I have one word for you: Princesses. If the title of this post has you singing a tune from Aladdin, you are going to know exactly where I am coming from. My older daughter has discovered princesses.
She’s four and a half and pretty far from a girly-girl. She’s not interested in makeup, having her hair done, wearing dresses, playing dress up or playing with babies or dolls. She’s into building things and making up shows. She plays the violin and she loves to make art. She doesn’t have just one BFF or a favorite purse. I don’t know why I’m surprised. I’m pretty far from a girly-girl myself. Why would she be into makeup if she’s never even seen anyone apply it.
It all started when my husband started telling her a princess story every night at bedtime. In these stories she and her sister are the princesses and they go on great adventures. The difference is, in these stories they aren’t waiting for any princes to save the day. They’re off rescuing themselves.
This year for Christmas, my daughter got a set of princess books. The books are abbreviated versions of some of the Disney classics: Snow White, Cinderella, Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and more. She only gets two books a night, but she’s been choosing from these pretty religiously over the last few months. When a friend of mine was putting her to bed and read “and they all lived happily ever after,” my daughter replied, “all the princess stories end that way.” So true, my dear.
My husband and I are not big movie watchers, so my kids haven’t really seen many movies. A few months ago we finally gave in to the hype and rented Frozen. My girls LOVE it. Even the two year old is often dancing around the house singing “Let it gooooo, let it gooooooooo” or “For the first time in forever . . .” even though they’ve only seen the movie a handful of times.
Because the princess books are so abbreviated, my daughter has tons of questions about them all. “But why . . . did Ursula turn into Vanessa . . . did Ariel lose her voice . . . did the ship crash?” And I found myself saying that if she’d seen the movie she’d understand the full story. So, we finally broke down and got The Little Mermaid form the library this weekend. (I never buy them, because I like to have an excuse not to watch them again). When King Triton destroyed all of Ariel’s human treasures, my daughter looked very distraught. I assured her that her daddy would never do that. She said, “I know, because he doesn’t have powers.” She seemed to really like the movie while we were watching it and didn’t seem too scared, but when bedtime came, it was a different story. We’ve spent the last two nights assuring her that Ursula is not real and there are no such things as sea witches. Thanks a lot Disney! I think we’ll lay off the princess movies for a little while, except for our old faithful Frozen.