We played it low-key for Juliana’s birthday this year (well, kind of) – after lots of back and forth on whether or not to have a big party outside of our home, we decided to stick to our small neighborhood crowd of awesome friends to treat Juliana as princess for the day.
Yes …. I allowed my daughter to play princess for a day.
I know, some of you, my dear and loyal readers, who know me will be shocked as I have a severe allergy to anything pink, sparkly, and shiny, and an even greater allergic reaction to anything involving some sunshine-y story about a princess waiting for her prince to sweep her off her feet (I kid you not, these are the exact lyrics a princess in the Fisher Price Cinderella castle sings – don’t ask me how I know this).
I have come to terms with having a daughter … meaning that shiny, sparkly, pink, and girlie things are in my current and distant future — and I am ok with that. Even if it involves her playing princess and loving butterflies and fairies and all that wonderful shiny and sunshine-y stuff. It’s ok really. I don’t mind her playing dress-up and pretending to be a butterfly or explore gender roles in such play.
What I do, however, have a major, major issue with is the commercialization of the Disney Princesses. You can’t possibly get away from them as they have taken over nearly everything in a kids’ clothing and toy store (side note: I am so loving that no one in our family has dared to send any Disney Princess items – thank you!).
What bugs me even more about this phenomenon is that these girls are not, in fact, princesses by any means. No. They are merely female protagonists in Disney stories that have absolutely zero relation to each other and have been glorified to “princess status” for absolutely no other reason than commercialization.
The princesses don’t like that one bit – they don’t even look at each other when they are positioned together on the same shirt, toy or whatever (seriously, you don’t believe me? Go on…take a look, I’ll wait). I could go on and on about my feelings for these princesses and what this commercialization does to our girls [and our culture] but I’ll stop here and simply suggest that you take a good look at Peggy Orenstein’s book “Cinderella ate my daughter” if you don’t share my perspective.
I digress….where was I?
Oh yes, Juliana had a “Princess for the Day” party. So, when we asked her Royal Highness (for the day) what she would like to do, the clear answer as to spend the morning at a favorite indoor playground followed by lots of play and cake at our home. Simple plan.
See – she was very excited!
And even Luca got dressed up for the major glittery event (and yes, I will be showing this picture to any future girlfriends!)
At home, the party was a hit – we had fun party decorations and hats for everyone (tiaras for the girls, crowns for the older boys, and court jester hats for the little ones – my mission of having one picture with all 6 kids wearing their props failed miserably but the memory lives on…), I had baked not one but two awesome chocolate cakes, and we had plenty of booze to help the grown-ups process all that pink that had invaded our living room. Everyone had a blast.
And then we started playing party games….Schokoladenessen was a huge hit as to be expected (seriously – this is one of the best kids’ party games ever and we play it every birthday no matter where we are) but when musical chairs/pillows came into play, it started to go downhill. Let’s just say that Luca walked away as the winner but that all the other kids ended up crying (hysterically) in tears every time they got eliminated – including the birthday princess. So what’s a Mom to do?
Cue in the ‘happy birthday,’ ‘zum Geburtstag viel Glück,’ and ‘parabens pra voce’ tunes, add some cake for all, 3 birthday candles, more booze for the bigger people, and you’ve saved a party!
Happy birthday Juliana – now, please, for the love for your mother, please take off that tiara and those butterfly wings 🙂