Saturday, December 29, 2012

The invasion of parkly pink princess boots

Yesterday afternoon, with the forecast predicting snow, I decided to run out to find Lily a pair of boots. We'd been caught bootless when it snowed Christmas Eve and I didn't want her to miss the chance to participate in snowy pursuits today. 
My pick.

The shoe department in Kohl's had very few snow boot options for someone's Lily size. Our choices were Spider-Man; black, purple and pink (my preference); and black with glittery purple and pink hearts and parkly pompom laces (for some reason, the first person who came to mind when I saw these was Paris Hilton). 

Then there was the pair that Lily zeroed in on with the same precision Snacks reserves for Peanut Butter the cat when she makes throw-up noises and the possibility of an extra meal is eminent.*

Powder pink, bedazzled moon boots featuring three Disney princesses in all of their parkly, doe-eyed glory.
Not gonna happen.


"Mama, mama! Disney fairies?" (she calls all Disney princesses Disney fairies -- the why of that is a mystery to me) she exclaimed as she pulled down boxes and boxes of glittering, cotton candy boots.

As luck would have it (well for Lily anyway) they didn't have the pair I liked in Lily's size. When I put the pair with the glittering hearts and pompoms on Lily's feet, she looked like she was ready to join the cast of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" -- they just looked a little to ... adult ... for my 2 year old. 

So there we were, stuck between Disney Fairies and Spidey.

I'll let you guess which ones came home with us:

She's a trendsetter.
The attention to detail on this footwear is astounding. The portrait of Snow White, Cinderella and a conveniently long-haired Rapunzel (weren't we supposed to celebrate her big haircut?!) has glitter in it, there are rhinestones surrounding the princesses and dark pink flowery scrolls. There are silhouettes of Cinderella's castle and her pumpkin carriage and horses, a tiara embossed on the heel and hearts quilted on the fabric portion. 

Did I forget to mention that they light up? Because they do. 

They are, in the words of The Old Man, "A pink nightmare."

At least they are to me. 

To Lily they are fantastic. They're like Cinderella's glass slippers -- the most wonderful things she's ever put on her feet. (Just like the Ladybug dress-up outfit Santa brought her for Christmas is the most wonderful thing she's ever gotten to wear. Like, ever.)

And fine. They do the job. They're sturdy and keep her feet warm and dry. And if they can do those things while making her happy at the same time, well I guess I can learn to live with them, too.

Compared to life with an infant, life with a toddler is easier -- you don't have to carry them everywhere, you're not changing diapers every five minutes, you don't have to guess about what they want at any given moment. 

But in plenty of other ways it's a lot harder because toddlers have opinions about things. And they're not shy about expressing them loudly and frequently.

And sometimes their opinion about things -- like the undeniable amazingness of princesses -- might be different than your own.

These boots are one of my biggest fears in the flesh (or nylon, rubber and rhinestones rather): That Lily grows up obsessed with princesses and all the baggage that their pop culture doppelgangers carry: waiting to be rescued, expecting to be treated like royalty, feeling entitled, thinking a beautiful dress and a song is the cure all. 

Then I have to remind myself that I insisted on wearing dresses to school every day through second grade. I played with Barbies well beyond it was socially acceptable. I watched "Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella," "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast" over and over again as a kid and haven't grown up expecting singing mice to do my laundry or enchanted teapots to make my dinner ( re-reading that sentence makes me think that some of these Disney-fied were just stay-at-home mom porn. I really should train all these damn pets to do their share around here). 

Despite all these seeds of frilly, woe-is-me-isms, I managed to enter adulthood without the expectation that I'd be whisked away to an enchanted land in the arms of a dashing young prince (although on our first anniversary Brad did whisk me away to Key West ... which is pretty much the same thing as magic kingdom**). 

And anyway, it's also important that she feel empowered to like what she likes.

So fine, Lily can tromp around the house in these ridiculous, pink, light-up boots and still grow up to be a smart, healthy, balanced, self-sufficient*** adult. 

They are pretty cute. I guess. If you're into that sort of thing.

*This blog was never intended for people with sensitive gag reflexes.

** Today, Lily pointed to a picture of Cinderella's Castle on the back of the "Lady and the Tramp" DVD we got her for Christmas and asked what it was. When I told her it was Cinderella's Castle and that maybe we could visit it some day her eyes light up and her jaw dropped in shock and she proceeded to run around the house in glee. I'm sure that won't come back to bite me.

*** For the record, I didn't meant to imply that any of these adjectives actually apply to me. Sure, I don't feel the need to sing incessantly or wear ball gowns everywhere I go, but on the intelligence scale ... let's just say I've melted more than one bag of frozen vegetables on to the stove and leave it at that.

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