I'm sure somewhere in the vast universe which is the Disney corporation, there is a tally board which records the number of preschool girls who have been snared by the great Princess Marketing Machine...in any case, that number just increased by one Phoebe.
Our house is a veritable treasure trove of Princess Stuff ("Look at this stuff, isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?" sings Ariel, not-so-subliminally planting the message that princesses have lots of little things!) -- dolls big and small, tshirts, toothbrushes (which Phoebe calls her Sleeping Beauty Brush-Teeth), cups, spoons, diapers, Playdoh, markers, sleeping bags, and so forth. It can all be a bit overwhelming. "I want to play with Ariel number four!" Phoebe told me yesterday. "Um, okay," I said, and I handed her the Ariel Barbie doll. "That's not number four!" Phoebe wailed. I offered the Ariel Polly Pocket figure. "Noooo!" Finally I found the Ariel Zizzler doll and Phoebe was appeased. Whether these numbers will remain constant is yet to be seen.
Phoebe must also be dressed as a princess at all times now. No pants, no shorts, and even the little knit dresses of which we have an overabundance are not quite princessy enough, unless paired with sparkly shoes. Getting dressed in the morning has become quite a challenge; if only I could hire a flock of bluebirds -- a la Cinderella -- to perform the job!
Phoebe's conversations are, of course, now sprinkled with princess-isms. For a while she was routinely addressing me as "Fairy Godmother," as in, "I want some juice, Fairy Godmother!" Guess it beats being the Wicked Stepmother. Last night I asked if she were ready for bed and she said, "No...are you ready for the ball?" We also hear lines of dialogue cropping up here and there: "My father is going to kill me!" (Ariel); "What is that girl up to now?" (Sebastian); "It's more than I ever dreamed!" (Cinderella). More fancifully, she conducted this this conversation between Ariel Number Four and a Jasmine doll of unspecified rank: "This is my boyfriend! I got him from Disney." I cringed at that, but then relaxed a bit at the next line: "My boyfriend really respects me!"
I'm not sure where that came from, but I'm hoping it's the message that sticks.