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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You’re A Persistent Cuss, Pilgrim

We did it! Hubby and I both got our Infinity Gauntlet Challenge and Coast to Coast medals despite his pneumonia. What we couldn’t seem to get was some rest. I tried laying down after we cleaned up from the half marathon while Hubby and my brother watched some football. It was Sunday after all. My brother went to Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in Downtown Disney after a while. He was after the newest mug. My husband turned on some Disney cartoons for the kids while I got a little shut eye.

I was beginning to think we were not going to the water park at the hotel at all until the kids begged to go outside. Being a person that loves the outdoors and constantly worrying that I let them watch too much TV, I couldn’t turn them down on that offer. I got up and got everybody in their swimsuits while Hubby laid down for a little shut eye. I got sunscreen on and water park wrists bands. I mean it takes a while to get ready when you have to get three people ready instead of just one.

We got down to the Howard Johnson water park and it looked like a lot of fun. The kids were a little nervous at first, but Baby Girl took off for the water slide a little while later. The only problem is that it was one of those parks that has a bucket that fills up and then dumps water on you. Thankfully it didn’t hit the structure or on the cargo net you climbed to get up to the slide. The water dumped a little bit in front of all of that. Little Man still didn’t like it. By the time I talked him into trying it one of the little kids got behind one of the permanent standing water guns and squirted him. He started to cry and ran off to me. You know what that little brat with the squirt gun did? He followed Little Man and continued to squirt him! I was not happy. Those little brats were even squirting adults. I kept clear of the little brats otherwise I would have told one of them off.

I texted Hubby to see if he was ready to come and play with our kids. Maybe he could get our boy on that slide because I knew he wanted to go down it. Hubby came down and noted how the sun was not really shining on us because of the time of day. We should have came out earlier. Little Man still wasn’t ready to tackle the slide, but he was having fun where the water the shot up around a little plastic turtle. Baby Girl wanted her daddy to slide with her. He went down with her a few times and then they sat in the hot tub for a bit. She loved warming up after the cold water.

Hubby eventually got Little Man on the slide. When he went up the cargo net with Baby Girl he noticed a back way to get in on the slide. There were stairs behind the structure! Unfortunately it was getting really late and really cold. Little Man was so cold to the touch. He hates hot water. So it was a challenge to warm him up in the hot tub. I had to hold him and splash warm water on him. There was no way I could submerge him. He hated it, but he was so cold! We let him go down the slide a few more times after warming him up a bit and then we called it a night.

My brother met us back in the room and we decided to go to the pasta place where they picked up the spaghetti the other night. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant (Edit: The name of the restaurant was Caroline Italian Cuisine). It wasn’t too far from the Howard Johnson. We had a great meal and called it a night. We had a plan for the next day. We would use our Magic Hour at Disney California Adventure. We would ride Soarin’ and a few others missed when we went earlier and then head over to Disneyland to finish up the day. My brother only got two day passes so he would not be joining us.

Yeah, that plan went to pot right off the bat. We made it to the gate in time and finally fought the crowd for Disneyland to a DCA gate. Disneyland’s regular hours is the same time as DCA’s Magic Hour . When we got to the front we were asked if we had our room key. I looked at the lady and said that we had Magic Hour on our tickets. She said that would only be for Disneyland. She asked for my tickets and then showed me the fine print. The only day we could have used Magic Hour was Saturday. Saturday is the day we did the 10K and there was no way we would have had time to do that and get cleaned up for Magic Hour. We would have to have met the kids there with my brother in our smelly wet running clothes. I’ve spent all day in smelly running clothes after some past races. Some times are more tolerable than others, but what was done was done. There was no use in crying over spilled milk (which by the way I have a different way of looking at this saying after spilling several ounces of pumped breast milk).

At least we didn’t have to wait an hour for anything to open. We just turned around and got in the first line for Disneyland. It didn’t seem to take too terribly long to get in this time. I think it was because it was a Monday. I had heard weekends were bad because the local annual pass holders come out to play those days. We spent a good deal of our day in Adventureland and Frontierland.

We got on the Jungle Cruise right off the bat. The kids liked Tarzan’s Treehouse and went in it several times during the day. We got fast passes for Indian Jones and then we got to ride Pirates of the Caribbean pretty quick. It was a bit different from the ride in Florida. We saw the restaurant, Blue Bayou, and Hubby was interested in it. We couldn’t get in there, but we actually got in a Café Orleans later that day. We rode Haunted Mansion which was my son’s favorite ride. He loved to see all the cool stuff they did for Christmas with Jack Skeleton and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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Meeting Jack and Sally

The kids haven’t seen The Nightmare Before Christmas. I tried to show them once, but it was too scary. They had a meeting with Jack and Sally. At first Little Man didn’t want to and Baby Girl did. So I took Little Man into the store adjacent to the character meet and greet while Baby Girl and Hubby stood in line. Little Man could see Jack from inside. He decided he wasn’t so scary after all and wanted to meet him. We got some great pictures with our Disney PhotoPass. Come to find out the employee monitoring the front of the line had a twin brother. She was great with our kids. Baby Girl loved talking to her.

