April 5, 2011

My worst nightmare

Okay well it's not exactly my worst nightmare. My worst would be anything happening to my children, husband, family or friends.  But this.... this is right up there!

I know that you might be sick of me saying it but I AM NOT A FAN OF PRINCESSES!  Don't judge, raise your own little princesses and adore all things Disney. Whatever. De-friend, Delete or Dump me but I am just not a fan. It's hot button topic for me. Something that make me cringe and clench my jaw and just go...well.... a little suffragette.

Tonight at dinner I asked Gigi about school, What she learned, who she played with, what she did.  She told me that she played Princess on the playground.  This is a game that I have been hearing about quite a bit lately from her. She and a few other boys and girls play on the playground. The girls are Princesses and one of the boys is a dragon and another boy "rescues" the Princesses.  These last several weeks that I've been hearing about this game I have said nothing.  I am raising Gigi to be well rounded. Hubby and I play baseball and soccer with her in the backyard. She plays with the boys on the playground and rough-houses with her friends.

So tonight I finally ask about this game. There is really no point that I can see, but children's games don't need a point. It's a lot like tag {as far as I can gather} and so I ask:

Do the girls ever get to rescue the boys from the dragon?

No Mommy. Girls can't rescue the boys, we're princesses.

{gulp, gasp, vomit} Did my child really just say that? MY child???
Gigi, of course princesses can rescue the boys. Girls can do anything boys can do!

{more laughs}
Silly mommy!  Girls can't rescue boys because boys can rescue themselves.

Yes Sweetie, and girls can rescue themselves too! AND sometimes girls have to rescue the boys too!

{eye rolls and giggles as if I am pulling her leg}

{Cold sweat, Panic, Frustration} How did a bunch of 3 and 4 year old children do this to my child??  They only get to influence her 3 hours a day two days a week. I spout girl power - My girlfriends spout girl power - my close knit family of Mamas at Stroller Strides embody girl power - there are so so many forces and influences and strong women in this child's life everyday that speak and live and show what women can do.  How? Why?


I know what you are thinking:
-She's only 3
-It's just a game
-It's make believe

Don't judge!  If it were just a game and the girls and boys took turns slaying the dragon - Fine! But she is telling me, No when I am telling her that girls can fight their own dragons and rescue the boys. Not cool!

So I excuse myself from the dinner table, sprint upstairs to the bookshelf and grab the Paperback Princess return to the dinner table and read to the girls. When I was done with the story, a story we have read a number of times before by the way, Gigi said: That's not a very good story.
{argh!} Wanting to tear my hair out I gave up and changed the subject.  I am still so very not okay with this!

So to my husband ,who sat next to me a few weeks ago wondering "Why?" I was so perturbed at the parents and a handful of the children in the Documentary Kick Like A Girl. THIS IS WHY!  I was appalled that 7 and 8 year old children had archaic views about "gender rolls". I was appalled when 7 and 8 year old  boys and girls were putting each other into tiny boxes; and I was furious at the parents in this day and age that supported and perpetuated these small minded, infuriating, ideas. That, was 7 and 8 year old children. My daughter is playing with 3 and 4 year old preschoolers. Kids I like very much by the way; With parents that I have grown to know and like very much over this past 8 months. So where is this coming from???

Looks like I am going to have to be a bit more on top of the Women's Lib here at home. As for right now..... I am climbing into bed and crying myself to sleep. And..... I suppose if I cannot teach the Damsel in Distress out of Gigi, I can always rely on Lula to pound the Princess out of her!


{Project Simplify}


Andrea said...

Shelbi, I love you and I say this to you out of love. SHE WILL OUT GROW IT. My mom DIDN'T spout girl power to me, she showed it in everything that she kicked ass in every day. I played princess, I wanted to be saved and rescued, and then I grew up and realized anything boys could do, I could do better... and I did them. Right now, she wants to be like her friends and there will be lots of points in her young life where you want to pull your hair out because of her damn friends (I do and I'm just some of these girl's teacher) Keep reading stories, and kicking ass, and being the strong, powerful woman that you are and I promise you, she will be totally girl power. Stop worrying so much, you're going to give yourself gray hair!

Wendy said...

I totally need that book -- heard good things!!!

My girls have suddenly developed a fascination with vampires. WHAT THE HECK???? There isn't a sign of a vampire anywhere in that playroom, and I have REFUSED to jump on the Twilight bandwagon.


Now I have girls dressed up like princesses pretending to run away from a vampire.

I'm telling myself it's a phase...feel free to join in :)

mwr2sbr said...

First, I agree w/ Andrea. Second, your concerns do give me pause... So because you made me think (and because my girls are ALL about pink frilly princesses right now) I asked my 3 yr old, "If there was a dragon would you need a prince to rescue you?" Emphatic "YES"... Hmmmm okay, "So, what if the prince were caught by the dragon? Could you rescue him?"... Without a missed beat, "Only if I had his sword". Highfive. I think it's all good mama! ;)

The SassMaster said...

I agree with Andrea that what you show her will always be 1,000,000 times more powerful than what you tell her. But do NOT stop being alarmed by what our culture is STILL telling our girls about what they should like and buy, and look like and BUY so that they can look "right." You've inspired me to kick the part of my own ass that wasn't taking responsibility for my own physical strength. You can inspire your daughter to cultivate her inner warrior, too. Pull your hair out and gnash your teeth and burn pink tutus and tiaras in efigy (sp?) when you're alone... and get her a sword. You haven't failed because she's a 4 year old princess. You have the next 14+ years to help her discover what else is out there. And I have every confidence that you. YOU. ARE. AWESOME.

The SassMaster said...

*that you can.

That being said... how much do you wish we could get loaded and watch Tangled together???

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