Akasha is at the moment obsessed with being a princess. She comes home from Kindergarten and insists on stripping off and redressing in a princess costume on a daily basis.
I don’t mind her swishing around the living-room, or her operatic singing attempts (always at the top of her voice) or the constant fluttering of eye lashes. Though I did ban the plastic slippers, aptly named it would seem, as she regularly slipped across the laminate floor. And I instruct her to take the dress off each day before dinner because now, being over ten years old and having attired four children, its holes grow with every spin of the washing machine.
Today on asking for help out of the lovely new dress she had worn for this mornings Kindergarten, I dared to ask if she didn’t just want to wear her normal clothes?
And I, the mother who tells her that she’s beautiful every single day, was shocked at her response:
“Without the dress I’m just not beautiful enough!”
Hello? Where has this come from? You are gorgeous! You are adored! Why aged four, would you think something else?
So I took action.
I banned the dress for a day. I took a rubbish bag from the kitchen drawer and I cut out a head and two arm slots. Then I explained to her that I wanted her to wear this thrown-together-dress for the rest of the day.
I watched her swish and twirl and swirl and pointed out the bonus sound effects of the homemade dress.
Her skepticism did concern me. So I spent a large chunk of the afternoon explaining that a person does not have to wear beautiful clothes in order to be beautiful. That I find her beautiful whatever she wears, even if that’s a bin bag. Even when she’s naked (which made her laugh).
Akasha loves being photographed, so to prove the point we had a little photo shoot of her in her bin bag dress.
The dress finally broke in the early evening, and Princess Crinkle Toes (renamed for the afternoon) showed visible signs of distress. I’m hoping that’s an indication that my message, at least partially, got through.