Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Making of a Princess and 2 Pirates

When I saw it advertised, it sounded like a lot of fun.  How could Princess and Pirate Night at Chick-fil-a not be fun?  So, I made a mental note and forgot all about it 20 minutes later.  Luckily, when the day finally came, I was reminded by a dutiful mom in my MOPS group via email.  "Yes!  I get out of cooking dinner," I thought and happily informed my husband that dinner that night was going to be on Chick-fil-a.

So, after school, I set out to prepare my pirates and princess for their big dinner.  I don't know about your house, but at ours, the three o'clock crazies tend to come out.  Big brother coming home from school divides mommy's attention 3 ways instead of 2 so that ups the rebellious, attention-getting acts.  Also, the 3 o'clock headache and "Mommy Needs a Nap" syndrome set in.  I think most of my praying occurs during this time so that mean mommy doesn't sneak in through the back door.

I mentally prioritized my to do's and numbero uno on my list: the tiara.  Thanks to a certain middle child, our princess' crown was broken last year.  You can't be a princess without a crown, right?  So, I texted my next door neighbor, who has two princesses of her own, in search of a plastic royal crown.  Besides, whoever said princesses can't share crowns?  After getting priority #1 off my list, priority #2 called for a clean, sweet smelling princess.  So, I plopped Micah into the stainless steel basin, aka kitchen sink, and gave her a royal bubble bath.  After the princess was clean, smelling like roses Aveeno, and the carrier, aka neighbor, delivered the crown, she got to play while mommy went in search of a pirate costume.  This is where things start getting a little bit wild.  What I thought would be a quick trip into the attic turned into a 20 minute search and recover mission.  Our attic is in dire straits and needs to be reorganized for the 117th time.  See, I've refused to get rid of clothing for the past 8 years so not a stitch of clothing has left this house.  Instead, they get lugged by the tubful to the attic.  The problem I encountered was the pirate costume wasn't in the costume tub like it should've been.  I let a friend borrow it a while back and just tossed it into a regular tub when she returned it.  Too bad I only have about 15 regular tubs vs 1 costume tub and approximately 2 square foot leftover to move around in.

During this time of digging, three separate revelations hit me:
1.  I MUST, MUST, MUST get this attic better organized.
2.  It's time.  Meaning it's time to get rid of these clothes: sweet, little baby clothes that symbolize that we are not yet done having babies if I'm still hanging onto them.
3.  Are 3 free kids meals really worth all this anyway??

The 12th tub I rummaged through produced the pirate costume.  I say a quick, "Yes!" and leave my secret hoarding nest behind.  I head downstairs to hear big brother getting onto little brother for hitting him and smell a stinky aroma coming from the little princess' royal heinie.  Once all that was settled, Eli was all too excited to transform into a pirate and test out his sword (which had to be confiscated asap). 

I walked into the princess' room expecting for a royal ball gown to jump out at me and alas, none emerged.  Since we're not old enough for the "I'm-a-Disney-princess-and-have-every-princess-costume-with-coordinating-plastic-"glass"-slippers" phase nor do we have Cinderella-like birds and mice to whip up a gown in a matter of minutes, her closet is a little limited on princess-y attire.  I reason that her rainbow colored pettidress from her 1st birthday was fitting for a princess.  Then, my eye caught this furry pink shrug of a coat that I nabbed last year at Gymboree for $4.80.  I had wondered at the time if and where she would ever wear this to but I couldn't pass up $4.80 for any piece of pink, furry clothing.  Little did I know at the time that it would be perfect for "Dress Up Like a Princess and Get a Free Kid's Meal" night.  Next, I pick out her ruffliest pair of socks, pink shoes with satin bows (since plastic "glass" slippers aren't available in size 03) and then move on to the royal jewels.  Pearls are fitting for a princess so we really start playing dress up by going to mommy's jewelry box and pulling out my best (and only) strand of faux pearls (retail value of $9.99 at Kohls). 

As I was dolling up my little girl, I thanked the Lord for her.  To live life raising only pirates would've still been sweet and rewarding.  But, the chance to raise a princess, the daughter of our Heavenly King, is an unexplainable honor and joy that I wasn't sure I'd ever have.  I recently read somewhere that everything a princess does points back to the king.  I pray that her life will be a reflection of the unconditional love of the King of Kings.  And my pirates?  I know they will protect their princess at any cost. 

After crowning her with the borrowed tiara, my little girl was transformed into a princess right before my very eyes.  I buckled her and the littler pirate into the royal carriage, aka Honda Odyssey, and looked at the clock and saw that we are pushing the appointed time of meeting Prince Charming, aka daddy.  So, I make a quick dash inside to get out of my knit pants and throw some makeup on.  As I entered the house, those plans change as my 8 year old pirate informs me that he can't be a pirate without a patch.  Duh!  So, back upstairs we go and within 10 minutes not one but two custom made pirate eye patches are born (two because mommy wisdom told me that the littler pirate will demand one as soon as he sees big brother's). Ten more minutes later, knit pants have been replaced with blue jeans, princess wand, eye patches, pirate sword and tiara are in hand and we're in the car, heading to town....30 minutes past schedule.

On my way in, I get a call from panicky husband because the restaurant is so crowded he can't find a table.  That's where I'll insert another bit of mommy wisdom:  Us moms already know that the restaurant will be crowded because 1. It is pirate/princess free nugget night afterall  2. This restaurant is always crowded no matter the day or the hour  3. Other moms will be eagerly taking advantage of this "Get Out of Supper Free" night. Knowing all these things, I purposefully made sure that he'd beat us to the restaurant to secure the table before braving the crowd with a one year old princess and 2 year old pirate in tow.

Once we are there, table and highchair ready for us :),  we relax and enjoy our crazy, loud, chaotic, FREE chicken nuggets.  Would pb&j at home have been easier...ABSOLUTELY!  But, this family time is so worth every second of the attic digging, sword confiscating, eye patch making and tiara searching preparation. 

Here's a resolve to attend next year's Pirates and Princess Night.  Maybe by then I'll have my attic better organized and our princess will have her own tiara.

"You crown the year with your good blessings,
and you leave abundance in your wake."  Psalm 65:11
I think the NIRV version for the second part of this verse is better suited for this night of our life:

"You crown the year with your good blessings.
You provide more than enough food."  Psalm 65:11

Our Princess with her Prince Charming