Friday, May 15, 2015

And that's why I talk to my daughter's stuffed animals

My daughter has to take a whole slew of stuffed animals with her to bed each night.  They are these big-eyed, perfect-for-toddler-hands-sized little guys from black and white cat ("Kitty Cat"), one blue cat ("Byoo"), one little lamb with ginormous green eyes ("Lamby"), and one ultra-special pink giraffe that was an "I'm a big sister" gift from her Mima and Papa ("Jaffy").  [Side note:  I keep telling my husband that we have to have back-up animals, especially for Jaffy.  If she loses one of these guys, Lord have mercy on us.]  She does inventory each night after story time and grins from ear to ear as she tries to walk up the stairs herself with her hands full of her little friends.

Tonight, for whatever reason, one was rejected.

She scooped up the four fuzzy fluffballs and started to head up the stairs, when all of sudden, she turned her gaze towards Lamby.  "No," she sternly said, "Don't want Lamby," and she all out threw him on the ground, moving towards the stairs without looking back.

My husband and I looked at each other absolutely dumbfounded.  "Damn," I said (quietly, mind you, because my daughter is a freaking parrot these days).  "Poor Lamby."  We both chuckled, and my husband followed the tired toddler waddle up the stairs.

(He looks so sad and lonely...)

I scooped up Lamby, set him next to me on the table, and told him consolingly "It's ok, little dude.  I still think you're pretty cute."

Cue the inner monologue:  Wait.  What?!  Did I seriously just console a freaking stuffed animal?!  

It was in that moment that I realized that Disney has permanently screwed with my brain.

In this instance, it's all Toy Story's fault.  Every time a toy in that movie gets either temporarily or permanently tossed under the bed or onto a book shelf, they have some sort of existential crisis.  Look at Jessie and Lotso in particular.  They held onto that "my kid threw me away" grudge for a long time.  (At least Jessie took a turn for the positive...Lotso was just a purple version of The Governor from "The Walking Dead".)

So what do I do when a toy gets flat out rejected by my kid?  I pick it up and give it love, because I don't want to deal with psychiatry bills for a 2015 version of a Beanie Baby.  

Last week, it was The Little Mermaid's fault.  While potty training my daughter, she immediately learned how to manipulate the system (because, let's face it, after day three of changing wet pants and begging my daughter to just go on the "special big girl Minnie Mouse" potty, I was getting desperate).

Every time she successfully went potty, we would give her one fruit snack.  Abby, the Chief Negotiator, turned to me and inquired "Abby get three fruit snacks?"

"No, you can have one."

She took my face in her little hands.  "Look at me, mommy.  Listen."  *dramatic pause, followed by creased in eyebrows and a plunging frown* "...I get three."

I laughed out loud and said in my best Sebastian the Crab voice possible, " give dem an inch, dey swim all over you."

Cue the inner monologue (again):  She doesn't even know what you're talking about.  You won't let her watch that movie because you know Ursula will traumatize her the same way she traumatized you.  So stop, Pam.  Just stop.

It goes on and on and on.  We watch The Princess and the Frog, I wonder what kind of life lessons she'll take away from it.  Spoiler alert:  None.  She's two.  The frog and alligator sing, and the firefly has a funny accent and a butt that lights up.  That's all she cares about.

We watch Frozen, and Olaf is the most inspiring and intriguing character to her, with Sven screeching in at a close second.  The love between sisters means nothing to her.

I'm the only one who is taking anything away from you at this stage in our family life, Disney.  Just me.  

Granted, I'm not really complaining.  Keep sending me movies like the before-mentioned Princess and the Frog and Brave - I'm diggin' them.  I've just come to accept the fact that my mind and heart is the only one touched by these movies thus far.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go round up Abby's farm animals and set them up lovingly around her newly-created chicken coop.