One day, maybe a year ago, I wondered about this movie that I saw people talking about:
I saw John Travolta botch saying Idina Menzel’s name at the Oscars and didn’t think much of that song at the time.
So I watched a YouTube video of “Let it Go” and let my daughter, then almost two, watch it with me.
Again, I didn’t think anything of it. But some seed was planted. Maya requested the video again. And again. Then we checked out a few other songs. But again, I didn’t think anything of it.
A few months ago, my cousin had us over for dinner, and thinking ahead, she rented Frozen so Maya could watch the whole movie. Maya had never seen a whole movie before (she has always gotten distracted and wandered away), so I was shocked at how fixated and focused she was.
She watched the WHOLE THING – as did all of the adults, despite the movie being rented to distract the kid so we could enjoy adult conversation.
Since then, she has become obsessed. She is no longer Maya, she IS Anna. And I am no longer Mommy, I am Elsa. Daddy is Kristoff, and one of our three dogs (whichever is most near) is Sven. A Christmas cookie tin is Olaf (yes, it’s shaped like a snowman). A now ever-present light blue sheet draped over chairs in our living room is the ice castle.
There are some moments where I am SO impressed with her imagination and brain-ability. She has only seen the movie three times (in as many months), but she has already memorized lines from scenes and makes me act them out over and over. Granted, she only knows a line or two, and I am totally improvising, but she still wants to create the scene:
For example, she will make me sit on one side of the closed door and she will sit against the door on the other side and she will want to build a snowman, and I have to tell her to “go away, Anna…”
It will be the early scene where Anna wakes Elsa up by pulling on her eyelid. Maya makes me lie down and pretend to be asleep, then she pulls on my and says, “The sun is up, so I am up. Let’s play!”
It’s the scene where Anna goes to the ice palace to try and talk Elsa into coming back. She says, “Elsa? It’s me, Anna.” I say, “Go away, Anna” (because I do not know my lines verbatim) and she says “But I just got here…” and tells me I look different.
Also amazingly, she can sing chunks of a couple of the songs. I am in awe of this tiny baby brain (am I in denial about her growing up?) being able to memorize and sing swaths of “Let it Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”.
This is probably not making for very interesting blog reading, but I am just so amazed that I had to note it down for my own memory.
Truth be told, I am totally sick of being Elsa. She literally calls out for Elsa when she wakes up – middle of the night or first thing in the morning. I miss being Mommy. I have started to tell her that, “You know, Maya is just as cool and brave as Anna, and Mommy is just as cool as Elsa, even without ice hands.” But I have to admire that her little, developing mind is creating this fantasy world and play-acting.
I remember now that when my little sister was two or three, she WAS Dorothy Gail from The Wizard of Oz. She wore red “ruby slippers” everywhere and her blue and white gingham dress (or was it a long tee shirt that she pretended was the dress?) She would not wear anything else. I was only ten at the time, so I may not have been marveling at my annoying little sister’s creative imagination, but I do remember this being a very solid and lasting phase.
So this post is to add my little babe to the billions of kids who have gotten Frozen Fever (an oxymoron?) and to remind myself of this solid and lasting phase of creative imagination in my little Anna, I mean Maya.
I do, however, look forward to the day that I wake up in the morning with ANYTHING OTHER THAN A FROZEN SONG in my head.
P.S. I am glad that Maya is identifying with Anna; I think she’s the real star of the movie and the good role model. I also really enjoy Olaf and am happy to sing about snowmen in summer anytime you want me to.