And I found myself wondering, "How did we get here?"
I am creative by nature, as well as by trade. And I try not to discourage my daughter's interest in anything. No matter what it is.
She has a collection of bug stuffed animals. Bugs.
She says goodbye to the bathroom and her toothbrush every morning by saying, "Have a good day, guys!"
And she sleeps with the cast of "Cars".
Up until recently, she abhorred pink and all that goes with it. Which I secretly enjoyed.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not completely against the Disney Princess racket. I've read the stories and know that each princess started out in life with some pretty hard knocks. And that each princess persevered and succeeded (in getting the man).
I know there are lessons to be learned in these stories that are decked out like tiered, fluffy cakes.
But still...princesses? Really?
So one day, not so long ago, my daughter was playing with her cousin (let's call her "D") and suddenly, my world was forever changed.
D is a girly-girl through and through. She wears tiaras to the mall. She lounges about her house in tutus and leotards. And pink is not just her signature color—it seems to be her only color.
On our way home on that fateful day, my daughter turned to me and said, "I want to be a princess."
"I want to be a princess!"
And so it began.
It started out slowly. Creeping into our apartment and into our lives.
She was a princess for Halloween. (But she was also wearing Puma sneakers, so I don't really count that.)
Then my mom gave her a tutu. Thanks, Mom.
When she discovered "Angelina Ballerina", it was done. The conversion was complete. She was a girly-girl.
And I'm okay with this. Really, I am. Just a bit surprised.
Because she's never seen a single Disney movie. Not one.
And yet she knows every single Disney princess by sight and by name and what each one wears.
How did we get here?
Does Disney tap into our phone lines, sneak secret recordings into our rooms that play while we sleep? Because I know that the information didn't come from me. I only knew of two Disney princesses and wasn't aware they were being merchandised as the "Disney Princesses" in the first place. (Disney really is brilliant, I must say.)
So when she picked out her invitations, I gave her a choice between cupcake invites (she LOVES cupcakes—she's my daughter, after all) and the
I said, "But look! It's a cupcake!"
It was no use.
And here I sit. Filling in the "What", "Where" and "When" info on pink, tiara-shaped, sparkly invites.
What I'm struggling with is that I just assumed she'd be a lot more like me. I never really played with dolls. Never had a Barbie. Had a Baby Alive that I disliked because it peed on everything.
I climbed trees, I skinned my knees, I was outside for months at a time.
No, I wasn't Huck Finn. But I wasn't that far off.
And my little girl. My little girly-girl...is far off. Up to this point, she was my twin in appearances and even attitude. But two roads diverged.
And I'll have to come to terms with that.
She is still like me in many ways: she's got a strong personality, she's stubborn, she's hilarious (even at age almost-3).
But she is not me—and that is good. More than good. A relief, actually.
So maybe I should be happy about that, that she's not like me. That maybe there's hope for her somewhere in this pink world.
And maybe my little girly-girl will decide to paint it a different color.