Emilia does not want to be pretty. Nor does she want to be beautiful or adorable or precious or sweet. Emilia does not want to have anything to do with anything that smacks of putting ‘lovely’ and ‘little girl’ together in a sentence. To wit:
Emilia: (in response to a suggestion that she wear a sweater that features some flower applique) NO. I don’t want to wear that because I DON’T want to be pretty.
Emilia: (upon being presented with a perfectly ordinary red shirt that happens to have some minimal ruffle detailing at the sleeves) NO. I don’t want you to buy that for me, Mommy, because it will make me TOO PRETTY.
Emilia: (upon being told by some well-meaning little old lady on the street that she is a very pretty little girl) (*with grudging pout*) Thank you. (Upon walking away but still within hearing-aid-enhanced earshot) Mommy, that lady said that I was pretty. I DON’T LIKE THAT, MOMMY. I DON’T LIKE THAT AT ALL.
Which, fine. It’s kind of awesome, actually, that, at three and a half, she’s determined to reject labels like pretty and beautiful and precious. If she doesn’t want to wear dresses or floral applique and will only wear princess attire under strictly controlled circumstances (combined with Space Ranger gear), that’s fine. It makes it a little hard to get her dressed, sometimes, but I can live with that.
Still… is it wrong that on the rare occasion when she decides that pretty is not such a bad thing (as, here, when her cousin successfully implored her to join her in dressing as a princess for their grandfather’s memorial), my heart leaps and I can’t keep myself from exclaiming, oh! my pretty little girl…!
… and feeling a burst of pride at her loveliness…
… her wonderful, recalcitrant loveliness…
… and thanking heaven that she is a (smart, funny, PRETTY) girl?
Is that so wrong?