Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Princess Diaries

I cannot play with the Little People Princesses anymore. I can't do it. Please, don't make me do it. We are close to wrapping up my fourth week at home with Paige and I'd say 90 percent of our time has been spent playing with her set of Little People Princesses, accompanying castle and pirate ship she received for Christmas.

I thought kids were supposed to get stuff for Christmas, play with it for a week, then toss it aside. Not Paige with these princesses. And, keep in mind, these are the Disney princesses, so Paige decides who I am going "to be" then hands me Snow White, Ariel (she has two - "mermaid Ariel" and "human Ariel"), Tiana, Cinderella, Aurora or Rapunzel (her favorite). If I'm lucky, she'll toss Prince Eric my way or maybe a random Oscar the Grouch character figurine (even Paige has figured out after four weeks, my mood has shifted from upbeat to depressed).

It all starts at 6:02 every morning (give or take a minute). Paige pops out of her toddler bed, the door to her room flies open and the little feet come racing down the hall to my bedroom. She's already bouncing and jumping - excited to start the day and has princesses on the mind. In a sleep-induced haze, I navigate the stairs and as I turn on the lights she races to the castle and immediately says, "Daddy, will you pway with me?" Yes, all her L's sound like W's or Y's right now depending on their position within a word, which makes me smile every time she says "Yucy" for her sister's name.

She doesn't take "no" for an answer. And, the game starts the same way. I have to say "Hi!" in an extremely loud and obnoxious tone to Paige's princesses, then we set off on some sort of adventure involving the princesses moving around the castle or screaming in horror when a random toy dinosaur enters the fray. It's the same thing every time. And, god forbid if I'm not using a variety of voices or have my hand on the princess as I pretend to talk for her.

And, I'm not gunning for the, "oh, how cute, he plays princesses with her," sympathy. Any dad worth a damn plays princesses, dress-up, tea party, etc. with their daughters. It's what you do. But, I don't know how much more of this I can take before the Little People Princesses accidentally end up in a dumpster fire or the castle just so happens to be left directly behind the back wheels of our Mazda5.

Today I even brought out the big guns to distract her - the Play Doh, which typically buys me a good 45 minutes of peace and quiet before I have to spend 45 minutes cleaning up the multi-colored disaster smeared into the kitchen table, floor and chairs. It didn't work today. She messed around for 10 minutes, then hopped down from her chair and went straight back to the castle. "Daddy, will you pway with me?"

Someday, she's not going to want to play princesses with me anymore, I understand that. All Lucy wants to do these days is sit in her room and read, or eat Goldfish crackers, or both. But as I sit on the couch typing this while she has just finished her second hour of her nap, I shudder to think of what happens soon when she wakes up. The only force powerful enough to sway her from the princesses is the TV. Yeah, that's it. I'll offer her the opportunity to watch her favorite TV show - Bubble Guppies. Ah crap, I don't want that god-awful theme song in my head ("Bu-bu-bu-bubble bubble guppies").

Princesses it is - time to work on my voices - "Hi!" Has anyone seen the Oscar the Grouch figurine?

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