I am having a problem with princesses. You know the ones I’m talking about--those pastel pink and purple creatures that seem to have sprouted everywhere I look.
I never imagined that I would raise Alyce in a world void of princesses, princes, fairies and other such magical creatures. As a little girl I was convinced that a kingdom of fairies lived just below my bedroom window, in the ivy that crawled around the base of tree next to the house. Certainly there was a princess or two in the bunch--it was a kingdom after all. So yes to princesses!
Not quite. While I managed to avoid the pastel princesses that the mall threw up for the first two years of Alyce’s life, I fear I am now losing the battle. They. Are. Everywhere. On the t-shirts of her friends at preschool. On the baseball we picked up at Target. On training pants. In the movies she so desperately wants to watch. No wait, I should say in the movie she watches. I don’t want to name any names, but someone in our house turned on one of those princess movies last week. All I’ll say is that it rhymes with my shmusband. Since that day Alyce has taken to marching around the house declaring: I am a King and I want to get married!
And then this:
We went to the bookstore this weekend to look through some books and this is what Alyce brought to me. Usually she brings me a variety of books ranging from monsters to Max and Ruby to Dr. Seuss. But this weekend I found myself sitting at one of those tiny tables at the bookstore reading a sequel to Cinderella where she plans her wedding to the prince, with all the trials and tribulations that go along with wedding invitations and choosing a dress. Make it stop.
And why do I care? So what if Alyce surrounds herself with these princesses? Because there is no subtlety in a pastel princess. She is beautiful, she can sing, she wants to marry a prince, and then she marries a prince. I should be honest here and tell you that mostly my problem is with the beautiful part. These princesses enter our daughter’s lives at just the time they start to have some awareness of themselves as people. Of course Alyce is the most beautiful almost-three-year-old in the entire world (obviously) but I have tried so hard to let Alyce know that she is wonderful for so many different reasons. Lately, though, she’s been telling me that I am pretty and asking me if I think she is pretty. She often asks her preschool teachers if they like her pretty clothes. When she comes home and asks to watch the princess movie, I worry. I want her to hear many voices, not just the beautiful ones.
And I really dislike pastels. Bo-ring.