Perhaps you have heard of Disney Princesses. If you are the parent of young girls, like me, you have not only heard of them, you have lived and breathed them for some time now. We have triplets. Lord knows what secret genetic sauce is pulsing through my body that produced three identical little hellions, but it definitely checked my personal quota for child production.
At first my husband and I imagined that triplets might at least have some efficiencies to offer. After all, we could buy everything in bulk. If I saw a pair of adorable pink pants on sale, I could simply buy three – or, better, six – and be done with it!
Oh, so very wrong. The moment the girls achieved sentience, they began establishing themselves as individuals. The idea of wearing the same clothes horrified them. What was always amusing to me was the fact that despite their fierce efforts to be different from one another, they actually were very similar in their tastes and behaviours – their differences were all superficial. Though I learned fast not to ever hint that I wasn’t taking their individuality seriously.
The Princess thing happened suddenly. If I ever find out which of their friends at school turned them onto the Princess Thing, I will be having words with that little girl. My darling daughters were all instantly – and identically – into Disney Princesses, but established their individual personalities by demanding different princesses. On a fairly regular basis. Their allegiances shifted constantly, and we tried, at first to keep up. We bought the princess-branded backpacks, the princess-branded shirts. The dolls. The DVDs. It was getting out of hand. And then my dear husband, Googling on mysterious keywords, discovered the Clear Bag Store and their pink clear backpacks with the outer pocket for pictures.
So we now have printouts of all the Princesses. Every one. Each morning the girls tell us which Princess they want. There ensues a lengthy negotiation between them concerning who gets to have their way on the princess question, and then the appropriate pictures are slipped into the clear bags, instantly transforming them into Princess-specific backpacks. It’s made our morning school prep a much smoother, easier operation.
The clear bags are durable and have a plethora of other advantages. For one, I can see at a glance that each of my little darlings has everything she needs, including lunch. For two, when one daughter comes home with paste spilled inside her bag and the other comes home with a live frog in her bag and the third one comes home with peanut butter smeared everywhere – all completely inexplicable events, if I am to believe the first-person reports of my daughters – clean up is incredibly easy: Just a damp cloth and some quality time spent scrubbing and muttering darkly to myself.
And, super pro bonus: When the Princess thing gets old in a year or three, we can just start slipping different pictures into the slots.