Lucky Tin Man

It seems like it always rains during the Garmin marathon. I had been eye balling the weather app on my phone several days in advance. It looked cold and rainy. Then the temperature looked a little better. I was still going to need long sleeves for sure or arm sleeves. I just knew it would rain though. I’ve done the half one other time and it rained. Then every time since then when I saw a friend post something on Facebook about running it, it also seemed like it was raining.

The last time I ran the Garmin Half it was actually at Garmin Headquarters. There was no issue with the traffic and everything started on time. The start location this year was pretty close to us in what we thought was in an industrial area. While driving there we noticed it was really congested way before we got to our exit. My husband is a firm believer in the zipper method when it comes to merging lanes. He does not think everybody needs to be in one lane for miles and miles leaving a perfectly good lane open for people to merge. When I think about it, it makes sense and isn’t a jerk move at all if everybody did it. It is a matter of taking turns.

Anyway, once we got off the exit ramp, parking wasn’t really an issue. We stayed in the car to stay warm for a bit, but I’m always anxious about being late. I also like to just see the people out there especially if there is a chance for costumes. We did see some Wizard of Oz costumes before the start. Funny thing, the start, it was delayed about a half hour because of the traffic jam. There was an empty vendor tent nearby with some people huddled in it. We went in as well. It was out of the wind and a bit warmer with all the body heat. It had rained earlier and out one entrance of the tent the sky looked clear while the other entrance of the tent looked pretty cloudy.

When we lined up I think we were with the 2:25 group. I edged toward the 2:20 people a bit. When we started the group was going kind of slow, so I ran ahead a bit, but I was still passed by a team of ten people dressed in a Chinese dragon costume. I wasn’t feeling good about that. I thought those people have to be pretty confident about their pace to do that.

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This course had a lot more hills than any of the others I’ve run around here. They weren’t big hills, but there was a lot of them. Hubby stuck to his plan. He would run, then when his Garmin went off to walk he would do that until I caught up to him. Then he would run again. It paid off for him. He finished before me this time, but I’m jumping ahead right now.

Our running club, Olathe Running Club, had an aid station along the course. I said hi to a few members I knew. Our president was dressed as Dorothy. Again, I didn’t get pictures. I made a mental note of when each pace group either caught up and/or passed me when I did the race, but I waited so long to write this that I have since forgotten. Just know that my time wasn’t a PR but it wasn’t bad for me.

I saw a ton of little ones that wanted high-fives. If you have read any of my posts you know how I feel about hi fives. I’ve gotta do em. I actually saw some little ones that looked familiar. I gave them a high-five and then saw their mom. We are Facebook friends. She has twins and belongs to several of the same mom groups that I participate.

About the middle of the race I took off my long sleeve shirt and tied it around my waist. I still had a short sleeve shirt and a vest. The wind came right after I did that and I got chilled. I thought about putting my long sleeve shirt back on, but it was nice and warm again soon after I decided to leave it.

I saw a lot of backed up traffic here and there. I do not recall the race causing such an  issue when the route was closer to Garmin headquarters. There seem to be some unhappy motorist.

I don’t recall anything else unusual during the race. I finished in 2:27:20. Hubby finished in 2:25:39. The medals were really cool. The half marathon medal that we got was a twister with different items from The Wizard of OZ. It would also spin. I think the 10K was a little Toto in a basket that moved. The full marathon was the wizard as himself on one side and his persona on the other side. Come to find out the group dressed as a dragon did the full marathon and got a Guinness world record.

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The after party was great even though it was a bit chilly. They had chicken sandwiches and hot dogs in one area. The other area they had margaritas and beer with heat lamps! I was all good with food in my belly and an adult beverage. We had a nice conversation with a gentleman visiting from New York. We told him what he could do around town while he was here.

This is my only second Garmin, and I still like it. Also the rain held out and was sunny the rest of the day. The Tin Man would have been a happy camper. This Heartland Series isn’t bad. In case you don’t know what it is; it’s a series of three half marathons. There is Rock The Parkway, Garmin and Running With the Cows. We only have Running With The Cows left to do to complete it.

