A ROYAL PAIN

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She’s the buzz on everyone’s lips this morning: what a joyous occasion, what a beautiful girl!  She’s truly worthy of all the attention she’s getting today. How exciting it all is!  I hope she celebrates long into the evening with friends and family.  But not too long- I am 40, after all and I don’t have the energy to stay up all night with her.

Wait- what??

Oh- no, no, no, silly reader.  I’m not talking about the beautiful princess across the pond (although, my goodness, did you see how lovely she was???).  No, I’m talking about my little princess, who’s turning 8 today.

That’s right, my petite girlie is having a birthday today. But, rather than exhibiting the demure elegance of Diana or the radiant independence of Sarah, my princess awoke on this auspicious day with an air of well, frankly, entitlement. There should have been people walking behind her to help her carry her attitude, big as it was, like the train on a royal wedding gown.  Jeez…

See, she’s been looking forward to this for weeks: her big day.  She had picked out a special outfit with my mom at Justice over Spring Break and even had it accessorized perfectly.  But, this morning, when she went to look for it in her room at her dad’s, she couldn’t find it anywhere.  And by all accounts, she went NUTSO!  Threw a huge fit and even ended up being late for school.

Good princess, bad princess? Just kidding. Badly-BEHAVED princess.

Now, I’d like to think that my ex-husband and I have sovereignty over our children (oursubjects, if you will).  But, if that’s so, then never have Shakespeare’s words “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” been more fitting than today.  (Okay, I know… that’s probably not true, but you know- this is happening to me, like, right now.  So forgive my penchant for exaggeration.)  So, what is to be our choice: rule with an iron fist or a velvet glove?

I mean, seriously, what are we supposed to do?  I’d like to think I’m strong enough to take away her keys to the kingdom (in this instance, a sleepover at a hotel with a few girlfriends) until she learns to behave better.  But, plans have been made, invitations have been sent, cake has been ordered.  How can I scrap all that at the last minute just because you love Camilla???!!  (Oops.  Sorry, I’m going too far with this metaphor, it seems.)

Still, you get the point.  How far is too far when it comes to bad behavior? Likewise, how far is too far when it comes to the severity of a punishment? And, though I wish it were all about principle all the time, how late is too late, etiquette-wise, to call off the guests?

Overall, my girl is a beautiful child and is worthy of a little extra attention on special occasions- aren’t all children?  I want her to have fun and be with her friends.  But, I want her to learn that it is NOT okay to fly into a rage.  It’s simply not done in a civilised society.  I know there are other ways to mete out justice than cancelling her party, but- well, what?  She’ll be in school all day and then it’s “go” time in terms of the party.

Readers (and I didn’t mean to call you “silly”) help me out on this one.  Just for a moment, pretend that I am, in fact, not a queen, but rather the head of a Republic who seeks to make her policy based on what the people say.  Be my people, readers!  I beg of you.  How wouldyou vote in this instance?  Party, or no party?  Throw her in the tower?

My kingdom for your answer!

(This post was originally published on the Charleston Daily Mail’s Mommhood blog.)

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