is the true version and history"
--Susan Wichlett
quote above found here.


There was a little girl,
And she had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very, very good,
And when she was bad she was horrid.
One day she went upstairs,
When her parents, unawares,
In the kitchen were occupied with meals,
And she stood upon her head
In her little trundle-bed,
And then began hooraying with her heels.
Her mother heard the noise,
And she thought it was the boys
A-playing at a combat in the attic;
But when she climbed the stair,
And found Jemima there,
She took and she did spank her most emphatic.

Found something interesting while trolling around the internet with the curl reference:
"Help girls figure out the source of their anger. Because anger is a frightening and potentially dangerous emotion, it is often displaced. The real sources of anger may be hard to identify. Mothers are the frequent targets of their daughters displaced anger. In many cases, mother/daughter relationships are experienced as the only relationships where girls can feel safe enough to express their anger and know that they will still be loved.
Adults can provide a constructive outlet for angry feelings by helping girls to talk through their emotional responses. By creating opportunities for girls to be heard and responded to, adults assist young girls to become more balanced and genuine. Encouraging the healthy expression of anger is not an invitation to uncontrolled rage. It is an invitation to self-discovery and empowerment - a message that one can acknowledge true feelings and take constructive action to make a difference."
You can find the entire article here.


  1. That made me smile. My mom used to use that poem on my niece Maleah. I'll have to give her the whole poem. Smile, "this too shall pass." One of my favorite "grandma sayings."

  2. I laughed at the poem, but couldn't find much humor in reading about the young girls with misplaced anger. Very interesting.

  3. It is sad I know, but some of life's lessons don't hold much humor.

    This was more of a therapy for me post. Having wonderful, strong willed children is a great blessing and a huge learning opportunity for me.

    I had a typo (that's now fixed)--the entire last paragraph is a quote from a paper written by a psychologist. It had the poem referenced in it and talked about why girls sometimes act out and how we need to let them have their feelings, not expect them to "just be nice."

    I needed the message about misplaced anger. I had heard that before, but just having a psychologist state that my child will act out at me because she knows that no matter what- I will always love and accept her, makes me feel better about some of the learning experiences that we go through together.

    I'm not meaning for anyone to feel bad or sad or not like the message. It's just one of my life lessons. And I am ok with it.

    I have learned so much about love, patience and letting other people be who they are without judgement. I am greatful.

  4. I should have also said that this poem (short version) pops into my head when certain things happen around our home (which are really not happening all that much anymore).

    That's how my brain linked the two different things.


So glad you've come to visit!
I'd love to hear {read};) your thoughts!

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