Jessica Rudd, Republican, is accidentally raising a monarchist royal-obsessed daughter. Whoops.
The tiara has been spending more time out of the dress-up box than in it lately. As a Mum, I’m cool with that.
I’m less fine with the repurposed glitter-stick fairy wand because I bruise easily, but I don’t think too hard about what my toddler dresses up as. The other day she was wearing the tiara, a stethoscope and wings, a royal flying doctor of sorts. More power to her.
But last night the tiara became more than just a bedazzled alice-band. I was trying to distract her from having her hair washed (which she loathes) so I opened up some light banter.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Princess,” she declared matter-of-factly.
LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE, my mother’s guilt screamed at me. You and your stupid tiara impulse purchase! Now she wants to make a career of being an ornamental royal. You’re supposed to be a republican!
More on gendered toys for kids: “Many women drive trucks, while men push prams”.
Let it go, mother’s guilt. Let it go. We can spin this.
“Excellent,” I said, cool as a cucumber. “Some of the world’s best people are princesses.”
Later, when we were both in our PJs, I sat her on my lap to towel-dry her hair and opened my laptop.
“Princesses are very powerful and busy. See this lady here?”
“She was a beautiful lady and a very hardworking one. Her name was Diana and she was a princess. She worked to protect people from danger and help people who were very sick. She was a kind person.”
“And see this lady here? This is Zara.”
“Uh oh, the horse is jumping in muddy puddles!”
“Yes, and so is Zara. Zara is very strong and fit. She is one of the best horse-riders in the world. Look, she even won a medal because she is so great at sport.”
“I like horses.”