A tutu wearing...
Magic wand waving...
Every day is dress-up day...
I have done nothing to encourage this behavior. All of Anna's princess gear has been handed down. She has never seen a Disney princess movie (except The Little Mermaid, which she says is 'too scary'). I don't even buy princess books, because seriously, have you read those stories? Ridiculous.
I also believe that our children, in all their adorableness, present themselves to us for who they are. I might not be a princess, but my baby...
So I knew that, for her third birthday, she would have a princess party. (A 'Belle' party, more specifically. Anna's new favorite color is yellow, so she loves that yellow dress.)
I really struggle with the birthday party thing. The excess, the gifts, the cost, the time, the planning... all of it is really overwhelming to me, and I don't do well with overwhelming. So this year, I decided on just a handful of friends, which helped to take away some of the anxiety.
And then I read a post on The Larson Lingo about how she hired a princess to come read to her kids on their birthdays. And I thought, ummm... Anna would PEE HER PANTS if I did something like that.
So I looked it up.
And discovered a princess who would come to my house and do face painting, story time, a fashion show, arts and crafts, cupcakes, and gift bags.
YES. YES. YES.
If you love throwing parties, this might not be the gig for you. I mean, seriously. The princess did everything. But for me, it was perfect. I don't like throwing parties, but I sure do love going to them. And for the first time in my throwing-my-kid-a-birthday-party experience, I actually got to enjoy it.
Anna was in complete awe watching her walk to the front door.
Meeting Belle for the first time.
Choosing her colors for face paint...
...which she decided she wanted on her hands.
Posing with Belle. (Yes, all the men at the party had crushes on her.)
Riveted by story time. (Anna got to hold the rose from the Beauty and the Beast story.)
Dancing while Belle sang.
Even Buddy liked it. For a minute.
Belle unlocking her trunk of princess accessories for the fashion show.
All dressed up with her besties.
Belle helped Anna make a crown during arts and crafts.
Singing Happy Birthday. I cried.
We said goodbye to Belle, cleaned up for about thirty minutes, and the party was over. Anna had only a few gifts to open since we didn't invite a ton of people, which was great.
Success, all around. Thank you, Mel, for the idea! And thank you, Belle, for making this woman in her thirties a happy Mom.