Andrea Askowitz

Author & Teacher

For Posterity, the Princess Phase is Over

Dear Posterity,

I realize I’ve been writing post-it notes about the fun or cool or noteworthy things that have been going on lately and not writing them down anywhere, except on post-it notes.  So right now, on the day after Christmas, while my family is at a kid’s birthday party and I am home alone because Victoria took the kids and gave me a pass, I will write them down.

1.  Tashi gave away all her Princess possessions.  The princess phase is OVER.  On the day before her 6th birthday, we cleaned out her closet and her toy chest (which is actually  her whole room) to make way for new toys.  We do this every once in a while.  I talk about how she has so much and how there are many children who don’t have very much at all.  I think she understands this concept because two years ago Tashi and I went to a small town in Guatemala and stayed in a little bungalow and the  woman in charge of the bungalow we stayed in lived in another bungalow right next to it.  She had a daughter named Luna, who was a year or so older than Tashi.  The two girls played together on hammocks outside our bungalows.  Luna and Tashi were playing inside our bungalow one night with two Brats that Tashi brought with her.  They were Teen Brats, not the slinky, sexy, hoochie-mama adult Brats.  Luna loved these Brats. I mean, LOVED.  She talked about how bella they were and once she discovered them, that was it for swinging on hammocks.  Before we left, I asked Tashi if she wanted to give Luna one of her Brats.  Tashi did.  I don’t remember how that went down, maybe Tashi was struck by how little Luna had. Luna had one doll to her name.  But I doubt it.  I probably made a deal with Tashi, which I do often.  ”You give Luna one of your Brats and I’ll let you eat dinner tonight. Deal?”

Deals worked so well for so long.  But now that Tashi’s six, she’s constantly trying to strike a deal with me.  ”I’ll have one cookie and you can have one cookie.  Deal?”

However it happened, Tashi gave Luna a Brat and I was so proud of my sweet, generous girl.  The next year I went back to Guatemala alone and brought Luna another Brat.  A gift from Tashi.

My point about Luna is that we talk about Luna whenever we clean out her toy chest.  So I think she understands that some people don’t have as much stuff as she has.  I worry a lot about this concept and don’t know how to actually teach my children to appreciate all they have.  I’m working on it.  I wanted to donate toys to needy children this year for Xmas, but didn’t figure out how to do that in time. I will next year.  I hope.  I want to.

So the day before Tashi turned six, she was really cool about clearing out and giving away her old things.  Not cool about everything.  She clung to a Barbie head that looks demented, in my opinion.  Not only because it’s just a head, but because it has blue lipstick, which is probably nail polish or maybe permanent marker, and other “make-up” and the hair…I just don’t like that thing.  But I didn’t make any deals about it because Tashi gave away four princess costumes, two sets of wings, two magic wands, three crowns, her Ariel backpack, a Sleeping Beauty bag, plastic glass slippers, and more.  I couldn’t believe it.  My girl is growing up.

There’s more, but I’m tired.