Girlhood. Momhood. Lifehood.
Insights on navigating the craziness of life with young kids one — “large coffee with skim please” — day at a time.

Hand Picked

  • Twilight
    OK, so my friend introduced me to this series of books and I’m HOOKED. Romance and suspense meets a bit of sci-fi. A total “read 100 pages without stopping” book.
  • Happy Feet, Fun Music
    So this soundtrack really is great..for you, and for the kids. You can dance, you can sing, you can shake your groove thing.

The Key to the Kingdom

February 14th, 2008

This past Sunday morning, as I sat on the edge of our coffee table hunched over a mammoth mug of coffee, I watched my two-year old daughter partake in one of her favorite activities lately…the princess dance. She was an early morning vision in a flowing pink tulle dress embellished with silver ribbons, a plastic pink tiara and craft store wand in her little hand. Underneath her royal clothes her blue fleece pajamas added a bit of extra bulk. She looked perhaps more defensive lineman than princess, but she was totally in the zone.

She began her trademark princess song, “La la la….la la la…la la la la la.” As she twirled and sang, she squinted her eyes as if channeling Cinderella herself. After a few twirls she bent forward with a bow so dramatic her tiara nearly tipped off. I clapped. Then she clapped. And then the dance began again. The second time around though, she displayed a surprising new move with the wand - mid-twirl she suddenly pointed it out straight ahead, knees bent, scowl on her face. It was kind of a half self-defense, half Luke-Skywalker-wielding-a-light-saber move. Then, as if any hint of danger had passed, she abruptly lowered the wand and returned to the pleasant “la la la’s” and continued to twirl. Interesting.

You know, it would be incredibly easy to get caught up in the whole anti-princess movement. The princesses we know and love aren’t exactly the models of self-reliance for young girls. Just look at big ‘Ella herself. She basically had a mundane life of unending domestic chores and her only friends were mice. Then one day, a fairy godmother appeared out of nowhere, gave her a fabulous makeover, the coolest shoes ever in the history of accessories, and a big night out with an albeit fairly restrictive curfew. Then, after a bit of suspense and drama, she landed the cutest guy in school. The rest is happily-ever-after Disney (only to be released as a special edition DVD every millennium) history.

But still, as I watched my mini-Cinderella twirl around the living room with her tangled morning hair and Cheerio milk stuck to her face, I decided I’m just not all that concerned. Heck, I’ve been known to pull out an old bridesmaid dress and tiara at a princess birthday party now and then. Actually, my best Halloween costume ever was my 1995 handmade Wonder Woman outfit, complete with bullet-proof cuff bracelets made from two toilet paper roll tubes and gold wrapping paper. Oh yeah. I was a crime-fighting Linda Carter wannabe with a bad wig. And it was FUN.

So I think I’ll let her play the role for now, and I’ll let her wear a tiara if she feels inclined to do so. But I also know my job is much bigger than that of a fairy godmother. I have to teach her that power is not something sprinkled around in a cloud of glitter by fairies or princes, it’s all her own. And regardless of how fabulous the shoes are, it’s not just about looking pretty in a castle. She can rule the kingdom if she wants to. And of course, drive something that handles better than a pumpkin.

But judging by the streak of independence I’ve seen lately and the way she handles that wand, I think my baby girl will do alright.

Something tells me the force is strong with this one.

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