You know that saying- “Never say never” ? That’s a phrase many-a-parent knows all too well. Because pre-kids, when the phrase “You think you know but you have no idea” is more appropriate, you make all kinds of statements about what you will and will not do as parents once you have kids. Well I muttered that phrase countless times before birthing my brood and here’s just one example of why I’m now eating crow…
Let me set the scene- I am 7 months pregnant with my daughter B and I am vacationing “down the shore” with my husband’s family (as we do every year). The ladies of the shore house are shopping (I use that term lightly- we were in a glorified drug store that oddly distributes Christmas ornaments, baby clothes, plumbing supplies and hula hoops) and my mother has joined us.
Me: (disgustedly pointing to a door plaque that says “Shhh… Princess Sleeping) I hate Princess stuff. It’s so …. gross.
Mother-in-law: (making mental note to check every baby girl item she has stashed away since she heard “it’s a girl!”) “Oh yeah? “Why’s that?”
Me: “I don’t know. I guess I really don’t want a princessy daughter. I don’t want to spoil her and make her feel entitled to anything.”
My mom: (giving the ever slight, almost didn’t notice, eye-roll) “What do you mean?”
Me: “I just don’t want to treat her like a princess and then have her grow up thinking she is one – that’s all. Just don’t get me anything like this, OK?
MIL and Mom: (exchanging “yeah, I know” glances) OK….
(the next day the family held a surprise shower for me. After going through all the gifts (unwrapping and rewrapping some) no princess wear or presents were discovered! Whew!)
Fast forward to today. I am the mother of a little princess. And not because I buy t-shirts emblazoned with “Princess” on them or because B even acts like a princess (in fact we call her Dirtmiezer which was her dad’s nickname growing up) but because I want to treat her like a princess. (Oh yeah- this took me by surprise, too) I don’t want my daughter to act like a princess, I don’t want her to ever think she deserves to be treated like a princess and generally I don’t like stuff that even says princess (usually because it’s also bedazzled with pink rhinestones).
But what I do find, is in the quiet of her room, late at night, sleeping in her way-too-big girl bed- I call her my little princess as I run my finger along her cheek. It sneaks past my lips before I can catch it because that’s just how I feel about her. I want to give her everything she wants, everything she deserves and I want to dote on her every whim- just like you would a little princess, I guess. I’m outing myself as the mom of a princess but I think we’re just redefining the word at our house.