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Rockin’ A Bad Memory

Our neighbor’s dog was up late “barking” all night long. It was so weird. It was a cross between a bird’s screech and a dog’s yelp. We got little sleep with that and our daughter climbing in bed with us. My in-laws stayed the night as usual when we do these runs. Our son woke up right before we left. My mother-in-law got him and took him to our big bed where his sister was. They all tried to snuggle and get him back to sleep. We headed to Rock The Parkway half marathon.

It was about the same kind of weather it was the first year we ran it. It was a little cool at first but it was nice and warm later in the day. Last year it was pretty chilly throughout the race. Hubby and I were in the same corral this time. We were in corral F. I think that is because I ran it in 2:30 last year and my hubby came in behind me. I so wanted to do another PR this year since I PR every year at this race. Something else always seems to happen every year. Before the race I always seem to hurt my back.

Yup it happened again. It was almost as bad as in the past, but I still tweaked my back pretty bad. I talked to my chiropractor and running club buddy, Jared, about it. I did not get a chance to up my mileage much for this race so I don’t think that was the problem. Then he mentioned that since the weather got real nice in the Spring people tend to go out and do more. That is where I can tweak my back and not realize that I’m over doing it or not being careful. Of course life takes over and I forget to do my strength training exercises on top of everything else. They are so boring! I really need to fix that.

Anyway, I sent a message out to the hashers. If you don’t know who they are, they are a group of runners that also like to drink beer. I remember at least two of them saying they were going to run Rock The Parkway. Laura responded that she was the only one. Don and Shelley ended up going on vacation. She said not to wait for her because she was real sloooooooow. Ha! If she is slow than I’m not sure what I am, but I am jumping ahead here.

Hubby and I ended up at the front of corral F, but there were some confusion between E and F. The announcer saw a lady with an E bib on and said it was corral E. I looked around and saw the confused look on the majority of the runners’ faces. One guy a few feet back said, “Corral F everybody. This is corral F.” You can be in a different corral as long it is behind the one assigned to you. So this lady wasn’t doing anything wrong. The announcer was just confused. It was nice being in the front of a corral. We didn’t have to weave around a bunch of people.

Hubby and I were pretty close at the beginning. I saw a girl pass me that looked like Laura. I wasn’t quite sure. At some point, I think during a water stop, I must have passed her because she passed me again. This time Hubby was near and I asked him if he thought that was her. He said he wasn’t sure, but I could holler her name. I yelled her nickname and she turned. It was her! I had to tease her a bit about saying she was so slow when she has passed me twice. Not that I ever claimed to be fast.

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One of the times Laura passed me.

I had a fun time running with her. We chit chatted a bit. She was concerned that there might not be any beer left at the unofficial aid station. I wasn’t concerned because there always seemed to be some there when I went through. Thank goodness we weren’t running in snow like the Westport run. Then there probably wouldn’t be any beer at all. There was a sign that said bacon and beer was up ahead. The beer was actually quite a ways from the sign. We sprinted toward them when we finally saw them. We got beer but there was no bacon. I’m not sure why. I didn’t ask. We passed Hubby and didn’t see him again until the end. Laura got a few pictures. I have to say that girl is good at some selfies.

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Laura’s mad selfie skills

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Beer stop

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Where is the bacon?

Laura pulled ahead of me at about around mile eight. I could still see her, but then I lost her for a bit until around mile ten. I was trying so hard to beat my 2:30 time from last year. I really wanted to keep up with her, but I didn’t train very well because of my back issues. Laura ended up finishing about three minutes before me. I got a 2:26:37.6 which I was happy with because at least it was another PR. I called Hubby to see where he was. I knew he had his headset with him so he could answer. He joked around with me that he had already finished. He was actually a mile or so behind us. I chit chatted with Laura while waiting on Hubby to finish.

We heard there was beer up with the refreshments. There hasn’t been beer in the past. So we were a little skeptical. We walked up the hill and sure enough there was a Martin City truck there. I got Hubby and I some chocolate mile while we waited in line. Laura didn’t want one. We tore off the ticket part of our bib and handed it to them for our free beer. Laura and I got a coffee stout. Hubby asked for Highway Man. The workers all laughed. Apparently that one is a really good beer that would not be free. I can’t remember what Hubby actually got. Laura took a cute selfie of us drinking our beers.

