No, not that kind of princess.
That’s another blog post altogether (what is it with the princess culture these days?). I’m talking about princess type behavior. Otherwise known as spoiled.
The sleepover is winding down, thank goodness. Only a couple more hours until all the little ladies are picked up. You know the best thing about hosting a sleepover? The moment after everyone leaves when you realize it’s over. It’s like the moment after Tyler Durden doesn’t blow your brains out. It’s the happiest moment of your life.
I’m on my 3rd cup of coffee at the moment, a feeble attempt to make up for not falling asleep until nearly 1 AM last night. Let’s just say I had to threaten to call everyone’s mother in the morning before breakfast to come get them if they didn’t settle down and go the *&%^$! to sleep.
Actually, they weren’t that terrible. It’s just that I can barely stand my own children some days, so I can barely tolerate other people’s kids.
Especially the princess.
There’s one in every crowd I suppose. The one who bossed everyone, even the ones several years older than her, around. To the point where they began completely and totally ignoring everything she said. The one who screamed bloody murder when she was sprayed with the water hose.
While everyone was outside playing in the sprinkler. In their bathing suits.
And who yelled at everyone for jumping. While on the trampoline.
And who insisted on everyone getting quiet so she could read a bedtime story, but then screamed every time anyone tried to look at the pictures or got too close to her.
And to beat all, the one whose mother brought her a bag of food because “she’s a bit of a finicky eater”. She only eats microwave popcorn, microwave mac n cheese and peanut butter sandwiches with NO JELLY.
You have permission to shoot me in the face if I ever send my child to a slumber party with her own food.
A slumber party… where stuff like … oh, I dunno… waffles and pizza are being served. This isn’t haute cuisine, y’all.
After a few hours, I began amusing myself by messing with her. I know. I’m not a nice person. But it was too much fun. Every time she snatched something out of Ruby’s hands or yelled at her to stop doing ___, whatever ___ was, even when it involved something that belongs here in this house where Ruby lives, I would ask her:
“Would Jesus do that?” or “You might try saying “Please”.
And I was absolutely determined that I would NOT don a hairnet and turn into a short order cook for this child. I don’t do that junk for my own flesh and blood and I sure ain’t gonna do it for someone else’s kid. When I made lunch, all the girls but her screamed “Yea! Tostadas!” and ran to the table. Princess came up to me and informed me that she would be having the macaroni and cheese her mom packed for her.
I told her I didn’t cook that for lunch. She insisted that she would be having mac and cheese.
In my cheeriest, fake-y nice voice, “You know Alice*, I have a lot of children and in THIS house, we cook one thing and we all eat it. I don’t make special dishes for individual people. But you are welcome to use the kitchen to make something of your own if you like.”
A minute later I saw her eating raw, uncooked noodles. A minute later I saw her measuring water into a bowl and throwing it into the microwave (that our landlord has here that we never use except to nuke the kitchen sponges).
And when she demanded microwave popcorn (at least she was willing to share this), I told her that we didn’t eat microwave popcorn here because it’s very bad for your health. I told her we would make popcorn later. “How do you do THAT?” she sassed. “On the stove, GENIUS”, came my reply. (Ok I left out the genius part. But I was thinking it. I was thinking it!)
Every time Ruby touched something of hers, she would scream and snatch it away. While wearing my daughter’s shoes and dress-up costumes and playing with their toys, mind you.
To top it all off, when she left I sweetly thanked her for coming and said good-bye. She didn’t even look at me. No eye contact. No acknowledgement.
In France, parents would say this child was “mal élevé” (badly raised), and she wouldn’t be welcome back into one’s home.
I like what Headmistress of the Common Room had to say today about food and culture and rudeness and the sacrament of shared food. Your food isn’t good enough for my Little Princess so I have to bring it with her.
Actually I was just kidding about the not liking my own kids part. And also the not liking anyone else’s kids part. 3 out of the 4 girls who came here were sweet, well-mannered, kind to the younger babies and and one of them even made me a necklace!
And after experiences like this I always appreciate my children even more because with their faults, they are being trained to speak to adults, to be respectful, to accept hospitality with gratitude, to be sweet to younger children, etc. I went up to my 10 year old today, hugged her and said, “You know what? I LIKE you.”
And that’s a lot isn’t it?
*name changed to protect the not-so-innocent
p.s. You may wonder why I host these sleepovers when I despise doing so. Because I love my children and like making them happy even when it wears me out totally. Because they had a ton of fun. And because nobody else is hosting them. My mother told me my whole life that if you want anything, hospitality wise, to happen, you have to be the one to do it. And she’s right.