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Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners  by Dreamflower 19 Review(s)
Kaylee ArafinwielReviewed Chapter: 2 on 8/20/2016
My dear Miss Dora,

Renewing my Acquaintance with your Words of Wisdom has made me smile. The pleasant Picture you (and of course, your Estimable Scribe, Dreamflower) have painted on the Proper Rearing of young Children makes me Long for what Should have Been. I will say No More on that Subject just yet, lest it seem Improper.

I have been Especially Grateful for your Descriptions of Faunthood. With some Work, I was able to Chronicle the Faunthoods of the Old Took's twelve Children. I wonder if I might do the same with the young Bagginses - with proper Consultation, of Course. It would Please me if you and dear Dreamflower are amenable - but of course, I will not expect an Affirmative Response.

Your devoted Reader and Friend,


Kaylee ArafinwielReviewed Chapter: 2 on 11/3/2009
Dear Miss Dora,

I have examined this chapter with great Pleasure, as one of my dear Friends and I are compiling a Tale dealing with a Child of such age. Admittedly the Youngling is an Ellon, but the elven lad has just Passed this Period of his Life and your Book helped us greatly.

I particularly admired the Questions at the end and your Answers:

Questions which are often asked about infancy and faunthood:

What if the Mother does not survive the birth of her babe?

In this terribly Unfortunate Circumstance, it is best to find an Aunt or female Cousin who has recently given birth, and ask her to share her Bounty. In this case the child who must share his or her Mother would be the other child’s milk-brother or milk-sister, a circumstance which can lead to very close Family Ties. Only if there is no available Blood Relative to take on this sad duty should an outsider be engaged.

Indeed I agree. The Elder Cousin of our elven Child lost his Mother at the age of just a few Weeks, and it was necessary to engage an Outsider as none of his Female Kin had survived. Unfortunately his Father was not as wise as Miss Dora in engaging said Outsider!

What if the child is born with a Problem?

This too, is a sad Circumstance. Oftentimes the poor wee thing does not survive his or her first few months. However, sometimes the child does survive, and such children can often prove singular blessings, as they often seem to be even more affectionate and sweet-natured than other Children.

In such Event, it behooves the rest of the Family to rally around and help to take care of the distraught parents.

I myself was born with some Problems, and I nearly did not survive. My Mother also nearly Faded, but luckily we both pulled Through! Many of my Classmates in the School I attended were also such Children.

How does one deal with the jealousy of an older sibling when the younger child is born?

This is Normal. However, it is to be discouraged. Fortunately such a stage does not often last long. Such jealousy may be discouraged in two ways-- the parents should give much attention to the older child so that he or she will not feel the new baby has Usurped his or her place in the Family, and also encourage the older child to take care of and feel protective toward the younger. These feelings of protectiveness, luckily, come naturally to most children, and once the babe is old enough to cuddle with them and sleep with them the jealousy soon disappears.

In my Case, my younger Sibling became as an older Sibling to me when she had matured a bit, since she was regarded as the 'Normal' Child (I am afraid my Father in particular spoiled and stifled me, but my Mother was more Sensible.)

How does one teach one’s child to Talk?

By talking to him or her, of course. It will sort itself out naturally, and usually when the child wants something enough the first word will emerge, most frequently “Mama” or “Da”.

Apparently my first word was Ada, though my first word I could *read* was Book.

What is the best way to deal with a temper tantrum?

Hobbit children are not prone to these for the most part. If a child is normally biddable and good-natured, and then suddenly has a fit of screaming and crying because he or she has been denied something, it is well to seek the reason: he or she may be over-tired or fearful for some reason. In such cases a nap may be in order, or the source of the fear removed.

However a child who makes a habit of these displays is in serious danger of becoming spoiled. On no account should you give in to such a child, and the best way to deal with such behavior is to put the child in a corner and ignore as best you can, the Bad Behavior. Sooner or later it will come to an end.

Very true, Miss Dora. In fact the Child in our Tale was prone to these and was Disciplined Accordingly by the previously mentioned Older Cousin, who often had charge of him.

Your faithful reader (and Dreamflower's!)

Kaylee Arafinwiel

Author Reply: My Dear Miss Kaylee,

I am very pleased to see that My Wisdom is of use to you. I have No Experience of Races other than Hobbits, and therefore am Pleased that what I have said Seems to Apply to the children of Elves and Men!

It is very sad to hear of a Child, whether Hobbit or Elf, who has No Female Kin to Succor him in his Time of Need. I hope that there are Friends of the Family who may Fill that Gap instead.

I would Say More Upon the Subject, but my Scribe is pleading sleepiness. I fear she is going to Postpone Answering your Delightful Correspondence until the Morrow!

Sincerely yours,
Miss Dora

I'm looking forward to helping Miss Dora answer more of your comments-- but it's getting late here now. Thanks for filling up my inbox with your lovely reviews!

InklingReviewed Chapter: 2 on 5/30/2007
Miss Dora’s advice on wee hobbits is everything I would expect from her, in her tireless zeal to anticipate and provide instructions for any eventuality. I especially liked her warning to the big brothers of faunts looking for their First Gifts…a practical appeal to their own best interests. Sounds like she knows hobbit lads all too well!

