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My Princess Wants to be a Stepmother

My daughter is so much a princess that she doesn’t want to be Cinderella. Whenever I read her the story, what sticks with her is that the stepmother would not let Cinderella go to the ball. “Stay home and clean”, the stepmother said. My daughter wants to be the one giving the orders. She doesn’t yet get that the dancing a marrying a prince part is the one that’s supposed to be enviable.

She likes giving her mommy orders as well. I am amazed at home direct she is. “Mommy, you clean this, ”Eat this”, “Play with me”. “Put on my red socks.” I’d be upset except she does this to just about everyone. I don’t remember ever having been so comfortable giving orders – to adults or other kids.

Some of my friends notice it too. Not only from mine, but from others. Kids no longer stand around silently, wishing, hoping, transmitting messages. For example, they’d like some of the chips you’re feeding your child too. They’ll just come, swoop down, and take them, like seagulls, except you can’t very well raise your voice and run at them until they take flight. They no longer silently submit to whatever you dress them in either. When my mom dressed me in the rainbow, matching terrycloth set, I seethed with embarrassment but didn’t say a word. I even smiled for the pictures that would permanently document my embarassment and show up on Facebook years later, but I digress. Kids have very strong opinions now. My daughter had a melt down when I told her she could not wear the bright yellow socks with her red and blue dress. Not because they were yellow and clashed with psychedelic brilliance, but because they were new and we did not need to open yet another pair of socks. (We need to wear out as many two-year old things before she moved into the grand size of 3.) But rather than wear what I chose, there was still compromise. I told her she could wear any old socks, any color. She insisted on new socks – any color as long as they had stickers and tag.

We stayed home.

With needs like hers, I hope she there’s a prince out there for her.