Nikolai is not an artsy-craftsy sort of kid. Oh how I wish he was into painting and gluing, colouring and cutting; but alas, Nikolai is just not that interested in art. My daydreams of us crafting together are barely realized by my continuous efforts to have him make the occasional greeting card to send out to his Grandparents. Despite my best efforts as a crafty sort of mother, he really is a lego building kind of kid.
All of that changed on the day we got the princess colouring book. He loves that colouring book and has spent a lot of time colouring in the princesses with his purple and orange crayons. So it hardly was a surprise when he started wearing a snow white costume around the playgroup we attend. I am an open-minded mother. I can handle his interest in wearing frilly dresses. I even understand it! Boys' clothing is downright boring. Who wouldn't want to wear something sparkly that flounced nicely when twirling around?
But my own ability to be an open and accepting parent was challenged when the playgroup lent Nikolai a pink princess dress to wear home. He wore that dress home, and wore it all the rest of that day. At bedtime he carefully took the dress off and tucked it into his dresser. The next morning he got dressed into jeans and a blue shirt before slipping the pink shimmering dress on over top.
I didn't have any problems with him wearing the dress around the house. He knows that princes are boys and princesses are girls; but he also knows that princesses get all the action. Nikolai the princess, encompasses all the feminist principles of the Paper Bag Princess and Princess Smartypants. He is a sword wielding, evil princess that steals things and banishes everyone from the castle. Nikolai loves being a princess because he's never been introduced to a simperingly sweet Disney Princess. He thinks princesses are full of gumption, bossy by nature and able to slay a dragon single handed.
Where the princess dress and I came into conflict is when he decided to wear it to story time at the library. I was a bit surprised at how uncomfortable it made the other parents feel. Even people that I had a nodding acquaintance with were distinctly distant. The next day he raced around the backyard in his princess outfit causing a neighbour to remark to Brad about how nice it was he was relaxed about Nikolai's dressing up like a girl. However, the princess outfit doesn't seem to be just a short phase, and as it continues to feature in our daily life I have found myself becoming immune to the odd side-long stares.
Besides, how could I hate the princess dress? It's the ONLY thing my son has reliably cleaned up every night. Even now it's safely stored away in the bottom drawer of the dresser.
Casting a Spell: