Carly loves princesses. I dare say most 4 year old girls do. She knows all the stories. Every night daddy tells her two or three, and she is constantly interjecting with corrections and extra details. I tell her made up stories too, about Princess Carlina, Princess Quinnifer, Prince Jonathan, King Christopher, and Queen Erina. They usually have to do with rescuing butterflies or Carlina saving Quinnifer from all sorts of trouble. They always bring the biggest smiles to her face.
Yesterday, we had an afternoon fit for a princess.
A general store in a little nearby town holds a "Princess Cafe" every year. The little girls come dressed up and there is face painting, a little craft project, manicures, a gift to take home, and REAL princesses. In the flesh. I told Carly about the "princess party" but did not mention the princesses. I was interested to see how she would react, because we have talked before about how all the stories are just pretend.
My little princess got all dolled up, complete with her beautiful dress, necklace and bracelet, and a sparkly pink purse. And a crown, of course. We got the crown that week and she could be seen wearing it around town for days.
She got a kiss from her prince before we headed out.
We arrived and right as you walked in the princesses were waiting. Carly was totally starstruck. She didn't say a word at first and was very nervous during the photo ops. We moved on and she got her nails painted purple and her face painted like a rainbow butterfly. When we had done everything, they gave her a very cute necklace in a little crown jewelry box.
But Carly wasn't done. The whole time we were there she kept scanning the store for the princesses. She was captivated by them. She gradually got more brave and kept walking up and say "Hi" and just smiling really big. She was particularly fond of Jasmine, and asked her to sit down by her, which Jasmine did for a minute before more photos were required. Carly was so funny. She just stared at the princesses. For a girl who is overly logical, she bought right in to them. In the car on the way home, she kept saying "Mom, it was the ACTUAL Jasmine!" I think she would pass out if we ever took her to Disney.
It was a magical little event, and she was talking about it all day. It was so heartbreaking at the end of the day when we had to wash her rainbow butterfly off. She was so sad, and I felt like it was washing away the magic. I had so much fun with my little princess, and I hope we can make it next year with two little princesses in tow.
I have to say, when Carly was a baby I was all feminist woman-power anti-princess. There are a lot of strong woman roll models, so why let her get caught up in the princesses? But there is something special about childhood magic, about believing in fairy tales. It is funny though, because true to Carly's unique character, her favorite stories are the less popular ones, Mulan and Pocahontas, though her "most favoritest" remains Ariel. When I tell the stories, I still say that Cinderella and Prince Charming "had long talks and got to know each other and went to college and got married", but I know there is a lot of real life ahead of her, so maybe a few years of magic isn't such a bad thing after all.
[I love this picture. I was trying to get her to smile, and right then she made eye contact with Jasmine. Hence the huge grin.]