We had a nice lunch at Café Orleans where we lucked out with the kids meal. The pasta they served for the kids was spaghetti and not some other shape because you know it matters with preschoolers. We ordered one kids meal. We gave Little Man the spaghetti and Baby Girl ate the chicken. They each got their own drink. Hubby and I shared a Monte Cristo and we each got our own soup. It was a very good experience here.

I knew about Café Orleans because I’ve read some articles on Disney’s Food Blog. I also heard a lot about this “secret” place call Club 33 in the New Orleans section where we were. Sure enough I spotted the door. I just had to take a picture. It is a members only type club.

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Club 33 door

We got in so many rides this day. We rode the Winnie the Pooh Ride. Hubby and I got on the Indian Jones ride with our fast pass. I was a goofy ball and waited at the entrance instead of over in the family switch area. Hubby took the kids to the tree house again while I took my turn at Indian Jones. The whole time I was on the ride I kept thinking that it would have been safe for the kids, but they might not have been able to see. That might be why they have some of the height requirements. It is not just for safety but enjoyment. I also kept thinking the Mummy ride at Universal was more fun.

We went back to Fantasyland and rode the Alice In Wonderland Ride, the Snow White Ride, and the Pinocchio ride. We rode Small World at least twice without delay because everybody else was busy watching the parade we saw the other day. We were there just in time for them to light up Small World on the outside. We went down to Toontown and rode the Roger Rabbit ride and explored a bit down there even though it was dark. We rode the roller coaster there twice. We finally got to ride the Storybook boats. The twins are small enough they let them sit at on the front of boat as long as we held them and made sure they stayed seated. This is where there are no seats. They were literally sitting on the nose of the boat. We went back to Tommorrowland and got fast passes for Star Tours. We rode the Buzz ride and then got on Star Tours.

When we got off Star Tours it was like the kids knew the day was done and they wanted one last souvenir. We had already bought a Jack Skeleton Mickey Mouse and a Sally Minnie Mouse, but the kids wanted one more thing before we left. Little Man got a plush Chewbacca, but they don’t make Leia dolls anymore. Baby Girl had to get a Baby Lady dog we saw waaaaay back at the store by the Pooh ride. So we had to of course ride the Pooh ride again.

The fireworks were going off as we were making our way out of the park. That is one thing I had not been missing in California was fighting the crowds getting out of the park. In Florida we close down the parks, but in California we were too tired most days. I’m sure it has all to do with the time zone differences. It was fine though. Just about every night we could see the fireworks from our hotel room. I mean we had a really good view of them from our hotel room.

There were a few lessons learned on this trip. We are night people in Florida and morning people in California (time zone differences). We should have stayed a few extra days in California. We should NOT have gotten the park hopper passes. We should have rested on Thursday then went to the expo on Friday and chilled there. We should have enjoyed the hotel water park Saturday and Sunday after the races. Then we should have spent the first day at the park on Monday then stayed Tuesday and Wednesday to do the other two days at parks instead of leaving. I think that would have made things less stressful even if we would have to stay a little longer. Oh well we still had fun.

We woke up the next morning early like we had been, and we were talking about airport times. We thought we didn’t have to leave until that afternoon, but then my husband had a thought that maybe the time he saw for the flight take off was Central Time. He was right! So our flight was two hours earlier than we thought! I was already cleaning up and packing, but then I had to rush a bit more. We made it to the airport okay with my brother. I was bummed out that we didn’t have time to clean out the refrigerator to give some of our food to the homeless at the bus stop near the hotel. Hubby didn’t think they would want our leftovers, but I thought if they were hungry they would. It would be better than the hotel maids throwing out the food. We didn’t leave a whole lot, but still I felt that some of those people at the bus stop looked like they could use it.

We made it back home and the kids excitedly showed their toys to their grandparents. They told them about the whole trip. Hubby was feeling better but over the next few days he seemed to get bad again. I hope it isn’t something in Kansas City air that is aggravating his condition. It could be some allergen or something. I really REALLY hope it isn’t something in our house! He is still okay, but he isn’t one hundred percent yet.

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