Long ago but not so far away, I was a little girl who loved a good fairy tale. I used to imagine myself into the stories, always as the princess. But as I got older those princesses lost their allure. Yeah, they were pretty, but they were also pretty helpless. I became a social worker instead.

Now as my older son enters preschool, we are leaving the board books behind in exchange for some of my old favorites and I am surprised to again find myself a place in those beloved stories. It occurs to me I might have had more of an impact as a mother. So without further ado, I present to you the way things might have been.

Rapunzel

Long ago in a far away land there lived a fair maiden, pregnant with her first child. Dreaming of the baby’s arrival, she would gaze out her bedroom window into her off-putting neighbor’s garden. There grew all manner of vegetables and herbs. These were of no interest to the charming mother-to-be, who craved only refined carbohydrates.

“I MUST have sour gummy worms,” she said sweetly to her husband.

“Perhaps you might prefer rapunzel weeds?” He suggested, hoping to avoid a midnight run to CVS. “I’m sure I could steal some from the old hag’s yard and there would be absolutely no consequences.”

This idea was most unwelcome.

Realizing the folly of his ways, the young man alighted his faithful steed and set off for CVS, acknowledging that his wife really was being a trooper through all this and that seriously, this was the least he could do.

Sleeping Beauty

Long ago there lived a King and Queen who planned an extravagant feast to celebrate the birth of their daughter. From her perch atop an inflatable donut cushion – for she was postpartum – the generous Queen extended invitations to all of the fairies in the land. She was always cautious in this way so as not to offend anyone, particularly those with both magical powers and volatile tempers. A good time was had by all.

Goldilocks

Once there was a girl with locks of gold who went walking through the woods near her home.

She was, of course, accompanied by her parents. Presently they passed a small cottage.

“Can we go in there?” the girl wondered.

“Nope,” said her mother.

Little Red Riding Hood

Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to take a basket of freshly baked muffins to her grandmother’s house.

“I’ll do it myself!” She announced.

“How about we go together and you will be the one to hand them to Grandma,” suggested her mother, ever reasonable.

“No, I want to go by myself!” The girl cried.

“I know you do,” her mother, beautiful and wise, responded. She always did her best to let Red know she had been heard. “But I can’t let you go alone.”

“I want to go alone!” Red wailed.

“Listen Red,” her mother said, now beginning to lose her cool, for allowing Red to “help” bake the muffins had tried her patience. “I could get arrested for that shit. Get in the car.”

And so she did. And the muffins were pretty good, for gluten-free.