the age of princesses

There is a video I found
From back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen
And you’re talking to me
It’s the age of princesses and pirate ships
And the seven dwarfs
And Daddy’s smart
And you’re the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

My daughters love Taylor Swift. As much as I’m not a fan of them running around singing “She wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts. You belong with meeeeee,” when I forget to skip that song (thank you, 20-year-old, boy-crazy version of T.Swift), her Best Day (lyrics above) song my girls call their ‘Cinderella song,’ is a sweet reminiscence of Taylor’s own childhood.

And indeed, it is the age of princesses in our house. Our girls are all about Rapunzel, bows and bling. Our oldest went to her first Daddy-Daughter Dance this spring, complete with a ‘makeup’/nail polish/lotion/best dress/hair curling pamper session beforehand.

As I was trying to set a curl in the wisps of her pin-straight blonde hair that clearly did not come from my genes, she talked about how grown up she felt.

“I probably look five or six or 17,” she kept saying.

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Parenting in these little years is fun and exhausting, blissful and frustrating – a long whirlwind.  Although some (most) days I am sustained by coffee and nap rest play just stay the hell in your room for an hour time, I realized that she’s not always going to let me do her hair. Watching my big girl climb on her bike with the training wheels freshly removed, it hit me that the ‘age of princesses’ is really just a stage.

Most of the time the chaos feels so all-encompassing it’s as if it will always be this way. It feels like I will never come out of the grocery store without doughnuts, bubble gum, diapers, and another sippy cup that will surely leak (already 72 dollars poorer than I had planned, all the while tallying up how many bottles of wine I can still afford). I realize I’ve yelled more than I want to. I panic when I know full well that I have not enjoyed every bickering-filled, yogurt-smeared, butt-wiping moment, yet it’s going way, way too fast.

Already gone are the pigtails, replaced by wanting grown-up curls. The ‘look at me’s’ will turn in to ‘leave me be’s’. Just when I’m starting to embrace the crazy-messy-loud-full of love time that is life with little kids.

The other day, my younger daughter was talking about what she wanted to be when she grew up.

“I want to be Rachel when I get big,” she proudly stated.

I was caught in a crossfire, wondering whether to change the subject and remain blissfully ignorant that she wanted to be me, or be crushed to know she really meant her babysitter whom she adores, also named Rachel.

“Rachel who?” I slowly asked.

“I want to be Rachel Dawn Stine. You, Mommy.”

The same child who just hours earlier told me with her lip stuck out all pouty “I am really mad at you,” reminded me of why this parent thing is so worth it. That’s love … and the beauty of a short attention span of a preschooler.

Maybe, hopefully, they will remember there were days where Mommy was crazy, but always crazy about them. And I hope that somehow these carefree days will be part of their own Cinderella stories.

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