October 24, 2011

The Princess And The Pee

During the preschool years, like many little girls, I yearned to be a Princess. I practiced walking very daintily and holding my pinky out when I drank tea, used my very best manners whenever I could remember to, made daisy chain crowns, paper crowns and cardboard and tin foil crowns, turned any scrap of fabric into a princess dress (and wore Mommy's high heels to complete the look), and even caught a frog with the intent of kissing it. The latter didn't go so well because of all the frogs I could have chosen, I picked a weak, sickly-looking runt that almost perished in my determined grasp. Disgusted, I tossed it aside convinced that there had to be a more elegant way to go from commoner to royalty.

When I learned that the only other way you could become a Princess (other than by birth or frog kissing) was by marrying a Prince, the fantasy started to fade. I didn't want to get married! Boys were yucky! My Mom and Dad were married and they were super old! I wasn't old! The nail in the coffin was seeing Prince Charles on TV. He was no Prince Charming - he was unattractive and incomprehensible. Being only four years old without a lot of experience with accents (we were living in the most WASP neighbourhood in Canada), I thought he spoke that way because he was like the "special" kids I saw at the mall. I gave up on trying to become a Princess, but maintained hope that I secretly was one and had simply not been discovered yet.

Not long after the fateful Prince sighting, I read the Princess and the Pea (yes, I, not my parents - I was reading the newspaper by the age of four). According to the tale, if one could feel a pea beneath her mattress, she was most definitely a Princess. As soon as the coast was clear, I raided the freezer for frozen peas and tested the theory. I solemnly lay on my mattress, arms crossed over my chest like Sleeping Beauty, while a green pea melted and mushed between my mattress and box spring. Feverish with anticipation, I held my breath and waited for the pea to bruise my ribcage or otherwise announce its presence, but of course, I felt absolutely nothing... until I did feel something... something warm. What a rude awakening! In an instant I knew I wasn't a Princess because I never felt the pea under my mattress, only pee on my mattress. 

Moral of the Story: Let your little girls be Princesses as long as they want and don't ever let them read the Princess and the Pea.


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