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Another awesome selfie by Laura

We chit chatted a bit again and then Laura said she was headed home. Hubby and I always do the picture so we went to where they had the back drop. They arranged things differently this year and I kind of like it. It didn’t seem as crowded. We stood in line for pictures and didn’t notice there was no photographer until we were close to the front. We got our picture anyway with the help of the people in front of us. You know the ol’, “I’ll take your picture if you take mine” routine. I think our picture ended up being pretty good.

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When we came home I found out that Little Man never went back to sleep. At least this race wasn’t at the butt crack of dawn. So he wasn’t too tired. My in-laws also mentioned how our cat howled all night long. Hubby and I tried to tell them it was the neighbors dog. Hubby posted our picture on Facebook and mentioned that I got a PR and he was pretty slow because he didn’t really train at all. Come to find out I didn’t PR. When the results came out Hubby emailed me and told me my best time was last year. In 2015 I did 2:30, in 2016 I did 2:20, and this year I did 2:26. I guess I got a bad memory. I was shocked when I realized I did it in 2:20!

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Edit: My in-laws, Hubby, and I were all wrong. The noise the night of our race was a family of foxes living under our deck. Now we know what the fox says.

Oh and did you like all the pictures? Of course I didn’t take any of them except of the shirt and medal. The rest was provided by either Rock The Parkway, my buddy Laura, or the nice people who took our picture for us. Thank you!

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No Words Really

I have done two half marathons recently. I have something written for one, but I do not have anything for the other. I’m not sure when I’ll get them posted. My Dad’s health took a turn for the worse a few weeks ago. We went and saw him last weekend in the hospital. He passed May 2nd. It was one week ago today.

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My Dad when he was younger

We have been home only a day since his funeral. The drive was long and hard. My family and friends have been great. The people at the children’s preschool have been wonderful as well. We have a lot of healing to do.

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Me and my Dad at my wedding

 

 

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Did They Live Happily Ever After?

The opinions expressed below about The Princess Problem are my own. I was not given anything or asked by anyone to read or review this book. I happened upon this book when I read an article here

So I finished the The Princess Problem and returned it to the library. I mentioned it in my post here. That was actually quick for me. I guess it is the time limit with the library and all that puts a fire under me. That and I was very interested in the subject matter. I’m currently in the middle of two other books and my magazines are stacked up pretty high now.

You might be wondering why I’m writing about this and how it ties in with my other posts. Well having kids has been a dream of mine for a while and like most parents I don’t want to screw them up. Then there is the kind of races my husband and I like to do. Going to Disney races and the parks exposes us all to all kinds of consumerism and fandoms. We want to be smart about it.

I saw the title of the book in the article and thought that it was such a wonderful coincidence that one of my recent posts was about princesses. I decided to read The Princess Problem, and I would say overall it was a good book. It gave me a lot of things to think about when my kids watch TV or movies. It had some good points for both girls and boys. I think I mentioned before that I think I was blessed with boy/girl twins. I think that it really helps with balance. That is not to say there are not issues. I actually thought that we were all good here with the princess thing until my daughter told me one day all she wanted to be when she grew up was a princess. However when my son listed off the different things he wanted to be when he grew up, my daughter chimed in on how much she wanted to help with his endeavors. He wants to have a farm with a playground that has a building where you can get your teeth fixed and shop for books while you wait. When you are done you can eat the food grown at the farm at the restaurant and listen to live music. Sounds good to me!

I like some of the children books and shows Dr. Hains recommends in her book. I looked up several of the books at our local library. We are currently reading Not All Princesses Dress in Pink and Shades of People. I have a lot of others on my “For Later” shelf with my library. We like both of these books. We check out anywhere from eight to fifteen books at a time. My kids LOVE books especially my son. I try to touch up on some issues I want to expose them to and then they always play in the kids area at the library for a bit. They always find some books they want on their own. When they find a good one I just can’t refuse them.

You may be wondering about the Shades of People book and how it ties in with the princess problem. Dr. Hains doesn’t just hit gender roles but she also talks about racism in the princess world. My kids go to a preschool at our church and it is quite diverse I am happy to say. The kids haven’t had any issues so far. I think that preschool has been great for them.

When I first started to read The Princess Problem I was worried it was going to tell me that I need to dress my daughter in all grey and promote only neutral toys and activities. I wasn’t for that. I want my daughter to be herself if that means she likes pink (which she does) or if she likes black, green or any other color that exits, then so be it. So I liked this quote from the book. I posted it once before and I want to post it again.

The goal is not to persuade girls that princesses are bad or to “de-princess” them. Rather, it is to help girls reason through the problems with princesses and see that there are many other ways to be a girl – to help unfetter their imaginations and help them dream a multiplicity of dreams.

I liked that. I grew up like that. I had Barbies but I didn’t want to look like her. I just thought the doll was fun. I would put a few in a bag and throw them over my shoulder so I could have my hands free to climb trees. Once safely perched on a branch some of my Barbies would climb tall “buildings” to sneak in and steal jewels while the other Barbies would investigate the crime. They would eventually crack the case and catch the cat burglars (I think my imagination was inspired by watching a lot of Remington Steele with my parents. I love me some Pierce Brosnan).

I also liked Dr. Hains’ suggestion about being a good “pop culture coach.” When I think about it my Mom did this. She would always make comments to us kids about the different shows we watched together. She did a lot of co-viewing with us.

Recap: Pop Culture Coaching In Four Steps

  1. Identify your family’s values.
  2. Establish a healthy media diet for your children.
  3. Watch and talk about media content with your children.
  4. Teach your children about media creation.

Now with twins or higher order multiples (triplets or higher) we worry about socializing our kids just like anybody else. We sometimes forget though that our kids need other friends. They were kind of born with a built-in best friend, but just like singleton children, all siblings need friends outside the family. It is nice I have a boy and a girl so it doesn’t seem unusual to them to play with someone of the opposite sex. However with us, it is a nice change of pace to actually play with someone of the same-sex. I was happy to see this line in the book. It made me really happy that my kids can play so well together and enjoy some of the same things.

Having friendships with the opposite sex in childhood makes us better romantic partners later on – better able to understand and relate to one another.

Again, I thought of my Mom. She is a bit of a geek. She loves Dune, Star Trek, Star Wars, Twilight Zone, etc. I grew up loving Star Wars and Star Trek. I never even knew there was any kind of rivalry because we loved both in our house. My Mom also loved fantasy and sci-fi books. She read all the Dune books. She loves Robert A. Heinlein and Terry Brooks. I think sometimes geeks have an easier time with relating to each other due to the love of the fandom. My husband and I went to see Suicide Squad on my birthday at my request. Let me tell you, he had no problem with that.

My son’s favorite color is dark purple. He likes coloring his toe nails his favorite color and why not? It is fun. My daughter likes to sword fight with my son and she likes playing with my son’s Hulk and Spider-man dolls. She has some super hero girl dolls but she still likes playing with the boy dolls as well. By boy dolls I don’t mean dolls that are meant for boys. I mean dolls that are male. I’m happy to say that they share a lot of each others toys. We did recently give them their own rooms. When I separated the toys I did not think of gender so much. I thought more about what each child likes. I actually left some girl dolls in my sons room that I knew he liked. My daughter likes Legos better so she got them. I also told them to be sure to still share.

Since I do have twins I would like to touch on the “alpha twin.” There seems to always be one no matter what sex the set is. If you ask any member of my multiples group with boy/girl twins I’m sure every single one will tell you that the girl is the alpha twin. I’m not saying that is true for everybody but just me and the club members I’ve talked to so far. These girls always seem to know how to be strong get attention in their own unique way. That isn’t to say the boys are not strong. They are. I guess the best way to describe it is that each child can “hold their own.”

I did not one hundred percent agree on the interpretation of some of the Disney stories in The Princess Problem. One of my favorite classes in college was creative writing. We would write a story and turn it into the teacher with a disc for him to print off several  copies for everyone in the class to read. During class we would dissect the story and talk about what it meant to us. I wrote a sci-fi/horror story one time. I wanted to discuss moral issues and just the sheer horror and grossness of the science experiment in the story. Some of my classmates saw more political undertones that I had never even considered. At the end of class the author had the option to reveal themselves to the class or stay anonymous. I always liked to reveal myself to discuss some more of the topics that I did not intend to put in my story. It was very interesting and eye-opening when it comes to writing something and putting it out for the world to interpret.

