A couple of weeks ago, my little niece Sophie was in town; her sister Genna was over, and with Audrey in the mix, the three amigas were running around all over Nana's house.
While Genna does tend to lean towards 18 instead of 8, she usually is quite happy to tone it down and take on ringleader status when her half-sister and Audrey are around.
They worship her, and I can imagine that is a heady thing for a second grader.
They have little picnics where I try not to notice they have taken half the fruit out of my Mom's fridge in the interest of making the basket look full. They clomp around in each other's shoes. They torment their brothers.
This time, however, the game of the day was to wrap themselves up in sheets, pretending they were robes. They would walk around Mom's kitchen, noses in the air, Sophie clomping in someone's big shoes, her tiara a bit askew.
She and Genna, were in front of me, presenting themselves in their finery. Genna was explaining to me that they were princesses (thus the "robes").
"I see," I told her. Sophie stepped forward and presented herself to me, then my Mom.
"I Prince," she announced.
"Princess," Genna corrected. "No, PRINCE." Sophie insisted.
My Mom, ever the gentle negotiator, said, "Sophia, are you a Prin-CESS?" "No, I Prince."
"Princess Sophie," my Mom tried again. "Yeah," I added, "You're Princess Sophie."
She drew herself up to her entire 3-foot height, stuck her little head up at the perfect angle, grabbed a portion of her robe and slung it over her shoulder; and as she snapped her head in the same direction, as haughtily as a 2 1/2 year old can muster, said:
"I'm not a Princess. I am A QUEEN."
I looked at my Mom, and we both had to giggle. "We stand corrected," I said.
I was about to courtsey for the queen when I looked up and all I saw was the flip of a ponytail and a tiara askew turning the corner.
I knew then that the boys were gonna be in trouble.
Now that she's two, and when she's twenty-two.