My toddler (sniff!) is wearing a shirt today proclaiming her to be a "Princess in training." I bought this shirt. it's adorable hot pink with a puffy sleeve/long sleeve layered look. When I bought it, I didn't think much about the words. The capital P on Princess is apliqued plaid and the other letters look a bit Doodlebugish. In other words: it just looked cute and the price was right.
This morning, however, as I contemplate my "princess" in all her teething demon-child moodiness, I am struck by how right and wrong those words are at the same time. She is my baby and will always be. Always the last so I'll always treasure her little milestones with a deep, bittersweet nostalgia that wasn't there with my others. For them I cheered for their growing up. For her, I want to develop the first time machine so I never have to let go. And all this is to say, she'll most likely be spoiled. I hope not to completely ruin her or get my other kids thinking she's the favorite, but I'm thinking some spoiling is going to be going on. So, yeah, as the baby of the family, she's going to be a Princess.
But do I want a Princess? I'm not talking a Cinderella like princess, unbelieveably perfect, who is willing to scrub floors and make tea and invite to her wedding people that any other person would have drop kicked to the curb. When I hear "princess," I think of the modern incarnation of the spoiled girl who gets every whim fulfilled, with a mercurial temperment that parents conciously attempt to sooth by fullfulling all her wishes, being perpetual Fairy Godmothers and never parents. The Paris Hilton of Suberbia.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this (and my English teachers would have taken this opportunity to point out that free writes and first drafts are useful things) except to say, I want my girl to be a princess and not a Princess at the same time. I want her to feel loved and treasured but not that it's appropriate to throw a fit when Mommy won't buy the $40 t-shirt at Limited Too. It's a delicate balance. I don't know if I can swing it. I picture myself standing in the middle of a teeter totter like the 10 year old trying to be cool with the stepmother on one end and the fairy godmother on the other, trying desprately to be both and neither at the same time.