Fuck, the morning began so well. Sasha emerged from her bedroom in her new footie pj’s placid and happy. “I had a really long sleep!” she told me, sitting down on the toilet to pee and describing in unintelligible detail the great dream she’d had (about princesses).
From there it got worse: a timeout before I’d even had a shower, and a battle to get her to wear tights on this cold morning. “But I’m not beautiful!” she whined. “I’m not a princess anymore!”
As I somehow convinced to cooperate with getting the tights on, I was getting worried. This princess shit has been going on a long, long time—too long. At first, it was cute. Sasha identified with the princesses she saw in cartoon movies: Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Castle in the Sky, Dora, Princess Bubblegum, and so on. She wanted only to wear “princess dresses” whose hems flounced out—pinkly or sparkly—when she twirled. She demanded slippers she could wear outdoors. And we, her parents, gave in. It didn’t seem so bad, and we were never pressuring her on these things. In fact, we always tried to make sure she had a variety of outfits and activities, not just those that would conform to the most frustrating gender stereotypes.
But lately it’s just gotten too damn annoying. We can’t make her wear pants. We can only get her into sneakers because her teachers require them. Even when we show her beautiful, multicolored skirts and tights and sweaters and such, she turns them down because they don’t match up to her vision of princesshood. Everything is a damn battle. Tears flow. Tempers flare.
Yeah, I know: She’s almost 4. This happens. But honestly, I don’t want to wait this one out, not when every morning we fight about the exact same things.
What we need—and what I’m hoping to learn from you, dear readers—are books, stories, movies, TV shows about non-standard princesses. Princesses who wear jeans and T-shirts, who run and climb mountains, who get dirty and hate the color pink. Brave had a little bit of this—an archer princess who rides horses!—but it’s not on DVD yet, so we’re stuck there.
What is out there that’s so awesome that Sasha will start demanding Japanese selvedge denim or pre-K Patagonia shells? Please, help us—and hurry!