Recently we made an outing to a large shopping centre a few towns over. It was an all day event and an opportunity for the whole family to get out and about and spoil ourselves a little. As we had our girls with us and a stop at the main toy store was a must. We have tried walking past it before, I imagine it would be easier to over throw the government than to take a toddler past a toy store and not go in. So in we went. The girls had been good lately, doing their chores, working on their counting Alphabets and writing their names and as a treat we decided to let them buy themselves something, anything they wanted to the value of $25. This doesn’t happen often and you can imagine the level of excitement that was going on, if it was related to the American threat level I would say we were at DEFCON 4, or in the Dear Dads grading system they were – Just about to wee themselves with excitement. For future reference DEFCON 1 is – Ignore mum while she speaks to me, all the way to DEFCON 8 – Screaming so loud with excitement we burst someone’s ear drum.
So there we were in the toy shop walking the isles letting the girls decide what they want. We went through about 10 items back and forth till they finally made a decision. Peace treaties between waring countries have been decided quicker. Finally everyone settles on princess dresses, the exact item they ran straight too as we entered the store. We make our way to the cash register under repeating statements of “I’m Anna from Frozen”, well I’m “Reputzil” (Rapunzel). The wife and I getting a giggle out of the pronunciation. Once out of the store it starts – Daddy can I wear my costume? Please? Please? This goes on for 5 mins. Each time I say no. My wife heads off into bras and things to by me something nice (see what I did there?) and I sit on a bench out front with the girls. It starts again – Daddy please? Can I wear my costume? Initially I said no because I didn’t want them to ruin them, but it dawned on me whilst sitting there that that’s kind of the point isn’t it? Also somewhere deep in my subconscious I didn’t want people looking. Why? No idea, maybe it’s engrained in us to not want to stand out in a crowd, to not be different, to not be judged. Screw that! I want my girls to grow up being loud and proud doing what ever and wearing what ever they want.
I rip open the bag and pull out both costumes, within minutes I have 2 beautiful “Frozen” princesses standing in front of me. Admiring themselves in the reflection in the shop front window. My wife reapears and makes a big deal of how beautiful they look. We pack up the bench which now looks like a lounge room floor on Christmas Day. I grab Miss 4 by the hand who is in a full length purple princess dress coupled with a tiara and glittery wand, the wife closely in tow with Miss 3 who is looking similar but in pink, and we make our way to the next shop. As we walk I am looking at the people coming towards me. Every single person who sees us, their face breaks out in a smile. No one frowns at my two little princess, no one says take that off you look silly. My two little girls are happy as a clam and by default and looking so god damn cute are making other people smile too.
We do a full lap of the shops and I am blown away by just how many people my two beautiful daughters dressed up as Disney princesses make smile. Miss 4 and Miss 3 are not exactly being quiet about it either, they proceed to tell me, my wife, the shop owners, and anyone else who will listen that their wand is magic but they can’t do wishes yet as they don’t know how. My own fears and subconscious doubts have been smashed to pieces. My daughters have once again shown me that my perception of society is far from the reality. While it was still a mission to get them around the shops in their costumes as they caught on things and would sometimes trip, it warmed my heart. I forgot about people possibly judging them, judging me, I ended up not caring if people looked at us because that’s kind of the idea right? You don’t wear a costume to lock yourself in a closet.
So next time your child wants to dress up, my advice is go for it! Hell if I can find a cool enough Iron man costume I’m going to dress up too!!