Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Taming the Beast: A Princess Intervention

Molly is a princess addict. And not the cute, love to dress up and pretend I am a princess princess addict. Nope. She’s the sells everything she cares about, alienates everyone she loves, and scores with shady princess dealers in dark corners of toy stores princess addict.
She knows the location of every princess item in every store. She even knows that Spaghetti-O’s with meatballs are the only food product in the grocery store that has a picture of Snow White on it. We have never bought Spaghetti-O’s with Meatballs. She doesn’t even like Spaghetti-O’s with Meatballs. How does she know that Snow White is on the can? Because she is an addict, and addicts know these kinds of things.

The Princesses have the ability to turn my loving, giggling, happy child into a defiant, rebellious, back-talking, tantrum-throwing beast. The whole transformation starts out innocently enough…Molly slipping into a princess frock, pretending to eat a poisoned apple and waiting for her prince to awaken her with love’s first kiss.

But somewhere along the way it morphs into a belief that she is a princess and should get whatever she wants the minute that she demands it. And stand clear if you don’t meet her demands immediately. It gets ugly.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally had enough. The straw that broke the camel’s back? Molly had a complete meltdown because I would not buy her a princess pencil sharpener that she discovered in a store window at the mall. A. Pencil. Sharpener.

It was an evil tantrum: The kind that requires me to carry her through a public venue kicking and screaming, attracting all kinds of attention. After I had her back to the car, forced gently moved her arched back flush against the car seat and fastened the straps, I realized that I had had enough. It was time for an intervention. It was time to tame the beast.

Now before any mothers of a princess-loving girls gets their feathers ruffled, let me be clear. I am not a princess hater. Okay, maybe I am, but I am not against little girls dressing up and fantasizing about princesses. Most little girls can handle the whole princess thing with grace and dignity. It is even endearing to watch.  Molly handles it like a crack addict.

Now, I don't think the Betty Ford Clinic handles this sort of addiction. I was forced to come up with my very own Princess Intervention. It started with me ceremoniously boxing all of the princess paraphernalia and relocating it to the basement as Molly watched on in shock and disbelief. Next, I (the Evil Stepmother—how come fairytales never have Evil Stepfathers?) instituted PRINCESS MONDAY, which I calmly explained through an unhappy toddler's fits of rage.

Here is how Princess Monday works: Early Monday morning, I become the Fairy Godmother, wave my magic wand and retrieve the contraband booty from the basement. Next, Molly can princessify till her heart content. All. Day. Long. But at the stroke of midnight, all things princess disappear and the spell is broken. (And I once again become the Evil Stepmother.)

This past Monday was our first Princess Monday.
The week leading up to it was like a fairytale.
No arguments. No nastiness. No throwing of fits.
Here is how the actual day went. Once upon a time……

The fair princess eats her royal breakfast,

Strikes her royal pose,
(Yes, each princess has an official pose.)

And then bites her apple, falls fast asleep
and awaits love's first kiss.
(Yes, I know it's an orange.
Three-year-olds are masters of improvisation.)

Next, Cinderella's clothes are transformed
into a beautiful ball gown.

Finally, Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger on a spinning wheel
and falls asleep for a hundred years.
(This is the official Sleeping Beauty finger prick pose.
Note the slighlty raised index finger
which actually received the finger prick.)

I wish that I could tell you that this story had a fairytale ending, but I would be lying. We still had a meltdown and a couple of tantrums when the fair princess' demands were not met. Guess I should have had my camera ready to document that. Oh, well.

But all in all, the Monday in princess mode was much better than usual. And that I can handle.

We might all just live happily ever after.


Faye said...

Teri-- you crack me up. I love your detailed stories. And definitely, sometimes mommies have to intervene to save their sanity.

Michelle said...

OMG...hilarious!! I miss little Princess Molly. Steph did the same thing but it was with Mary from the secret garden. She would slip into Mary mode complete with english accent and temper tantrums! She was about Molly's age too!