Jun 17, 2011

The Princess Syndrome

My facebook post from today:

Abigail Lea has revived me once again! She informed her mother last night that only she and MIMI could sleep in my bed! LOL I'm afraid I am contributing to the Princess Syndrome....but it's quite a show!
    • OldfriendGUY:   What is princess syndrome?
      3 hours ago ·

    • Melinda Moss Making a child think the world revolves around them. Then they turn 12 and awful truth hits them between the eyes. lol
      3 hours ago ·
    • OLD FRIEND AND MOTHER:   We have that syndrome at our house too! When they get out in the world and are no longer princess, the fall can be kinda bumpy.
      2 hours ago ·

    • Melinda Moss You ain't just whistling Dixie! All part of growing up! lol
      2 hours ago ·
    • OLDFRIEND GUY WHO WAS RAISED BY OLDER SISTERS:  I guess picking up rocks and picking strawberries didn't allow me the princess syndrome. :(
      about an hour ago ·

    • Melinda Moss We would have to hear from your sisters to be sure. lol
The Princess Syndrome is practically an epidemic in our country, but don't be alarmed.  It is all part of growing up.  First the parents grow up (hopefully), and then it's the child's turn.  What seems natural when they are 3 looks a whole lot different when they are 13.  Just take my word for it.  Everybody will be all right, but it probably will not be a smooth ride.  These are the lessons we all have to learn.  It's just life.  And life is not fair, just for the record.  I hope I am not the first to tell you this.  Never believe that or your life will go on a WHOLE lot longer than is comfortable.  Just get real and deal.  It's faster.

If you want to feel like God and grab a laugh, consider that OLD FRIEND GUY has one child, a daughter.  And he has never heard of the Princess Syndrome?  It's a good thing he has my vast experience on subjects like this to fall back on, aye?  Not to mention Facebook!  He will probably develop a stand-up routine for it, Lord knows he will be able to in about 10 more years.

I learned the hard way myself.  I had only one daughter, who was certainly a Princess.  When she turned about 14 I looked at her father and said "I know we always called her a Princess, but did you mean for her to actually be one??"  He was just beginning to see my point.  It was wierd for us but we were finally on the same side of something.  That, my friends, is life!

SO, last night me and the Grand Finale met the Pretend Daughter and Grand baby for supper where the Beautiful Redhead is working for the summer.

First, let me tell you that the Pretend Grand baby is 2 1/2 years old now, and very independent.  She can do it herself!  Directly after she "does it herself", she often claps and yells "YAY!!", if she is successful, which she most often is.  We had a lively supper, during which we were informed by our waitress, who was not the Beautiful Redhead, that the cook hadn't showed up that evening.  As soon as the waitress left our table one of the Grand Finale said "Is the Beautiful Redhead the cook?" , thereby reducing us all to laughter.  It was a few minutes later the Beautiful Redhead strolled in, not late(!), which reassured her mother, which is me.  I left her with a hefty tip on general principles, because she is my daughter and I need no other reason. 

At this point we parted company with the Pretend Daughter and Grand baby, who were on their way to the "Jumping Castle", as I had been informed many times throughout the evening so far.  The "Jumping Castle" held no temptation for me or the Grand Finale, who are into "hanging out with their friends",so we went home.

A few hours later, I heard fast little footsteps on the porch.  The front door flew open and that little angel came right on in.  She said "It's Mimi!"  as if this surprised her, and then flew into my arms again.  I believe that is where she belongs, but being 2 and into this "independent stuff", the point is lost on her.  She will not hear of it and it makes me so sad.  She told me all about the "Jumping Castle" and apparently jumped very well and for a long time. 

