Two strange things happened on our annual Christmas Disneyland trip.
First, Adrian just seemed to get it. We went to Disneyland in October, when Adrian was around seventeen months old, and he liked to look at things and seemed to get excited about some of the rides. But this time, at nineteen months old, he was in love with everything about Disneyland. He loved the rides, the characters, the decorations, the buildings, the princesses. He kept trying to say “Disneyland”. So, apparently The Disney Switch gets thrown at eighteen months of age. Now you know.
Second, I have overcome, with Erin’s help, my aversion to the Disney Princesses. Erin is more than a little in love with Tangled and Rapunzel. Emily, Grandma, and I have all taken Erin to see the movie, and she has a copy of the soundtrack that she listens to in her room and in the car endlessly. Do you know the opening of Easy A? The main character gets a birthday card with a chip in it that plays some annoying pop song and at first she reacts with derision. But she keeps opening the card and hearing the song, and over the course of a weekend she goes from cynic to brainwashed super-fan. That’s exactly what has happened with Emily and I and the Tangled soundtrack. We’ve heard it so many times now that there’s no room left in our brains for cynicism: We sing along, loudly.
So, as part of this trip to Disneyland we made it a point to visit the Disney Princesses in their little area. And even more than that: I willingly stood in a 45 minute line to see Rapunzel. Erin was so excited at the chance to talk to Rapunzel in person that I couldn’t help myself.
That’s how they getcha.
It was near the end of Rapunzel’s day when we finally entered the room she and Flynn Rider were standing in. Erin had picked a flower earlier in the day to give to Rapunzel and I handed it over once we were in line. I’d been keeping it safe for Erin. Again, I couldn’t help myself. Erin’s enthusiasm, and the promise of her future excitement, was infectious.
In addition to the flower, Erin wanted to sing a song for Rapunzel: the Flower Spell song from Tangled. So when it was finally Erin’s turn to meet Rapunzel I turned on the video camera.
(You can see Emily singing the words too…..it’s in our heads!!!)
Erin had a nice visit with Rapunzel and Flynn, and turned her charm up to 11. She showed off her dancing and jumping skills, and posed for a thousand pictures.
One of Erin’s Christmas presents this year was a digital camera. She was taking pictures all day long and of course the batteries died right before we got to Rapunzel. Erin tried to take pictures of her and the camera just wouldn’t work. It had been a nice visit anyway, and Rapunzel and Flynn Rider had already gone way over and above to make Erin’s visit special, so we said our goodbyes and exited out the side, passed a door guard named Sean and two young women sitting at a table outside the door who gave every impression of being off-shift Rapunzels waiting for their compatriot to get off work.
Erin was so disappointed about not being able to take a picture of Rapunzel and Flynn with her camera that I changed the camera batteries once we were outside and then let her go stand next to Sean the door guard to click some pictures from the doorway.
This was apparently the most adorable thing the off-duty Rapunzels had ever seen, because they got Rapunzel’s attention and suddenly Erin found herself with a second visit to the Princess. Rapunzel told me that Erin was her favourite visit of the day, and I believed her even though I’m sure she says that to all the parents.
I consider that a complete and total Dad Win.
And it’s that kind of thing that has turned the tables on my relationship with the Princesses. I know people dislike them, and for some good and bad reasons, but this one really did bring some magic into Erin’s life and I can only be grateful for that. So, I guess The Disney Switch also gets thrown at thirty-three.
Now you know.