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|The Steeles and the Middleton kids
Written by JoAnn
(9/25/2009 1:55 a.m.)
The scene describing a day at Barton Park, with the boys pinching the Miss Steeles and throwing their handkerchiefs out the window, while the girl throws a temper tantrum, refusing to be soothed until she gets the sweets she wants ("With such a reward for her tears, the child was too wise to cease crying."), is just brilliant! I can just imagine Elinor's horror at witnessing this, and knowing that she'd be called to do it repeatedly as long as the Miss Steeles are in residence at Barton Park. They have the cottage on hard terms, indeed! And I love the end of the conversation, in which Elinor admits that, "...while I am at Barton Park, I never think of tame and quiet children with any abhorrence." *teehee*
(I think this passage particularly struck me right now because we recently had my sister- and brother-in-law visiting with their two very whiny kids, whose whining has definitely been reinforced by their parents' responses. It was so bad that my 8-year-old, who tends to get whiny, has had a huge improvement in her behavior since then, and even pointed out to me tonight that "You don't realize when you're doing it how hard it is on the ears.")
Once again, Jane captures everyday reality with a vivid lens!
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