My favorite line: “These are also the years when a child should begin to learn the importance of Respecting Food.” (I can just see the flourish she added to those last two words.) Yep, no picky eaters there! I’m looking forward to the chapters on Mealtimes and Manners.

Second favorite line: “I will say no more of that Subject.” Hobbits really are so Victorian!

Author Reply: Yes, Miss Dora certainly spread her net wide, LOL! She's very observant--I would not be surprised if she had not witnessed some child's "Big Brother" pulling just such a prank!

I don't suppose there were many picky hobbit children; with their metabolism, they'd be hungry almost all the time, and hunger is great for overcoming pickiness! I think that food was probably a central force in hobbit lives and society--after all, with six or seven meals a day, it means nearly all their time was either occupied with preparing or eating food!

*grin* As a maiden aunt, it would not be "Proper" for Aunt Dora to go into more detail! And I'd say "Victorian" is probably a good description!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 2 on 8/18/2006
And how equally appropriate most of this advice is for the parents of ANY child.

Well done! I applaud Dora's good sense.

Author Reply: She's very observant and shrewd. She'd know at once which parents were successful and which were not.

ArielReviewed Chapter: 2 on 7/11/2006

Faunts are just beginning to learn how to dress themselves. For some Unfathomable Reason, they learn how to undress themselves more quickly.

I snickered all the way through this. If I didn't already know you were a mom, I would have figured so from this. Just hysterical. And so true! I guess I raised hobbit babies!

Being out in the woods so much, I probably miss a lot of these gems, but I am glad to have found this one. LOL!

Author Reply: Yes, that's one of the things you learn when you have a little one, or take care of a little one.

I think all babies are hobbits until they get out of faunthood! LOL!

I'm glad you found it and are enjoying it!

Frodo BagginsReviewed Chapter: 2 on 7/3/2006
Oh, Dreamflower!
This is only getting better! My favourite line was "If a child pleads no Hunger at all, then it is time to call a Healer." That is so very Hobbit like. But, what would I expect from a Hobbit? Keep it up!
God BLess,
Frodo Baggins

Author Reply: Well, considering Hobbit appetite, I am quite sure that it would have been sound advice!

KittyReviewed Chapter: 2 on 7/1/2006
It needs to be said that the rearing of children is mostly a matter of good common Hobbit-sense; unfortunately, such Hobbit-sense is not nearly so common as it ought to be, and in some Families may even be said to be in short supply! Hmmm ... why have I to think of Lotho and Ted here? And sadly I could name some families in RL who are lacking badly in common Hobbit-sense.

At some parts I had to grin - they bring certain hobbits to mind, and I strongly suppose Dora thought of the same persons, too, when she wrote this.
All in all, her advice is still very true in most aspects. Of course, children didn't change overmuch since then and the problems are mostly the same in every generation, but the hobbits knew obviously more about children than some modern day parents.

Happy birthday to you, my dear!

Author Reply: Well, I'm sure she probably at *least* had the S-Bs in mind, and she may have known the Sandyman family as well.

I am quite sure she did think of people she knew, though she did try to be discreet. And I think that hobbits may have been very advanced as far as the social aspects of life went--much moreso than Humans, whether modern or not!

Thank you!!

Nienor NinielReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/28/2006
Oh, very inventive!

I especially like the idea of the "giving of the First Gifts" and the notion that loss of appetite (relative at that) is an indication for a Hobbit child being ill.

I'm looking forward to more!


Author Reply: The "first Gifts" is, of course, JRRT's own idea, and comes from a very charming passage in Letter #214, but I just dress it up a bit, and formalize it some--knowing how Hobbits love an occasion, I am quite sure that's what they would have done.

It's quite clear that Hobbits have a very high metabolism. If a child did not eat at all, it would definitely be a cause for worry!

demeter dReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/27/2006
Here we have a Hobbit's eye view on the importance of Fathers and the ever-present, large, extended family. It sounds as though "Aunt Dora" must have been called upon to play the Aunt or Cousin's part for many children. I find her description of Faunthood especially charming, as I teach the two and three year olds at church! Very familiar. Hobbits seem to instill at a very early age what it means to be part of society. Looking forward to more!

Author Reply: Well, she had one neice and one nephew, and in my Shire, she also had a great-nephew (Daisy's son Folco). But she helped to raise Daisy, as her broher's health was poor, and she had countless Cousins I am sure!

Yes,our two and three year olds are just about the same as hobbit three to five year olds--except hobbit children gain more vocabulary over that period of time.

For Hobbits, as social and clannish creatures, Society and Family are very important. Something that will be very in evidence in future chapters...

Glory UnderhillReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/27/2006
You really have captured the voice I've always imagined for Dora! I love the special use of capitalization too! A very fun piece!

Author Reply: I've always loved those sorts of old-fashioned books with all the capitalizations!

It is fun--I'm having a blast writing it, it just won't leave me alone!

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