Sophie is just getting into her princess phase. We've started playing dress-ups, and going to imaginary balls. We read Cinderella and finally watched it for the first time this morning. She was more impressed with the mice than anything, but I actually really enjoyed the whole thing. I love fairy tales. My favorite "brain candy" books are adolescent novels about princesses and cool chicks who befriend or fight dragons. I think on some sort of cellular level I respond to the rhythms and patterns of fairy stories. Sophie seems to as well.
Of course, I prefer the stories where the princess kicks some ass and/or is rebellious and clever. Cinderella isn't really my favorite. Neither is Sleeping Beauty. Those girls are kind of pansies. On the other hand, I can't go along with the whole concept that these stories scar little girls--teaching them that good girls and women are sweet and good and do their work and wait for the prince to rescue them.
I remember when my little sis was about Sophie's age. She LOVED Sleeping Beauty, but was all about the evil fairy, Maleficent. We would play "Sleeping Beaud" like this. Katy would stand on a chair with her favorite blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The blanket would conceal one of her dolls, lying on the floor. I would be the prince. After riding up to her on my horse, she would see me and dramatically fling back her blanket saying in a very malevolent voice, "Here's your precious princess." Then, as I tried to save the princess/doll she would raise her arms and bellow, "Now you shall deal with me oh prince. And all the powers of hell!" Then we would battle for a while, get bored, and go have a cookie. I don't think we ever really worried about actually saving the princess. The battle was more fun.
Because Sophie has a big brother who's into battling too, and because I don't allow fake guns in the house (at least I TRY not to) we have TONS of toy swords lying around. Sophie loves to get a couple of these, stick them in the back of her shirt so that the handles poke up over her shoulders, and play rescue. However, she likes just as well to dress up in princess clothes, have me turn on "The Nutcracker Ballet" music, and pretend to dance at the ball. I think this is great. I love that little girls seem to be encouraged to play however they want to. Trucks, dolls, swords, skirts, whatever. It seems to me that little boys don't get the same luxury. A lot of dads I know (Sophie's included) are hesitant to be ok with their sons playing with dolls (unless they're disguised as action figures and come with at least 5 weapons). This seems pretty unfair to me.
Anyhow, my "mini-break" was great. If anyone is ever traveling through Flagstaff, I can definitely recommend staying at the Little America. And if you're there on a Sunday, spring for the brunch. I'm talking PILES of shrimp and crab-legs (sorry Patrice), a chocolate fondue fountain, smoked salmon, cheeses, caviar, omelets, waffles, any kind of pastry or muffin, as well as great salads and fruit, and all the champagne you care to drink. (I cared for 2 mimosas. I think the orange juice was fresh squeezed.) For dinner, definitely check out the Beaver Street Brewery.
p.s. Erik has promised me that he'll add a blog about his adventures with Sophie while I was gone, so hopefully that will be coming soon. Apparently while I was gone, Soph had quite a hard time sleeping, spending half of one night with her white silky (Grandma's nightgown--pilfered by Sophie some time ago for it's silking potential) over her head, haunting the house. Erik woke up (on the couch) to a white specter, arms out stretched moaning "Woooooo." He was a little freaked out, until the specter unveiled itself as a harmless, though also sleepless, two year old.