OBSERVATIONS · raising strong girls · slice of life

Princess Panties?!?! Really? Really.

Ever since I found out I was having a girl, I vowed I wasn’t going to do the princess thing in our house.  G-d help me when preschool arrives since that’ll be the first time she will find out about the Disney Princesses!  That’s right, my daughter doesn’t know the exist right now.

If you’ve read this blog, or some of my posts over at Two Writing Teachers, you know I’m not big on the girlie-girl culture. Isabelle wears all colors, plays with all kinds of toys, and has friends who are boys and girls.  It would be SO MUCH EASIER if I threw up my hands, said “none of this matters,” and let her take part in the girlie-girl and princess culture. But it does matter to me. Everyone has their schtick and this is mine.

I’ve gone to great lengths to make sure faux tiaras and wands don’t cross the threshold of this house. Isabelle doesn’t have any toys with princesses on them. She also doesn’t own clothing with the words princessdivaor daddy’s little girl emblazoned on it.

Nowadays, Isabelle wears a size 2T or 3T, depending on the brand. We’ve also entered the land of potty training (That’s all I’ll say about that personal matter here!), which means you have to buy everything from potty seats to books on potty training to underwear. Isabelle’s favorite potty-related book is Big Girl Panties written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Valeria Petrone. The book begins with the words, “Bye bye diapers! I wear panties.” The little girl loves wearing all kinds of panties, which got me thinking about panty shopping for my little girl. Wouldn’t it be fun to get her lots of different kinds of panties like the little girl in the book?

And then I went panty shopping. I thought this would be an easy task, but instead it was a tall order since most of the toddler panties in the stores have princesses on them. Even though underwear goes under one’s clothes, I vowed I wouldn’t break my “no princess clothing” rule.  After a lot of looking, I bought a pack of owl panties at Gap Kids for Isabelle. (Those went over really well.)  Next I went to Osh Kosh where I got frustrated. Almost all of the little girl panties had crowns or tiaras somewhere on them. I finally found some days of the week panties that looked cute. (Those were not liked as much.) Next I headed to Carters where I was faced with more princess panties!  I walked out of the store empty-handed since I felt like it would be better to keep looking than to buy into the princess culture.  If the girl in  Big Girl Panties had lots of different kinds, then how hard could it be to find non-princess panties.

I’ve been searching in the stores for a few weeks now and I’ll tell ya — it’s hard to find fun, non-princess panties for little girls. Yesterday evening, I went online to gap.com to see if I could purchase more owl panties. But they were no longer in stock!  😦  There were only three kinds of toddler girl panties in stock: gingerbread underwear, ballet underwear, and days of the week underwear. Wow! Three kinds!

A screenshot of my choices from gap.com. Click on the image to enlarge.
A screenshot of my choices from gap.com. Click on the image to enlarge.

Or so I thought. I didn’t even have to click on the ballet ones since I saw the penguin on the underwear wearing a tiara. Those were out. I clicked on the days of the week underwear and discovered the cats on some of the panties were wearing tiaras.  Feline princess panties?!?! Really? Really.

That left me with one option: the gingerbread underwear. I hesitated when I zoomed into the product listing since there were candy canes one pair of the panties. Candy canes are typically a Christmas candy, right? I paused. We are Jewish. Do I want my little girl to be wearing candy cane and gingerbread underwear?  I thought about it for a minute. Then I clicked “2-3 years” and “add to bag.”

I told my husband about my little girl panty purchase before we went to bed last night.

“I think you’ve gone overboard on this princess thing,” he told me.

“Trust me on this one, okay? Did I steer you right when we were trying to get her upstairs earlier tonight when I had you get down to her level and reason with her?”

“Yeah,” he said.

“Okay, then trust me on this, please.”

“So you bought gingerbread men and candy canes instead of the cats with princess crowns?” he clarified as if he was still in disbelief.

“Yes, yes I did.” I said.

He chuckled so I continued.

“First it’s the princess panties, then she’ll be walking around this house waving a wand, and bossing us around.  You think she rules the house now? Wait ’til she thinks she’s a princess.” I paused realizing how ridiculous I sounded. “Besides, she has never even had a candy cane. She won’t even know that they’re candy.”

We said a few more things before saying good-night.  As I lay in bed, I realized life would be so much easier if I would just allow myself to buy her the darn princess panties. But for some reason, I just cannot make that purchase.

Give me another year. We’ll see what happens once pre-school begins, right?

Go to http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com to read more slice of life stories.
Go to http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com to read more slice of life stories.
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21 thoughts on “Princess Panties?!?! Really? Really.

  1. Way to stay strong, Stacey! Our daughter was a “habitat” for Halloween– her choice, while other girls were princesses. Just a happy FYI, Gymboree has a lot of non-princess panties that could work. : ) Good luck with the potty training, too!

  2. Good for you!!

    I found great Hanes brand panties that are solid colour, flowered or striped. I got them at Target, I think. Also, my little girl is so in love with Elmo I bought Elmo panties for her at the same place.

  3. Try Amazon-I found some from Fruit of the Loom, plain or with a few flowers. I took my 4 year old granddaughter to target the other day. There was a ‘princess’ pen (purple with a feather top). She knew about it! And thought it was beautiful! Yes, the princess stuff is rampant. We didn’t buy the pen, but did buy some sparkly socks (she loves socks!). It’s kind of like when I didn’t want my son to have play guns, & he didn’t, but what did happen when he was about 4 or older is he played with the other kids & used his fingers, ‘pow, pow’! Our culture continues to NOT be helpful! Stay strong, Stacey!

  4. Who knew non-princess panties would be so difficult? You gave ma a chuckle this morning with this story. 🙂 Hang in there and good luck with the potty training.

  5. I admire your commitment!! We started out princess-free, but then gifts and hand-me-downs started pouring in. L want through a short princess phase, then a fairy phase… Both of which I totally caved on. But now L is really into Star Wars and I’m standing my ground on our ban on toy weapons. She loves Legos (which I’m so proud of!) but ALL the Star Wars Legos have weapons. I’m considering sneaking the weapons pieces out and gluing the box back shut before she opens them! I could definitely relate to this post!!

  6. Thanks for the chuckle. I had no idea how difficult getting panties for little girls without the princess or tiara stuff. I admire that you are being strong about this..no matter how frustrating.

  7. I think it IS important to stay true to our convictions even when it is a journey. So many things seem this way, simple but end up complex. I think your anti-princess panties search is just preparation for standing your ground.

  8. Panties are panties…some battles are to be fought, some to be surrendered to – remind me to tell you our Barbie battles, and how I won in the end…but many years later!

  9. Your post made me smile and brought back a flood of memories. I am glad I did not have to deal with the princess panties saga! I do think there is a market for children’s underwear that is just plain colors! You know Jockey for tots! Perhaps after your writing career is flourishing….

  10. I love this story. My daughter told me not too long ago that the reason she and her brother get along is because we never treated her like a princess. I thought what?? She said because she didn’t think she was a princess like other girls did, she got along with boys, including her brother. So, good job on the panty purchase!

  11. Oh this piece cracked me up and took me right back to my son’s early years. I tried to raise him in a gender neutral way–though I think I ignored under clothing in my quest to be unbiased. Toys were my territory. We occasionally visited McDonald’s and when we did I ordered two Happy Meals, one with a girl toy and one with a boy toy. The day his father came home to find him in a Barbie crown talking to his action figures… you can imagine. Thanks for the chuckle and the nudge to that memory. Good luck with the anti-princess panties!

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