In my university classes, we've been reviewing the hazards of gender specific toys and my students have been writing on how market driven princess paraphernalia can negatively (or not) influence a girl's personality and ambitions. As a mother of a 5 yr old daughter with a love for everything 'princess' this gives me food for thought. So today I asked Eliot: "So, what do you want to be when you grow up?" She usually answers: "Teacher or a mother." So, with a reassured feeling, I asked: "You don't want to be a princess, do you?" With a look of awe, she wondered:
"I can be a princess?!!" Not exactly the thought process I was hoping to put in motion. Very smooth, I know. Job well done.
Earlier in the week, I tried helping Eliot confront her fear of the school bathroom. I accompanied her in to show her that "no sweetie, there are no monsters coming out of the toilet." At which, she pointed to a sign which, in fact, clearly depicted monsters coming out of a toilet. What? The wording underneath the picture said: "If you do not flush the toilet bacteria (monster looking creatures) will come."
Unfortunately, most five year old children cannot read yet. The sign has since been removed.
It's not easy being five.