Dau 5: Mom, do all princesses live in castles?
Me: No, dear. You know they don’t.
Dau 5: Shelly says they do ….
Me: Well, they don’t … Who’s Shelly?
Dau 4: Smelly Shelly … She’s in Annie’s class.
Me: [Raises eyebrow] Perhaps we should call her something other than Smelly Shelly. …
Dau 5: Mom, are you a princess?
K. Knees: [An unseemly snicker]
Me: All girls are princesses sometimes.
K. Knees: [Another snicker accompanied by rolling eyes]
Dau 5: I told Shelly that you’re a princess. She says you can’t be because you don’t live in a castle.
Me: Castles are expensive to own and maintain. … Besides, Snow White lived in a cottage …
Dau 2: Yah, and with a bunch of guys too!
Dau 5: [Flashing an irritated look at her sister] … But she moved into a castle later … … … Besides … She wasn’t real, was she?
Me: I never met her. Maybe she was real … what do you think?
Dau 4: Oh she was real all right. … Those ruby-red lips! No one could make those up! [She puckers up and makes a loud kissing noise.]
Dau 5: [Pointedly ignoring Dau 4] Do we live in a cottage?
Me: No, our house is bigger than a cottage. We couldn’t call it a cottage.
Dau 5: But it’s not a castle. Why don’t you live in a castle?
Me: Ask your grandpa. I think he lost it in a game of chance played with a dragon, a monk, and two airline pilots during a layover in Morocco. ….
Dau 5: Grandpa played chance with a monkey?! Umm what’s chance?
Me: [Ignoring snicker from rude Scotsman] A game of chance is gambling. … And as far as I know your grandpa was never in Morocco. …
Dau 5: Can we buy a castle?
Me: Ask your dad after he balances the checkbook. … Annie, Castles cost tones of money. No … we can’t live in one. Besides there aren’t many castles in America. We’d have to move to Scotland or somewhere where they have them. And we’d have to find the money. Maybe we could sell your sisters to an evil prince in exchange for a haunted, ruined castle. … And maybe
Dau 5: Mom! … Did anyone ever live in a castle?
Me: You mean in our family?
Dau 5: [Nodds]
Me: Yes, long before you were born.
Dau 5: Can I be a princess?
Dau 3: You can be an annoyance. …
[K. Knees frowns mightily. I go shush!]
Me: Right after you find Prince Charming …
Dau 1: Except he’s hundreds of years old now and wrinkled and probably smelly.
Dau 5: So I can tell Shelly you really are a princess.
Me: Tell her the real word is Fürstin. … And tell her that you’re related to the princesses Briar Rose, Snow White and Melusine. …