Love, Laughter and Little Girls
I just returned from a long-overdue trip to Arizona to visit my cousin Karen, her daughter Joy, and Joy’s adorable daughters, the E-mazing Emma and Savannah.
The last time I saw Savannah, she was a baby. She turned two in June, and is now a beautiful, funny little person. The first thing she said when she met me at the door was “Hi, Lauren! I have to go potty! Would you like to watch?”
I was a bit taken aback, and attempted to decline. “No, you don’t understand,” Joy said. “She really wants you to. This is big.”
Apparently, Savvy had just mastered the art of toilet-training, and was so proud of herself, everyone had to witness it. Often. And if she wasn’t going, she was taking you into the bathroom to SHOW YOU where she goes when the timing is right. There was even a song that she sang about it. She attempted to teach me the words, but I really had to put my foot down at this point.
Life with two little girls. We all wondered how Emma would react to having a sibling when Joy became pregnant again. Diva Emma loves being the center of attention and things would certainly change when another child made the scene. At first there was the usual jealousy (“Put that baby down!” “Don’t feed her, she’s not hungry!”), but they have now settled into a more or less happy routine. We were also concerned that Emma would dominate her little sister, but Savvy stands her ground and doesn’t let herself get pushed around. There are the usual squabbles over toys and such, but they get along very well.
We took Emma to have a manicure and pedicure for her birthday. Being two, Savvy was too young to come along. She ran to the car in tears, wailing “I miss my sister!” before we even left. We promised her that next year, she could come, but she was still sad. So when we were leaving the nail salon, and Emma was offered a lollipop, she asked if she could have an extra one for Savvy. She knew she was upset and she wanted to make it better.
The girls are obsessed with Princesses. Whenever I saw them, they were either in Princess costumes, getting into them or getting out of them. They have lots. And the Disney Machine keeps churning out New Princesses, so parents can spend their hard-earned money on the latest CD, costumes, and the million other products that go with the Latest Princess: Pajamas! Shoes! Sheets! Towels! Playhouses! Dolls! Books! It just goes on and on.
Emma celebrated her 5th birthday while I was there, and where was it held? At a Princess Tearoom. Emma and her guests dressed like Princesses, of course, and two Princess characters in full gowns, wigs, and makeup played games with them, served them lunch and cake, read stories, sang to them and posed for photos. All the girls sat at a long table, and all of them were, of course, dressed like Princesses. All except for one oblivious child in shorts and a T-shirt, who had somehow never gotten the memo and hid behind her mother most of the time.
The Princess Craze has carried over to Karen’s new home. She and her husband recently moved to be closer to the girls. Now that they are nearby, the guest bedroom, which used to boast a queen-sized bed and a suite of bedroom furniture for adults, is now a Princess Room for overnights. The twin trundle bed is covered in Princess sheets and a comforter and the walls are plastered with Princess This and Princess That. The closet is filled with Princess outfits. I had to sleep in that room. I was afraid that one morning when I woke up, I would be wearing a Princess gown and singing “Frozen.”
I actually didn’t. The bed was incredibly comfortable and I slept better than ever, probably because I knew what little heads had been on my pillow. Heads that wear little crowns and sing little songs and are reveling in make-believe. Enjoy it, Princesses. Reality comes much too quickly.