THEN, she remembered (or imagined -there was no physical damage) that she had "hurt her lip".  This statement was accompanied by a general sagging of her entire body, as if the thought took the very heart right out of her, as if she couldn't go on, plus a sad, sad look, pouting lips, and a hanging head. It hung over to one side, the better to judge her audience with.   She cannot produce tears at will.....yet.  My first instinct was to gather her up, kiss her a lot and assure her that she was all right, but I didn't move a muscle.  I believe it would have ruined the entire performance, and I didn't want to throw her off!  She was "sad" for a little while, seeming to be wishing for a mirror to check her sad expression, which was perfectly sad, believe me.  And then I guess that got old, or she was tired of being "sad", because she perked right back up and was off in another direction which she hoped would end in a "Dora" movie but, sadly for her, did not. 

There is just so many cartoons a person can live through in one lifetime and I personally believe that I reached my limit several years ago.  Not that I won't let them be shown, just that I refuse to buy them and even if you bring your own, I am curiously unable to stay awake when they are on.  They put me right to sleep but do not have this affect on the small children like I remember.  Whether I  used to be able to stay awake or just slept in the afternoons while small children wreaked havoc in my house I no longer know, or care to know the answer to.  I prefer to assume the former and at any rate, everybody lived and I never could stomach Disney movies, so it all worked out in the end.

Girlfriend is also into talking a lot now.  Several times I would ask her a question, which her mother would begin to answer.  This would impede the little princess not at all!  One example was when I asked her if she had a dress to wear to the baby show, which, of course I knew she did.  While her mother went into detail about the dress, the Pretend Grandbaby went on at length about what I do not know, complete with hand actions, facial expressions and head bobbing.  I am relatively sure she was speaking English, but mostly she was imitating a woman having a coversation, so I am not clear on what any of the words were.  While I was trying to listen and kick her mother under the table so as not to bring attention to the fact that someone was actually listening to her she had a long involved story that went on until she realized we were paying attention.  Then it seemed to embarrass her and she refused to discuss it anymore. Women!   Always leave them wanting more.  That comes right after The Show Must Go On in the handbook.  Or so I've heard. 

It came time to go to bed and the small fry once again took the helm.  Her mother told her to get her hair bows out so she could go night night.  She immediately informed her mother that she was sleeping in Mimi's bed, but her mother couldn't.  I am amazed at the nerve of this child.  I am also amazed at the patience and indulgence of her mother, because after that she marched right back to bed and we followed her like the hopeless fools we are.  Next thing I knew, we were all in bed.  I am pretty sure I was the first one asleep, because I got woken up to take the princess to the bathroom and apparently I had missed quite a bit.  The mom was in a decidedly bad mood and the Pretend Grand baby was still going strong.

She is potty trained now but still likes company when going.  She repeatedly told me she liked my shirt and then insisted I use the potty after her, and THEN clapped when I was did!  It was a lot of excitement at that hour, and she nearly talked me into letting her take a bath.  This still has me laughing out loud today.  I thought I would never get her back to bed but she took pity on me and decided, for whatever reason, to call it a night. 

As far as I know. 

I was awake later and remember reflecting on how good it felt for someone to need me, even if it was just to watch them pretend to be sad or take a toddler to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  I wondered at how my life had changed since these two entered it.  It is much better with them than it ever was without them and I thank God for the opportunity that my family has been afforded.  To expand.  To put on our own dramatic shows and see if anybody is paying attention.  Someone always is.  To not feel as if "we" are all we have. 

Remembering our last laugh of the night, and my pretend daughter's honesty and humor, I honestly don't know what I would do without her.  I know I wouldn't laugh as much.

In thinking of it today, it occurred to me how much easier it is to get small fry to go to sleep if it is actually dark outside.  I knew that.  Before.  Now I know it again.  Life is merry go round at this point, and I don't miss the roller coater all that much.  Besides, that will all come around again too, and it will be a double whammy this time!

Instead I am taking comfort from the fact that life doesn't really change all that much, and even when it does, it's hardly ever anything I haven't done before.  There truly is nothing new under the sun, Lord willing and the creek don't rise.

How can you look at this face and not be happy?