a princess needs a prince like a fish needs a bicycle

grimm-book

I guess all two-year-old girls like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and Cinderella.  And I suppose all two-year-old girls wear Snow White costumes every day after Halloween and preface their names when introduced to neighbors with “Princess.”  They probably all climb onto their fathers’ laps before bedtime, hand them the same Little Golden Book version of “Snow White” they read the night before, and the night before that, and expect it to be read to them yet again, regardless of the fact that their fathers would rather read “The Poky Little Puppy,” “The Cat in the Hat,” or “Snow.”

I doubt, however, that they all point to the pictures of princes from these stories and say, “Daddy right there” like my princess does.  Knowing I have a narrow window in which I can expect to have this level of influence and trust, I like to make sure these 200-year-old fairy tales end properly.  After all, she’ll be able to read them herself soon.

All stories about princesses are altered such that any rescues by anyone resembling a prince are censored.

When a handsome prince kisses Snow White to break the evil Queen’s spell and then takes her back to his stupid castle in the clouds, Maddie instead hears, “After Daddy kissed Snow White on the cheek, she awoke from the evil Queen’s spell, completed her education, and began her medical practice with the celibate man she met as a resident.  And they lived happily ever after, just down the path from Prince Daddy.  The End.”

Sleeping Beauty wakes up and invites the man who assisted her to manage the law practice she takes over from her father.  She lived happily ever after, enjoying weekends with Daddy in the family lake house.

Cinderella slides her foot into the glass slipper and then publishes what becomes a NY Times best-selling autobiography, allowing her beau to be her editor.  She too lives happily ever after, frequently seeking inspiration via twittering back and forth with Daddy or reading his blog.

Sometimes, Pretty Bride will hear me reading through the monitor, come upstairs, and ask me when I decided the Grimm Brothers needed to host a bra burning party.  “The day I started raising a daughter,” I tell her.

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24 Responses to “a princess needs a prince like a fish needs a bicycle”

  1. A Free Man says:

    Fantastic post! Having a kid changes a lot of things doesn’t it, I can’t couch for the father-daughter experiences, but I’ll do my best to keep my prince away from your princess.

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  2. Theresa B says:

    So… who kisses the frog?

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  3. Whew. I didn’t know where you were going when I read the title of your blog, but nicely done…as usual.

    I liked how you added the twittering in. Will tweet you (that doesn’t sound good, does it?) later. ;)

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  4. punkrockdad says:

    I used to do the same exact thing but mine went like;

    “And if the prince ever lays a hand on the princess he wont need to buy mittens in pairs”

    Or

    “And the princess joins the Convent and lives happily ever after”

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  5. avatgardener says:

    papa pre-empts patterns of passion/prince, prefers pristine professional pastimes. puzzled PrettyBride pouts.

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  6. avatgardener says:

    that child is going to need so much therapy when she is in her 30s and disappointed in her relationships. OR some guy is going to kill himself because he will never be able to measure up. Ok, now I see your evil plan and applaud you.

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  7. lol… can i get a copy of your fairy tales??

    i’ve taken to making up my own.. they don’t have any characters who own penises.

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  8. I used to read fairy tales pretty much the same way to my daughter but I’d add, “began her medical practice with the celibate DEMOCRAT she met as a resident.”

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  9. Pretty Bride says:

    I’d like to go on record with two things:

    I didn’t know my husband was a feminist when I married him, but it’s cute as hell now.

    Every word of this post is true. For once.

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  10. SciFi Dad says:

    Nicely done, although if you keep this up, 25 years from now we’ll be reading a post about how you and your wife wish your kid would go and get her own place already…

    In all seriousness, we have been avoiding the whole “saved by the prince” thing completely thus far. Surprisingly, if you want princess stories where the heroine saves herself, sometimes in spite of the man, the Barbie DVDs are actually good sources (unrealistic body images aside). I so wish I was kidding.

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  11. I don’t have a daughter – three sons – BUT, if I did, I’m certain I would mother her, the EXACT same way that you Father your daughter.

    That’s adorable and very, very smart.

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  12. My 18 year old daughter has already dumped two unworthy boyfriends in the span of well under one semester.

    I’m so proud :)

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  13. muskrat says:

    csquared, now i know where the “+3″ comes from. cool! thanks.

    sci-fi dad, i’m not sure if i should be appalled or grateful for this advice.

    PB, i’m glad you think my typical stories aren’t true. it’s just better that way.

    prefersfantasy, i usually ask for a whig when i name a party.

    churchpunk, sure you can. but i’d need to attach some man parts to your stories if we’re trading.

    avatg, therapy? not for this…maybe some of my other judgment lapses.

    UR, i’m not sure what direction you thought the post would go, but i’m glad it didn’t go there.

    theresa, i suppose i will.

    freeman, thanks. although the trip to australia would make it worth it.

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  14. Legal Diva says:

    Hey! Thanks for the visit today. I go to NSL- with 5 kids I don’t have time for day school at Vandy. I love your fairy tails, they sound really similar to the ones my husband told my girls. I have my own variation for my boys as well, they involve no girls whatsoever… :)

    And a belated Happy Veterans Day to you as well!

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  15. Prefersherfantasy- If I had children, and I died, I’d want you to raise them.
    Muskrat & Pretty Bride- way to go! I have a feeling your daughter will be disappointed one day when she reads these stories herself and finds out how lame the endings are.
    Little Mermaid- Ariel joins the humans on land where she becomes a marine biologist, working to spread awareness about the importance of oceanic eco systems. Her friend Eric works in at the PR firm that helps shape the message of her work. Her work as a marine biologist allows her to swim to the castle to play candyland with Prince Daddy.

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  16. […] -Holding on to her inevitably fleeting belief that our house is a castle, that she’s its princess, and that I’m her prince.  And that every fairy tale ends with, “and then she went on to lawschool and practiced with Prince Daddy for ever and ever.” […]

  17. This is a fantastic post. I just stumbled onto your blog and I love it. My father is a lawyer and used to read bedtime stories to me in a similar fashion.
    Great post.
    .-= wanderingmenace´s last blog ..Parisian metro =-.

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  18. Yes, I liked that. So was my friend. He said he is going to check it out tomorrow. We will be back before you know it.

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  19. Cherrie Paetzold says:

    Our child hardly ever sleeps through the nite

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  20. […] still a bit obsessed with princesses, despite my creative endings to their […]

  21. Liza Wyles says:

    This is great. I’m usually changing words here and there to tamp down any violent descriptions of bad-guy slaying or a reference to a beverage being anything but water. Unfortunately, my kindergartner can read now and is calling me on this…
    Liza Wyles´s last blog post ..Click the Vote!

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  22. Ammara says:

    I loved your tampered version of the stories. I really love the fact that you are such an awesome father of your little princess. May you stay blessed forever :)

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  23. Lynne says:

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my
    comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!
    Lynne´s last blog post ..Lynne

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  24. […] love him for keeping it irreverent with posts like “Why I’m Hung Like A Ken Doll,” and “A Princess Needs A Prince Like A Fish Needs A Bicycle.” This prolific parent also just started dadcation.com have a site he wouldn’t mind […]

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