This week I’ve heard requests for info on Linus’s kids. So starting with Irene, I’ll introduce everyone to the whole brood. This week’s kid is Irene Weedwhacker.
She’s mentioned first in Must Love Dragons but we really get to know her in Runs In Good Condition. She’s Linus’s oldest child and pretty much third in command at the Weedwhacker household. She’s not much based off of my real-life daughter, but rather based instead on my experiences as an oldest child helping to raise very young children. We’re going to watch her grow up in this series as she comes into adulthood and some of the decisions that entails.
So why is she in a relationship with a 20-year-old in the book?
I have to say, that as far as characters not behaving themselves, those two are the worst. Irene and Morfindel can not and will not listen to me and so this very awkward and not entirely wholesome attachment is just beyond my control. I think I feel about the same as Linus does about it—furious and offended.
The reason it happened is probably because of two things:
a) Irene is very mature for her age. The eldest child of seven is the one who grows up the fastest. She’s been momma number two since kid four was born and has had to shoulder a lot of responsibilities and duties that most teens don’t have to endure. This has made her very stoic, level-headed, and impatient to be recognized and respected as an adult. If she already has to have the duties of an adult, why shouldn’t she be treated like one?
b) Morfindel is very immature for his age. Since Morf spent most of his childhood cloistered away with other boys, he’s got a lot of growing up to do still.
So what we get here is the meeting of two people, seven years apart, who mentally are the same age. We’ll see in the series if that playing field stays level or not, but considering Irene and Morfindel are already “engaged to be engaged”…
Facts about Irene:
1. She’s not much of a hausfrau and has no ambition to be. She’s very good at watching kids and organizing things, but she can’t cook, or sew, and hates cleaning. She prefers to read books and socialize with girls her age, even if she feels that the other girls don’t always understand what she’s talking about or share her opinions.
2. Irene has been trying to get her Dad let her go to University and it is for one reason only: so she can get two blessed minutes to herself for once. Irene has become painfully aware that her entire life has revovled around doing things for other people and is starting to wonder who she really is. Terrified that she might be roped into being unofficial nanny to the family for the rest of her life, Irene wants to get away by the only outlet that a self-respecting girl of an upper-middle-class family can achieve it: school.
3. Irene, and all of her brothers and sisters, look exactly like Linus’s dad, Hilmiel. I will reveal why in a few books, but there’s a reason for it.
4. In Tereand, Irene’s age group has a few ways to keep themselves entertained.
* Assemblies Big parties with local young people. Some are simple card parties where groups can play whist, cassino, or quadrille. Some have a band playing music and lots of food and dancing where young people can meet and interact in a chaperoned environment.
* Chocolate Houses Coffee houses are so last year! The young people in Tereand meet eachother at Chocolate Houses to sample drinking chocolate (laced with spices), to talk about the latest song books released by their favorite artists, new trends in clothing, and occasionally to hear a whiny ponce play the guitar or recite poetry
*Parks There are many public parks in Tereand where groups can meet to play battledores, croquet, cricket, boules, or simply bring their easel’s to paint or sketch
Some would think that Irene would never be at a loss for things to do or people to do them with, but then some have never tried to get dinner into six other children when Mum and Dad were both running late.
That’s it for this week’s spotlight! Next week I’ll do Oldest Boychild Carson.
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