|Princess Tiana and Princess Ironman, ready to Trick or Treat!|
We're having a lot of fun with holidays this year, now that we've got two kiddos who get that fun stuff happens on particular fun days - birthdays, Halloween, Christmas, etc. J has been deliberating over her costume for months now and, in good little sister fashion, S has been as well. Now S, at just over two years old, doesn't always understand what she's talking about as she scrambles to catch up and keep up with her older sibling. "Don't copy me!!" is a frequently heard phrase in our home these days. (often followed by an echoing voice doing just exactly that.)
So when J finally settled on which princess she wanted to be, I sort of expected S to go for something princess related as well. And she did, as you can see - Princess Ironman.
I don't know where my youngest daughter's obsession with Ironman comes from. Well, that's not true. My kids are home with their dad more days then they are home with me and they spend at least some time doing the things that Andrew likes to do - going to comic shops, listening to music, reading books. I have come home more than once to the three of them gathered around his X-men encyclopedia, heads bent over as the girls listen earnestly to their father's explanation of why The Thing looks like a pile of rocks. I think S first encountered Ironman either on one of Andrew's t-shirts or possibly a mug but she decided almost instantly that this was her hero. And she started telling us that she wanted to be Ironman for Halloween almost as soon as she understood what a costume was.
Then one day I was driving somewhere and we were talking about princesses - conversation initiated by J, who was really into both princesses and picking her favorite _______ from a line up. J couldn't decide if Belle or Tiana was her favorite princess. And a little voice piped up from the other side of the backseat "Ironman is the best princess!"
So Princess Ironman was born.
I often feel that one of the best gifts our lifestyle gives to our girls is their dad as primary caregiver 4/7 days a week. He has taught them how to slay monsters, that anyone can end up with superpowers, and that Ironman is a princess too. Thanks to the influence of their dad my girls know that both Mommy and Daddy can fix their owies, and that their male parent figure is just as (sometimes more) capable of patience, nurture, and homemaking as I am.
Sometimes it is a little disorienting for me, because this is different than the parental roles that formed me. I don't do everything for my kids that my mom did for me. I'll catch myself feeling guilty about that sometimes, because my mom was amazing at it. But then I realize that I don't do everything my mom did because I don't have to. There is someone else in our home who also likes to do those things, and is really good at them. My girls have more, not less. They've got superheroes, princesses and everything in between.