Now with that said, I have to say if you go looking for a problem you are almost always going to find one. Beauty and Beast for instance is not one of the stories I saw that had a big problem. I always thought that the witch or fairy changed the prince into a beast because even though he was a handsome prince, he was ugly on the inside. She wanted to teach him a lesson by making his outside match his inside. If he changed enough on the inside to get someone to love him, the curse would be broken. Belle comes along and even though the Beast was socially awkward due to his appearance, he had changed for the better with the help of his staff who was also cursed. Now to paraphrase what was in The Princess Problem, because I forgot to get a screen shot before I turned the book back into the library, the Beast was verbally and emotionally abusive until Belle came along to help change him for the better. Basically the theory is that the story is sending a message that a good girl can change a bad boy. So girls will stick with an abusive boyfriend in hopes that he will change. Honestly I never saw that in the story. I guess I can see how one could interpret it that way. I suppose that is why we have to be careful. I can co-view with my children and give them my interpretation of it or say nothing and hope they see the same thing.

I enjoyed reading the book and I liked all the resources Dr. Hains listed. If you want to learn more I’m sure you can purchase the The Princess Problem from Amazon or get it from your local library. Dr. Rebecca Hains also has a website.

Edit: My daughter now wants to be a Mom who paints.

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A Green Winter Wonderland

I couldn’t believe the weather forecast. Snow! It felt like Spring just a day or so ago. It was in the seventies. This was crazy! I didn’t want to run in snow! I was going to run the race in a green dress too. I tried it on to see if it was doable, but it was still a little snug even with the weight I have lost in the last year. I don’t think I could put anything under it to keep warm. So I had to scrape the dress idea. I hate the cold so much. At least the Westport St. Patrick’s Day run wasn’t at the butt crack of dawn. That would have been even colder.

The Hash House Harriers were still talking about a run later that day from the same part of town. One of the runners was doing the race and wanted to lay a trail from the same area since we would be out and about anyway. In case you don’t know, the Hash is a “drinking club with a running problem.” I wanted to do both runs, but I wasn’t sure Hubby wanted to with all the ball games going on that afternoon.

The day of the race we finally found the parking garage that was recommended in our race guide. We tried to find it last year with no success. So we just parked along one of the side streets. This year we found it and there were hardly any cars in the garage. We picked a spot next to a door and hoped we were okay. We didn’t pick up our packet the day before because it was in Westport and since the race is later in the morning we just got up a little early to get it that morning. No sense in making two trips out that far. I think a lot of people had the same idea because the packet pick-up line was pretty long. Thank goodness they were working quick inside to get us all through.

We went back to our car to drop off some of our stuff and put on our race bibs. We didn’t take their pins. We have too many at home. I had some in the car. We were shocked to see the numbers of cars that appeared once we were back out at ours. Apparently we got there early enough to beat the rush!

After we were ready, we went to Kelly’s Westport Inn. The hashers were meeting there. We went upstairs which is where we were last year. It was totally empty. The bar was shut down as well. We spotted them in the back when we went back down the stairs. There was only one couple there at that time. Hubby said something about doing an Irish Car Bomb. We did one before the run. I kept thinking how crazy we were for running in a race in the snow.

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The start of the race

We met up with some other hashers outside of Kelly’s and took off down the race route. I didn’t see any of them until the end. Hubby realized that he is faster than me at the beginning and I usually catch up to him at the end. So thankfully we ran our own race and I finished maybe a minute or so behind him.

My first mile was super rough. I looked down thinking I was at least a mile and half in but my Garmin said I was barely at a mile. I turned it on before I passed the starting line. I gave myself a pep talk. The first mile is usually the worst in just about any run I do. After the first mile it seems to go faster. My first mile was 12:04 minutes per mile. That used to be a normal pace for me. My pace now is more around 11:45. My second and third mile were much better. I’m not sure if I was just trying to get out of the cold or what but they were 10:09 and 10:05. That is really good for me. My goal is to get to a ten minute mile.

I remembered that the people who gave out Bloody Marys and beer were usually right before the last big hill. I pushed it a bit and made that last mile 9:33! That is really good for me. The people handing out the Bloody Marys and beer must have been scared away by the cold because they were not there. So of course I had to have a Bloody Mary when we got back to Kelly’s.

