So one of the hallmarks of life with La Principessa is to expect the unexpected. I had been quizzing her for weeks about what she wanted for a Halloween costume.Both kids and I have always cobbled together a costume – usually something quirky and fun, like a washing machine or a soda can. La Principessa – as her nickname implies – has chosen to be some form of the princess-ballerina-fairy trifecta for the past 5 years. She’s been fixated on dressing up like Sofia the First for months. Which is fine – I’m used to her liking shows and characters that are way below her age. Given her developmental challenges, it's not so much a suprise.
And at least it’s not Frozen. Oh wait, she loves that, too. But not enough to don either an Elsa or Anna costume. Yes, it would have been sort of lemming-like to march around with 30 other Elsas but it would have been easy. I could have found an Elsa get-up in her size – not so with Sofia's signature satiny purple ball gown. They're all in toddler sizes -- I couldn’t even buy one, open it up and add to it. I’m not much of a seamstress so I started sweating over what I was going to do.I found this fabric/paper hybrid but I struggled to make it work. I’m not proud of this but, in desperation, I talked her out of Sofia and into Doc McStuffins. Look, she loves the Doc just as much – and she already had the pink glitter stethoscope and bag! So we were pretty much set until about 10 days ago when she cornered me.
"Yes, we trick or treat at night."
"No, Mom" (Talking about Frozen -- the words hung there, dripping an icicle, accompanied by an eye roll and hair flip as she exited stage left. What happened to "Mommy?")
She returned holding a pencil aloft, jabbing the air around my head. I instinctively flinched, wondering what other weapons she'd hidden for reinforcements.
"Sword, sword...night!" She shook the lead point a little too close for comfort. " I BE a knight for 'wee, Hall-o-ween. And I stand like this" (A chest-puffing display of attitude, like Napoleon crossing the Delaware or something like that.)
So I waited a few days to see if this bold new choice would stick -- she was certain, she was to be a knight. Now, this I could deal with. I tracked down a breastplate, shield, helmet, and sword and she was thrilled. We spent an hour before trick-or-treating, brandishing the sword and galloping around the yard with her going medieval on me. when she caught up. I couldn't conceal my pride that my girliest of girly girls, was Joan-of-Arc-ing around the neighborhood. We got quite a few "you go, girl" comments on our rounds. As I escorted my knight in shining plastic around, she shattered my expectations. The way she slices a blade through the air, I see fencing lessons on the horizon.