We recently picked up one of the later Olivia books by Ian Falconer. I’ve always thought Olivia was a pretty cute little character, but now knowing who Stella is and the kind of girl she is, I can certainly sympathize with Olivia’s mother who is fond of saying “Olivia, you wear me out.” In any case, in this book Olivia laments that all of the little girls – and even some of the little boys – all want to be fairy princesses. Even at the tender age of however-old-she-is, Olivia understands that when everybody wants to do something, it is no longer special.
I can see the urge to be princess slowly creeping up in Stella. Sometimes it’s the choice of pink for clothing or crayons. Other times it’s the tutus worn over jeans with camouflage shirts. We’re not full-blown pretty pink princess yet, and maybe (hopefully) we never will be, but the siren song of the princess does sing to my daughter occasionally.
Maybe Will was right: maybe it was all the Hello Kitty stuff – the gateway drug to the princess crap. I do know that we have so much sparkly Hello Kitty stuff, that when I empty out the lint filter in my dryer, it looks like Will left Tinkerbell in his pants pocket before I did laundry.
But there are moments when I take heart. Just the other morning the subject of princesses came up. As in the Olivia book, I suggested to Stella “why not be queen instead?” Stella look directly at me and said I don’t want to be queen. I’m a mermaid. Eureka!