When Matilda requested a Princess costume for her birthday (a pink one), I quietly demurred. When she asked for a cake with Peppa Pig Princess on it (a pink one, with raspberries), I smiled sweetly and said "Of course my darling girl". You all know that I hate princesses and I hate pink. But. But... I am not a monster. If she needs to feel at one with her pink princess loving peers then I am not going to stop her. Besides, I am aware of the attraction that parental disapproval gives to anything disapproved of. And at least Peppa Pig is a feisty little princess.
At four Matilda is quite princessy. Demands have to be met IMMEDIATELY. Any demands denied are met with flouncing huffs. When she bestows her love and affection, she does so fiercely and with an understanding of the honour granted by her attentions. I feel that at four she is becoming conscious of her place in the world and of the roles she might choose or others might ask her to play. And it is fascinating to see her negotiate her way through.
But she is still my Matilda, who lives boldly and happily. When we were on holiday this summer it really struck me how enthusiastic she is about life. She takes an interest in anything and everything. When she laughs it is raucous and full-throated. She careers about with very little sense of physical boundaries and when she hugs Owen, his feet leave the floor and I frequently have to intervene for fear of strangulation.
So I have bought the princess costume, but