I’ve always appreciated my eldest’s lack of interest in glitz, glitter and glam – really I have! I loved it, when she steadfastly refused all things frilly and pink whilst all her pre-school chums were dressed as Disney princesses. I thought it endearing that when shown around American Girl Place with all those beautiful dolls and the endless rows of exquisite matching doll/girl outfits, all she wanted were the pets that come with them. And right now at 7 years old when all her friends want to dress like the latest pop stars, I am proud (and I admit a little more than relieved), that I can’t get her out of a pair of comfy pants and a t-shirt. She’s an individual, refusing to be swayed by peer pressure and the enticement of media advertising.
I have come to realize that I feel like I missed out on the whole pretty, pink, princess thing. It’s like this big girlie party that I wasn’t invited to. But it’s ok, no need to panic, fortunately for me I had another girl, now 2 years old, who will get me in the door. And so begins, Operation Girlie Girl.
It’s a covert operation. So covert in fact, that I didn’t even realize myself for quite some time that it was underway. It wasn’t until performing a traditional pre- Christmas ritual with my eldest daughter, whereby we sit pouring through the thousands of catalogues that come to our door (toy ones for her, fashion/jewelry ones for me), that I noticed myself doing the American Girl hard sell on my youngest daughter. “Look,” I say, “you’ll like this one. It has lots of pretty dolls and look at all the outfits. Aren’t they lovely?” I’ve often told people what a relief it is that my eldest never dragged me through the overcrowded store for hours upon hours selecting item after item, enough to make Daddy go pale at the cost. And yet here I am, practically begging my youngest to fall in love with them.
It was then that I started to realize how much more I put her dresses than I did my eldest, how I encourage her to include lots of glitter in her pictures, that she has several baby dolls already and horror of horrors there is a tutu and princess t-shirt outfit hanging in her closet. I could have just put a halt to the whole thing there and then, but there is something that draws me in. And today when she pulled out a frilly princess dress and proudly floated around the room in it, I realized I was truly lost! In the back of my mind I’m planning pink themed birthday parties, with fairy castles, hearts, glitter and far to much tulle.
And I know one day I will be sat in American Girl, having afternoon tea with a bunch of dolls and several overexcited, squealing 3 foot princesses saying to myself , “what the hell was I thinking”! But for now I’m saying, bring on the tiaras!