Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Miss Majesty & Other Thoughts About Raising Royalty

"From now on Mommy you call me Miss Majesty," she said looking up at me with her big chocolate eyes.

I practically choked on my coffee, trying not to laugh at the seriousness of her voice.

"Oh, ok, Miss Majesty."

She smiled and danced off.

A few minutes later she returned with yet another request.

"Mommy, bow to me."

At first I wasn't sure I understood what she was asking. She repeated it.

"Mommy, bow to me."

"Of course, Miss Majesty," and I followed through with a weak little bow.

"Noooo. A real bow."

Now, this was asking too much. I explained to her that mommy's baby belly made it hard to bend over.

She was clearly not happy about this (yet another inconvenience caused by that baby), but shrugged and moved on.

I sat there somewhat bewildered by her royal bratty, behavior.
Like most little girls, she is going through a "Princess Phase." She loves Cinderella and has lines from the movie completely memorized. In fact, she told me the other day, following a time out for hitting me, "You mean, just like Anastastia."

Anastasia is one of Cinderella's evil, ugly, step sisters. Great comparison.

Abby wears her princess costumes all the time now, even to bed. The other day at school she was apparently teaching her friend Jordan the proper way to dance at the ball. Her teachers told me that she put one of his hands on her waist and told him exactly what he needed to do.

I have mixed feelings about this Disney/licensed character obsession. On one hand, these princesses are nothing more than pretty little shells, somewhat damaged, until a handsome prince comes along and rescues them. On the other hand, each princess has overcome an obstacle, a challenge in her life. She doesn't see herself as a victim, but a survivor. She has dreams and believes that they will come true. And, despite all of her hard knocks, she is polite, kind, and good mannered. She makes the best of grim situations, even if that means talking to mice and other woodland creatures to get through the bad times.

As women, we so rarely treat ourselves like royalty. Especially as mothers. We put our desires and dreams on the back burner to care for our family. We sacrifice the things we really need to give our children what they want. Yet, the men in our life typically make fewer sacrifices. What message does this send to our daughters?

I suppose that Abby making royal demands as a three year-old can be a good thing. Perhaps this behavior will evolve and she will grow into a young woman who believes that she deserves only the best. She won't let men (or anyone for that matter) walk all over her and she won't fall in love with the first yahoo that pays attention to her. She will wait for her true Prince Charming. She won't settle -- not in life, men, friends, or her career. A true princess never settles. I suppose these are all positive princess attributes. However, if I catch her talking to mice, rabbits, birds, or small dwarf men, I may have second thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:15 PM

    I loved it. It needs to be submitted to a magazine....