That’s a thing, right? I’m pretty sure, because I looked it up and the dictionary said, “a disease afflicting the toddler- and preschool-aged girl marked by unswerving obsessions with all things princess, fancy, Disney, fairy tale, and dress-up.”
That about sums up the situation. If I’m not calling my 4yo by her real name, it’s – by her demand – Sleeping Beauty or Snow White or Sofia or … Linda Mason (she’s a princess to my daughter). My little girl is living in dreamland!
It’s really all princess, all the time around here. Am I complaining? Just a bit, for lack of variation I suppose, but there are silver linings to living with Princess-itis.
So how did my daughter contract this disease? Is it contagious? Can I give her medicine for it? What are those silver linings once it’s manifested and taken root to her very being? Let’s explore the answers….
I can trace the Princess-itis back to the flu, incidentally. We all had it when my oldest – and only at the time – daughter was about 18mo. There was a strict no-TV rule back then, but what are you going to do when your kid has puked three times yet won’t stand still … and you and your husband have been puking as well? Time to entice her to just lie on the couch with Cinderella. And thus the princess pathogen was transferred.
Before we knew it she was prancing around the house (after recovering from the flu) like Cinderella at the ball, requesting I go to ball with her, and looking for her “glass slippers.”
She wanted to be a princess for Halloween. (We obliged.)
We got her a play castle with Cinderella and Prince Little People for her second birthday.
The music she started requesting? Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty soundtracks off YouTube.
The books she gravitates to at the library? Princess books (and the Angelina Ballerina series, obviously).
When she watches TV, 9 times out of 10 she asks to watch an episode of Sofia the First.
And her family (yes, we’re guilty of prolonging this disease even after diagnosis) have given her princess dolls, princess books, etc. In fact, even now she sleeps with her Sofia doll every night.
And she is always talking about wanting to be “like a princess.”
You know it’s bad when she layers a tutu under the princess dress and then adds a towel cape. And then then of course there’s the necklaces (plural), rings, headband, ballet slippers, and wand (optional these days). Usually it’s funny, but in summer I worry she’ll get overheated … especially because all she does is dance in these getups.
(In fact, last summer we had two borrowed Disney dress-up dresses which I had to ban her from wearing because she would get flushed and a bit sweaty around the hairline quite quickly. I pretended it was harder to get them on her than it really was … hence they were too small on her and it was “time to give them back.” I’d feel bad, but I only cheated her out of an extra 2-3 months of wear time; she really has no sense of body temperature!)
I mean, who doesn’t want to be pretty and all dolled up. It is fun, yes. She is slowly coming to see that there are other ways of dressing up – as a superhero, a cook, or just another person or animal – but by far her favorite thing to imitate is a princess.
And guess who’s contracted Princess-itis? Baby! Clearly it’s contagious, but she got it around a year old. She began playing with the toy castle and is now a pro at making those little princesses hop, sleep, dance, and whatever else her little imagination thinks they can do. So now being a princess is definitely a family affair!
So what about those silver linings??
Well, coming up with gift ideas for birthdays and Christmas/Hanukkah is easy! Yes, we’re prolonging recovery from Princess-itis … we’re taking the easy road, aren’t we? But my favorite silver lining is how I can use “being like a princess” to persuade my daughter to do things like:
- eat neatly (like Belle does when she’s teaching Beast)
- have good speaking manners (like Sleeping Beauty does)
- treat her little sister well (like Sofia does)
- be kind to others, especially animals and ants (like Cinderella was)
- forgive others who’ve wronged you (like pretty much all the princesses do, especially Sofia)
I mean, it seems to me all princess books are cliche, girly, simplistic, and paint the princesses in a similar light, but they are generally well-behaved, kind girls who can teach my kid a lesson or two – or at least reinforce the ones I’m teaching her.
I figure there is plenty of time to introduce her to superhero themes – or get her more interested in subjects she’s already partly interested in: trains, construction equipment, science, and dinosaurs.
We’ll get there.
In the meantime, if she’s going to “suffer” from Princess-itis a bit longer, I’m okay with it. I bet she’ll grow out of it sooner than I expect, anyway….
What about your daughters? Did they catch Princess-itis? Have they recovered yet?
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I have a few blog changes to discuss briefly. As my girls are 18m and nearly 4y, the monikers “Baby” and “Toddler” don’t seem to fit as well as they did a year and a half ago. I don’t want to use their real names, so I’ll go with a version of their nicknames: Puff and Squish.
We call our youngest “Puffer” or “Puff-puff” or just “Puff” (or “Seeker,” but Puff is a cuter nickname for here). My 4yo likes to “puff” her little sister and say, “She’s SO PUFF-EEEEEEE!” Cute, right? (YES.)
Our oldest is nicknamed Squisher Pants, or just Squisher for short. My husband probably only calls her by her real name when he’s trying to get her attention or putting her in timeout. (Sadface) So, we’ll go with Squish here for brevity. Puff and Squish it is! Do you like it? I do. For reference, I’ve changed the tagline of my blog in case anyone needs to check who is who.
And next, I’m considering changing my posting schedule. Do any readers even notice when I post? How often? Probably only my parents and in-laws do. (Laugh away, everyone….) There are other things I want do besides blog writing – and blog reading, much as I love it – but I’m having trouble getting to everything. Right now I post M-Tu-F-Sa … but I’m considering changing that to M-Tu-F. I’ll let you know. Does anyone care besides me?
And finally, I’m starting a new, temporary series on Fridays! The theme is “My Best…” Stay tuned for what I think will be a fun – and helpful, I hope – series!