“A princess is really coming to visit?”
“A real princess?”
“This isn’t just another story you’re telling me?”
When you’re a six-year-old girl, princesses are serious business.
Friends came to visit on Saturday. He’s Austrian, she’s Indonesian. He’s an anthropologist, she’s a geologist. She also has an Indonesian title that translates as “princess”.
I spent the day shopping and getting stuff ready for the barbecue. I have a phobia of running out of charcoal or lighter fluid, so I bought more, then it turned out I stocked up at the end of last barbecue season, so now I have tons of charcoal and lighter fluid.
My wife did a lot of cleaning and even weeded. “Take it easy,” I said. “You act like royalty’s coming to visit.” She just looked at me.
It was a really nice visit. It’s always nice when intelligent, interesting people come over.
And it was funny to watch our youngest daughter. Like me, she’s often quiet around new people, but this time she was completely flabberghasted. She couldn’t take her eyes off the “Princess”, who we will call N.
After dinner, we sat around the table on our terrace while my wife asked our guests questions. She’s good at that, so I often let her do it. Our daughter whispered to me that she’d like to sit in the Princess’s lap, but was too shy to ask. So I asked for her.
“Of course,” N. said.
So our daughter sat in her lap for a while, too shy to say a word. Gradually, though she relaxed. “Are you really a real princess?” she asked. N. said yes.
Our daughter eventually crawled back out of N.’s lap, took her hand and dragged her into the house for a tour.
Later, N. told us our daughter didn’t shut up the entire time. She showed her her collection of “Princess” magazines, which for those of you who don’t have little girls handy are Disney publications with Cinderella, Belle, Pocahontas, Arielle, Snow White and Mulan in each issue, and free gifts tacked on to each cover – plastic tiaras, jewelry or make up usually.
She showed N. her Barbie dolls, especially her Pocahontas and Arielle ones. She showed her her fancy dresses and discussed Shakira with her, and demonstrated her Shakira CD.
She waved when they left. It was late when she went to bed, so I didn’t read her a story, but I had to tell her one about a princess visiting a little girl. They went for a hot air balloon ride, in the story.
“That was the best day of my whole life, when N. visited us,” she told me the next day.