Princesses are a big theme in our house these days. The girls are obsessed with “Sofia the First.” Every morning, they come up with princess nicknames for themselves—nicknames that Powerwoman and I are supposed to honor until we hear otherwise.
Of course L and R each also have (far too many) princess dresses, which they wear with pride.
There are days when the princess theme is so prevalent in our house that I think the children truly see themselves as royalty. What this means to them, however, is something we grown-ups still are trying to divine.
Clearly it means something. During our time in London, L requested special trips into Kensington Gardens so we could gaze upon Kensington Palace. The way she spoke of these trips, it seemed she was convinced we were going to run into Duchess Kate Middleton, strike up a conversation with her and get invited in for tea. (In case you’re wondering, no, oddly enough, this never happened.)
I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t spent time wondering what our daughters would do if they ever actually had the chance to be princess. These waking fantasies have increased in anticipation of the upcoming DreamWorks Animation film, Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
In the film, P&S take a most excellent, Bill and Ted-like adventure and travel through time with the help of a device called a WABAC (pronounced “way-back”) machine. DreamWorks is partnering with one of my clients, Expedia, on a promo for (and giveaway in conjunction with) the film; as part of that, I and my ExpediaViewfinder team members have gone from travel bloggers to time-travel bloggers until the movie debuts March 7.
Some of my colleagues have written on the blog about using a WABAC to travel to Paris in the 1920s, Egypt in the 1950s and Klondike Alaska in the heart of the Gold Rush. My post, about transporting back to 1850s Lahaina (on Maui), is here.
In the meantime, I’ve got another time-travel daydream: Because of my girls, I’d take the family back to Medieval times, to the era of princesses.
Back then (we’re talking the 1200s, people), just about every daughter of a high-ranking noble was considered a princess. They practically lived in fancy dresses. They had tea. They lived the high life. And they lived privileged lives at court—dancing and laughing and doing all the stuff my girls (likely) think princesses do.
Upon returning to this era, I’d hope to find a princess who would be willing to take L and R under her royal wing and teach them how to dance the carol, survive a formal dinner and treat others with dignity and respect.
Of course I’d also hope to connect my girls with a princess who had lots of dresses with lots of tulle (preferably in their sizes).
Heck, it’d be swell to find a princess willing to share her chambermaid and give my kids a makeover.
I know, the chauvinistic and misogynistic Middle Ages were no place for a modern girl. And I’ve done enough research on the subject to understand that most of these princesses were horribly unhappy—with their fathers, with their husbands (or their betrothed), and with their lives. But here’s the thing: I wouldn’t use the WABAC to transform my kids into Medieval princesses forever; I’d just want them to experience a taste of princess-hood. For a finite period of time.
I’d hope that like Peabody & Sherman (or Bill and Ted, for that matter), my kids would return from their time-travel extravaganza with one-of-a-kind insight and knowledge into the past, and a renewed appreciation for the present.
After all, if they’re going to be this into princesses for the next few years, we might as well put them in a position to base their passions on fact.
If you had a WABAC machine, where would you visit, and what time period would you visit there?