Thursday, September 20, 2012

Disney Moms

What was Walt Disney's beef with moms?  Have you ever noticed that almost none of the Disney Princesses have nice mothers?  Snow White's mom dies and her stepmother tries to kill her.  Cinderella's mom also dies and her stepmother locks her in the attic and makes her clean the castle.  Little Mermaid has no mother, Rapunzel's mother is evil, Tianna has a mother although the story focuses on the relationship with her father, who also dies.  What the heck?!  Even Nemo's mom dies, and well, we all know about how Bambi ends.

In our house, Princesses are plentiful and revered.  It's bad enough that I am the rule maker, enforcer and follower.  Now I have to deal with all the Princess story's subliminal messages that mommies are bad.  Literally Marin suggested to me the other day that she could be Rapunzel for Halloween and I could be the "bad mother".  Awesome.  Love you too... Princess Marin. 

It's no doubt that Daddy is the house hero.  I get it.  In my book, my dad still can do no wrong.  And it's easy when daddy is gone all day and swoops in for kisses and hugs and marshmallows.  And of course, in the world of Walt Disney, the Daddies are literally Kings.

Perhaps this is where Disney gets its angle.  Allow me to set the scene for a recent set of events in our household:
Princess Emilie never sleeps.  The drop of a pin wakes her at night.  She needs a white noise maker and total pitch blackness to sleep at night.  Naps are over before the spin cycle begins.  Teeth coming through her gums are like cannons of pain going off in the war in her mouth.
For the past twelve nights Princess Emilie awakens at 4am screaming for (you guessed it) "Daaaaaaa-ddddddyyyyyy!  Daaaaaa-ddddddddyyyyy!)  King Jason doesn't move a muscle, because, like other men in the kingdom, he is totally immune to a baby's cry.  Plus, he has to be up early to make deals with the villagers and he has to travel via train to a distant land to make it happen.  The evil Queen makes an off hand comment about how she would perhaps enjoy said train ride in the "quiet car" for two hours of alone time a day, and perhaps a libation with the neighbor on the way home.
Evil and now grumpy Queen gets up to attend to Princess Emilie.  For twelve nights it lasts about an hour.  The evil mother tries to comfort Princess Emilie because she loves her dearly, but Disney always edits that part out.  Instead they show her tired and irritated.  The bag under her eyes grow heavier each day.
On the thirteenth morning, the evil mother turns the monitor off and lets Princess Emilie cry it out.   On the fourteenth morning she does the same.  The evil mother feels terribly guilty, but again, this is Disney, so they just show the Evil Mother sleeping- comfortably even.  On the fifteenth morning Princess Emilie does not wake up at 4am.  The Evil Mother strums her fingers as a sly smirk spreads across her lips and decides to try this at nap time, too. 
Victory or Evil Mother confirmed?  

Only time, and a 20 million dollar marketing budget will tell... 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Saugatuck 2012!!

Last weekend some college girlfriends and our families rented a house in Saugatuck, Michigan.  The house was situated on an absolutely picture perfect gorgeous stretch of Lake Michigan.  It had a huge front hard where the kids could play, an enormous screen porch, a tennis court, a fire stove where we roasted marshmallows and a big window looking out to the lake where we watched the sunset.   And, as Sarah said, it was like discovering the best dive bar in town.  It was totally outdated and crazily decorated, but it was the perfect spot to not have to worry about stairs and fancy stuff for our kids to break.

We let the kids play and run on the beach, went for adventure walks, played in the yard, played with playdough and stickers, had dance parties abound, played kiddie pictionary, colored and loved on each others kids.  During Saturday naps, Mika, Sarah and I left the boys in charge (read: they all napped) and we hit the tennis court for a private lesson from Sarah.  When we decided that I could never learn to perfect my backswing, we hit the beach for a long walk.

We all divided up making meals and ate together, eating like royalty.  After the kids were asleep,  the adults enjoyed drinks under cozy blankets in the screen porch were we relived college stories and laughed so hard.

We rounded our weekend out on Sunday as we headed into downtown Saugatuck to check out the shops, hit the playground and the ice cream shop. 

At one point Tom asked if when we were in college we fantasized about one day packing our kids in the car and going on vacation together.   None of us skipped a beat, because of course we did.  We talked about it almost from the day that we met. 

Dreams really do come true.