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The finish line after we checked out some vendors and got some refreshments.

My time on my Garmin was 42:57 for 4.11 miles. My official time was 40:23 for 4 miles. Like I said, I started my Garmin before the start line. We spent the rest of our time at Kelly’s before the Hash run. Several people started to show. The snow didn’t scare everybody away after all. We were supposed to leave and get something to eat, but someone got some kind of mini calzones for everybody. We had some more drinks and Jello shots. Of course I over did it a little because I don’t go out like that very often.

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Snow!

The time came to leave the bar and run again. The cold didn’t spoil my fun since I was already somewhat used to it. I had on my fleece since we were doing a lot of walking. I forgot to turn my Garmin on but I did my Charity Miles for both the race and the Hash run/walk. I think we did about three miles on the Hash run.

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More snow!

It was a full day of running in the snow. My in-laws had just got back into town the day before our race. So they had not seen the kids in about a week. They were happy to watch the kiddos for us. I think we forgot to tell them how long we would be out that day though. Next year I must have a better game plan for the adult refreshments. I’m not twenty anymore.

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Here Come The Boys

So if you have been following along with my blog you will remember our big trip in January 2016 to Florida. We did a lot of character meals, but we never saw a single prince at the restaurants. It looks like things are changing with this character meal at Trattoria al Forno.

I so hope we can do this character meal the next time we save up enough to go back to Florida. My son enjoyed Cinderella’s castle, but he did not get a picture with Cinderella because he wanted the prince there as well. Having said that, we saw Kristoff and a few other fellows in the park but they are not as present as the princesses and animal characters. This will be a nice change.

Now I spoke about a book I started reading, The Princess Problem. I’m still not done. Like I said, I have issues with time. I am enjoying it so far. The first part wasn’t just for parents with little girls. It give you ideas on how to be a media savvy parent for any child. I’ll let you know more about it later. It is funny how I see this subject pop up a lot in every day life now. The new character meal, for instance, excited me because it wasn’t all about the princesses. I hope this is a new trend that lasts at Disney.

 

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Don’t Say The P Word

I debated on whether to post this or not. I’m sure there will be a ton of people who disagree with me. I know you can’t please everybody, but really, since when did the word princess become so awful? When did princess become such a derogatory  word?

A friend of mine shared an article from another mommy blog a long time ago. I read it and thought, “Man, this chic has issues.” I don’t think feminism has to be so black and white. Just like there are some bad feminazis there are also some stereotypical princesses. People. . . we are a bit more complex than that. I mean whatever happen to don’t let “one bad apple spoil the whole bunch” or “never judge a book by its cover”?

As you can guess from my other posts and few pictures I have of my daughter, I have no big problem with Disney or Disney princesses. With that said, this mommy bog I mentioned not only blasted the fictional kind but the real ones as well. She basically said that real princesses are only baby making machines. Well I don’t know about you but I kind of liked Princess Diane. I think she did a lot of good work. Did she give birth to the next King of England? Yes. She did, but she also did a lot of good along the way. I’m gonna also say that I like Princess Kate as well. I like Queen Elizabeth I. You know the one who was in power during the Renaissance Period? Yes, yes I know she is mostly referred to as queen, but before she was a queen guess what she was? Yup. She was a princess. Those are just a few of my favorites. I don’t look down on them and call them baby making machines especially since Queen Elizabeth I never had children.

Most of the article seems to point the finger at fictional princesses and what that particular mom felt was going on with people and their children. She seemed to hate to hear parents call their daughters princess. She seemed to associate it with bratty little children who grew up to be entitled twits. My daughter likes Cinderella, Elsa, Moana and Leia. So I’m going to address those as well as a few others.

Now Cinderella is old school. I kind of lump her in with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. These movies are all supposed to take place a long, long time ago when arranged marriages were quite common especially with royalty. Now Cinderella and Snow White didn’t really have arranged marriages, but they did seem to fall in love and marry pretty quick. Sleeping Beauty on the other hand did have an arranged marriage. I’ve watched all these movies with my kids and we talk about them. I don’t just let them watch them and figure it out for themselves. I try to explain what aspects might be true and what is completely fictional like for instance dragons. I tell my children that arranged marriages are mostly things of the past and that we do not do that. Are these my favorite princesses? No. They are a little more stereotypical. Do I shield my children from them? No. I show them all angles.

