Lily is only 4, but I was convinced up until now she was a tom boy. I’ve talked on here before about how she had absolutely no interest in dolls or princesses or dress-up. And that was cool. I mean, it was great that she loved to run and jump and climb and do puzzles and build with blocks and learn about letters and get ahead in math. All of that was great, especially the academic stuff.
But I was a little disappointed. I was still a kid when “The Little Mermaid” came out and I loved it with all my soul. I’ve been dying to have someone with which to watch all the princess movies, even though I know they don’t always depict women in the most heroic lights. I know all the feminist reasons I shouldn’t love princess movies. And they are right. I shouldn’t. But I do.
When I found out I was having girls I had this fantasy we would have these special moments together watching Disney movies and getting brainwashed by whatever crazy messages Disney sneaks into our subconscious through these films. I’d hate for my children to not have the same Disney brainwashed brains as me.
I’ve waited 4 years for Lily to let me watch a Disney movie with her. Every time we tried up until now, she rejected the movie. “I hate this movie! It’s too scary!” she’d yell, and I’d turn off “The Little Mermaid” and sadly click back to Dora. I mean, sure, there are a lot of terrifying parts of Disney movies, like more than you’d ever realized until you have someone like Lily in your house. But seriously, I don’t see how her favorite movie of all time, “Toy Story 3″ is any less traumatic.
Then something magnificent (and kind of sad) happened. Lily turned into a girl. Like, a really girly girl. I have no idea what happened, but suddenly she wants Barbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Tinker Bell and My Little Pony. She wants to play dress up. She wants to serve me tea and cookies. She wants to wear dresses every day. And be a ballerina. And every other stereotypical girl thing you can imagine– she wants it.
I don’t know if it was Rose’s influence. Rose has been a very very girly girl since before she could speak– dolls and dresses and flowers all over the place. Maybe Lily sees her sister being girly and realizes that putting on a princess costume might be fun? I don’t know. But I do know that I saw a window– a maybe-she’ll-let-me-watch-something-besides-”Toy-Story-3″-and-”Super-Why” window– and I took the pass. I snuck in some “The Little Mermaid”.
And she loved it.
I felt like singing from the mountain tops. There will be princess movies in this house! The dress-up box I’ve been stocking since before Lily was born WILL get used!
That week we watched almost every princess movie I own and she loved them all.
Then this past weekend we were shopping for Rose’s birthday when Lily fell in love with an Ariel doll whose dress can reverse into a mermaid tail. She was smitten with the idea and had some birthday money leftover, so we came home with the Ariel doll and I could barely contain my glee. I want an Ariel doll! I could play with that doll for hours.
Maybe all this makes me a bad feminist, but I don’t care. I am ecstatic to finally have my princess girl. I just hope the tom boy girl sticks around too. I’d hate to see that part of her disappear. I will do what I can to encourage the tom boy to stay– keep the puzzles and math and rough and tumble playing. There’s no reason she can’t be both the climbing, running, jumping, math whiz tom boy and the girly girl in a pink sparkling dress with a tiara.