Let me set the scene for you: Vivienne is acting up—she's overtired and throwing all kinds of toddler attitude my way. When she hurls one of the babies' toys across the room, I promptly deposit her in the time-out corner. After a minute or two of hysterical sobbing, she calms down. My protocol with time-out: I let her sit there for about three minutes (one excruciating minute for each year of her life) before I retrieve her, explain to her what she's done wrong, and solicit an apology. I also make a point to disappear from sight while she waits it out. So this time, I'm in the kitchen waiting out my three minutes when she calls to me:
"Mommy? Please don't shut me out again, mommy. Please don't slam the door. You don't have to keep your distance anymore, mommy."
That's right. My 3-year-old is quoting Frozen movie lines to me from her time-out corner. I flee the area so I can stifle my laughter in private and narrowly avoid reversing the whole effect of her punishment.
"Mommy? For the first time in forever, I finally understand !" she adds dramatically.
More Frozen movie lines. I try to control it but a choked giggle slips out. I need to end this time-out stat or I'll blow the whole thing and she'll think it's okay and adorable to throw things, or worse—that acting like Anna from Frozen will get her out of any jam.
Understand this: Elsa, the queen from Frozen, has zapped our household and covered it with rays of her icy powers. I wake up to Frozen. I go to sleep to Frozen. Frozen in the car, on the iPad, in iTunes, and in our bedtime books. It's everywhere. We endlessly name characters, analyze who is mean or nice, ask why Olaf keeps falling apart, and question why Elsa won't answer Anna's persistent knocking on the door. Vivi even carries around a book titled "The Essential Guide to Frozen."
A little history: several weeks ago, Vivienne and I entered a dark movie theatre for her first movie ever: Frozen, of course. I was nervous and wondering if she'd have the attention span to sit there in the same spot for over an hour and a half. I purposely arrived late so we could skip the previews and cartoons, and just as we entered the dark theatre, the movie blasted our senses with its startlingly loud audio and stunning visuals. She gripped my hand as we made our way to our seats and rejected my whispered suggestion that she sit in her very own big girl seat. Instead, she insisted on sitting in my lap—the whole time. Frozen was so enchanting and entertaining that I barely even noticed my legs going numb. As for Vivi, she was so enthralled she hardly made a peep throughout the entire movie. It was heavenly. Together, we escaped into this world where I was sure the boy would save the girl, and instead, sisterly love conquered all and the girl decked the bad guy in the end. Brilliant. We sat and watched this charming, heartbreaking, witty musical film and bonded over its magic. When it ended, Vivi refused to leave until all of the credits rolled—and only then she said, "Okay, we can go now Mommy."
Fast forward to the present, and I've heard each Frozen song approximately 3,571 times. We can recite each line, sing every melody and describe every minute detail of all of Anna and Elsa's dresses. Throughout the day, random snippets of Frozen songs play over and over in my head. I need a Frozen lobotomy. I need the magic Frozen trolls to pay me a visit and erase my memories, just as they did for Anna. And yet...truth be told, I'm the one who whips out the soundtrack in the car. I randomly burst into song, urging Vivi to join in with me.
I may be on Frozen overload but I never tire of staring into Vivi's beaming face as we belt out the songs in unison... again, and again, and again.