Now you’ve got the more recent Elsa and Moana. I found it quite funny that Elsa refused to let her sister marry a man right after meeting him. This quick engagement is mentioned a few more times in the movie when Ana and Kristoff talk about Hans. Disney seems to be, in my opinion, making fun of itself and the old school movies. Moana doesn’t even have any man problems except trying to convince a demigod to help her fulfill her destiny to save her people. I mean she seems like a pretty strong female character to me. While we are talking about strong female characters let me move on to Leia.

This is something else that sticks with me. When Carrie Fisher passed I saw so many things on my Facebook news feed. I always loved the Star Wars movies. Princess Leia was a feisty lady who could kick butt and take names. This was awesome especially for the time period when the movie was filmed and released. I wasn’t quit old enough to see the movie when it came out but I saw it years later. I loved it and I loved her character. My favorite TV shows at that time were Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman. I felt like they were strong women as well. Did Princess Leia wear some skimpy bikini in one of the movies? Yes. She did. Does that make her any less of a strong character? No. I don’t believe so. Did Wonder Woman also  wear some interesting costumes? Yes, but please just take a look at all the costumes male or female. These are not exactly the most comfortable looking clothing for most of them. I mean can you really name one hero costume that is not revealing in tightness or skin and looks comfortable? I mean ask any dude if he would like to wear a superman costume? I’m sure every piece of flab he has will show unless he wears the fake chest that sometimes comes with it. I’m sure some people will go on to mention that these super heroes are not great for a little boy’s self-image as well. Yes, they all do seem to have perfect bodies, but they are super heroes. They are either usually alien, been involved in a horrible science experiment, or have enough money to dedicate an entire wing of their house to working out on a regular basis. In one word it is all fiction.

My problem with my news feed when Carrie Fisher passed was how some people thought that just because we referred to her as one of our most cherished characters, we didn’t see the other good that Carrie did. I had one friend talk about her other works like Postcards From The Edge and all the good Carrie did for those with mental illness. Do we really diminish that just because we find joy in her Leia character? I don’t think so, but I guess some people did. I also had a friend share another person’s post that talked about how they would not refer to her as Princess Leia but General Organa. I was fine with how they wanted to cherish the character and what she represented. I just didn’t like how so many were up in arms that some of us still referred to her as Princess Leia. You know for me that was the first time I ever saw Carrie Fisher. That was the first time I fell in love with the character. I just don’t understand this hatred toward the word princess.

I understand there are people on either side of the spectrum. Do you know what a princess, a politician and a principal all have in common besides alliteration? They represent people who are from all different walks of life. Some are good people, and some are crooked. Some are selfish and some are giving.

My daughter asked one time if she was my super hero princess. I said she was if she wanted to be. I tried to imagine what a super hero princess would look like and then it hit me. Duh. Wonder Woman was the princess of the Amazons. She was a super hero. I don’t really think my daughter necessarily had her specifically in mind, but if she did I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

I guess I’m also lucky that I had boy/girl twins. I don’t freak out and pull my son away from my daughter when he grabs a Rapunzel doll and starts playing with her. I also don’t frown when my daughter grabs a plastic sword and plays with my son (as long as they are being careful and don’t hurt anybody or break anything). I recently saw this article and totally agree that if a boy wants to play with a doll he can, but I also believe a girl should be able to as well. Please let’s not go from one extreme to another. There is a happy medium.

That article also pointed me in the direction of a book titled The Princess Problem. I’ve just started reading it. I like what is said in the introduction.

The goal is not to persuade girls that princesses are bad or to “de-princess” them. Rather, it is to help girls reason through the problems with princesses and see that there are many other ways to be a girl – to help unfetter their imaginations and help them dream a multiplicity of dreams.

I like it so far. Maybe I’ll come back and tell you more about it later when I finish it. That may be a looooong time from now though. I mean finding time to write blog posts can be very difficult. Most of the time the only books I get to read are The Gruffalo or Moose Tracks.

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