Stinkerbell is 7. I can look with increasing dread to when the "magic" of early childhood ending. I firmly believe that we, as loving parents, should not kill her dreams and belief in the magic of her imagination. We encourage/allow Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Halloween (although not the scary version,) etc.
We go so far as to disguise the truth that her first kitten was probably eaten by a very large coyote by telling her that Sweetie ("Sweeeeeet-Teeeeeeaaa!!!!") got lost one day and found a new home with a wonderful new family to love and to love her. (hook, line and sinker)
Also, the bunny rabbit I bought for Easter pictures is now the Easter Bunny. He does not live with another family. The Easter Bunny contacted him and told him that he was getting too old to do the job anymore and needed to train his replacement. (hook, line and sinker also)
Anyway, I realized that this trip to WDW might the last one where she is a Princess and wants to be treated like a Princess and wants to dress like a Princess. So when she wanted to spend her money on a crown so she could look like a Princess while at the Magic Kingdom, I only half-heartedly encouraged a more practical choice - "look at this sun visor! cool!" "ooh! what a great t-shirt!"
I refused to spend $65 on a Princess dress for her to wear over her shorts and shirt, get dirty, step on and rip, take off after 15 minutes and have to find a place in the backpack for storing it.
Nevertheless... My heart warmed and swelled and broke as she picked out the customizable tiara with the veil. Then my pulse quickened over the stupid veil's not attaching and staying in place.(refund in hand, we then spent an additional $10 to replace said crappy veil and crown with a sun visor $15, a small hair-comb-attached tiara $10, and a satin "Princess" sash $8.)
With new Princess garb in place, she was content that she was now a very COOL PRINCESS and her smile returned.
backing up a little in this story...
In line for It's A Small World, we made the COOL PRINCESS look complete with a ponytail and better attachment of the tiny and fragile tiara. The smile grew a few sizes until I realized that the Cast Member I had stalked earlier was standing next to us.
me: Hi. How are you?! (cuz you never know which CM is out there to make dreams come true!)
CM: great! Well, hello Princess! How is your visit to the Magic Kingdom?
S, a little shy because this is a stranger: good.
CM: What's your name, Princess?
CM: Well, Stinkerbell. I need help. IASW is a boat-ride and I need an honorary Cruise Director. Can you help me out?
S: SURE!!! (because clearly an offer to make her an honorary Cruise Director makes this a Safe Side Adult!)
We were then removed from the line, taken to the control booth, where Stinkerbell, Lucky, FIL and Fiance stood while Stinkerbell SMILED and WAVED constantly at the people getting in to and out of the boats. The Cast Member announced Stinkerbell's name and that she was the Honorary Cruise Director for the day. The Mighty Hunter and I stood at the bottom with the video and digital camera, recording the moment for all time.
We were then escorted to the front of the line and given seats on the front seats of the first boat.
Thank you, Cast Member Nancy. You made my little girl's (ahem, COOL PRINCESS') dreams come true.
Hold on to your seats. More nauseating stories from WDW to come.