The anti-princess

I don’t know what it is about pink and princesses that pisses me off so much (ok, maybe I do, pink seemed frilly and lame when I was little, only prissy girls wore pink, strong capable girls wore all the colors of the rainbow, and princesses didn’t *do* anything, except wait for some prince to marry them, or eat an apple or grow long hair while locked in a tower…) but just when I was giving a little on the whole issue, I’ve discovered how difficult this battle actually is.

Minna and I go swimming every week together. The last few weeks her class has progressed to “separation”, and so I and the other parents sit alongside the pool and the kids swim without us. I thought it was all going so well, Minna was happy and swimming great. Today two other children joined our class so separation wasn’t possible. And with me, Minna decided she didn’t want to do the very activities she’d done so happily without me just last week. Our instructor came over to help.

“Minna, do you want to be a cat or a princess?”

“A princess!” said Minna

Horror on my face.

“Ok, let’s put on your pink princess gown, and your pink gloves and pull them up. And your sparkly crown and…” and on it went in an attempt to get Minna excited about the exercise.

It didn’t work, and princess or not, Minna wouldn’t budge from my arms. But I was so irritated to learn that this was happening RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE for the past two weeks. If we have to pretend to be something else while swimming, why not be a whale? Or a shark? Or a fish? Something that actually SWIMS! Not a cat or a stupid princess in a crown and evening gloves. Who swims in that anyway?

And why can’t kids just swim? Why the need to pretend to be anything but a happy kid swimming?

It’s dedoubt time: no more pink in the house! And I swear pretty soon when people say, “Oh she’s so pretty!” I’m going to snappily reply, “And very CAPABLE too!”