Thursday, April 24, 2014

Zoe vs. "Let It Go" from Frozen

Desperate to escape hearing "Let It Go"
for the umpteenth time, Doug jumps,
hoping the cord will mercifully break.
Hey, parents, you know that song "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen? You may have heard it once or twice. And by "once or twice" I mean a bajillion times. And by "may have heard" I mean your ears are bleeding, and the only way you can rid your mind of Idina Menzel's constantly cresting power ballad is to replace it with whatever comes to mind first, even if it's 2 Live Crew's "Me So Horny."
What? Isn't that song always jumping the turnstile in everyone's brain?
Using popular search engine Ask Jeeves, I plugged in "My toddler is obsessed with 'Let It Go' from Frozen. Send help." And even without phrasing it in the form of a question---a style Ask Jeeves co-opted from Jeopardy! (bad Jeeves!)---my search yielded, well, lots of hits. So I know this is well-covered ground.
But you'll have to excuse me. You see, for many weeks I didn't know she was singing "Let It Go" since she'd only been scream-singing one line, and it was not "Let it go." It was "I don't care," which occurs in the song only once but which Zoe had fastened on for obvious reasons. (She don't care.)
So I figured she'd taken to belting out her apathy, aka, slapping new style on the same old substance. Like New Coke. I hadn't even taken her to see the movie, figuring she'd never sit through it. Her grandmother and aunt though, being both braver than me and more successful at Zoe-wrangling, took her.
And, prepare to be blown away: She behaved! I'd wager my cat's soul that if I had taken her there is no way she would've sat still. But anyway, my point is, that was why I didn't know what she was singing until she finally started adding other lines.

They all are willing to build a snowman with you
and then sit, gently holding your hand, till it melts.

Zoe sings "Let It Go" while lining up her toys. While taking a bath. While lying in bed at night before going to sleep.
Her other grandmother bought the DVD. And so now, 24/7, Idina Menzel's voice is in my head, dramatically rendering Elsa's pivotal moment in the otherwise icy silence of my mind.
You may be thinking, Wait a minute. This is not Zoe vs. "Let It Go." The little Evil Genius clearly loves the song. True. What Zoe really opposes is the meaning behind the song. That is, letting go as general policy. And I'm not referring to potty training here. At least not just that.
I'm talking about Everything. Objects. Ideas. Emotions.
For example, Objects: In order to clean her face each evening I must wait till she's distracted, both hands occupied, before I swoop in from behind with the washcloth, and I usually only get one swipe in before she yanks the cloth away and then won't let go.
Other objects she won't let go of: books (when I say we're done reading), my umbrella (open, pointy end advancing toward the cat), inappropriate attire (she wanted to wear shorts in a blizzard, probably under the mistaken belief the cold wouldn't bother her anyway). I've bellowed out a few "let it gos" myself while trying to wrest these items from her grip.
Next there are Ideas Zoe can't let go of. E.g.: She doesn't need sleep. It's reasonable for her to have dessert before, during, and instead of dinner. Or wear her favorite shirt every day even if it's covered in dirt, snot, and tomato sauce.

Tio Pepe's movie theater was known
for its understated marquee.

Finally, Emotions.
Sometimes it's like there's a storm inside her and she can't handle it. (Paging Elsa!) Tears will overcome her when she has every reason to be happy.
The other day we were getting ready to go to the park when I told her she'd get a surprise when we came back. Two exciting things! One of which she would not get immediately! Result: nervous breakdown.
She threw herself on the floor and cried. Refused to get dressed. Said she didn't want to go to the park. She just wanted to lie down on her bed. I lay down with her and through tears she told me a boy at school had pushed her.
Now, she often tells me, apropos of nothing, that this same boy pushed her. All she ever means is that she's overcome with emotions she doesn't understand and has to pin the blame on someone. And this boy at day care is her poor patsy.
In this case it was the excitement of going to the park combined with anxiety about going to the park, plus having to wait for a surprise she'd get in some uncertain future because, if we're going to the park, that's what we're doing, and later, what's that? Does anyone really know!? But anyway, it's not Now, which is The Time for Getting the Things!
I sympathized, saying that if someone pushes me I feel sad and I feel mad, and I don't like feeling that way. She mulled this over while playing with her hair. Then said she was ready to go to the park.
She gets similar emotional flooding from watching Elsa sing "Let It Go." Apparently the scene elicits such a powerful thrill within her that The Husband and I are not allowed to look at her when she's watching it. She needs to be alone with her experience (just like Elsa believed!). So clearly, no matter how much she loves the song and how much she sings it, she hasn't really absorbed the message.
Will she ever get it? I'm letting that go.
Zoe: 41; Universe: 0


  1. I'm not especially good at letting go of things either so I feel Zoe on this! The song, on the other hand, I am ready to let go of forever. When I hear it now I just start rocking in the corner. :D --Lisa

  2. So hilarious! I love the 'not allowed to look at her' part. That sounds like my daughter when she is pooping. We just discovered frozen and watched it through once at home and once in the car on a long car trip. I think I am still in the honeymoon phase with the song because I am digging it (I also like Hanson and WHAM!, so this is the taste you are dealing with).

  3. Lisa, I know--I'm afraid she's getting her emotional constipation from me!

  4. Susan, Wham, yes, Hanson, not so much! Haha. To each her own. I liked the song at first. Just like at first I loved her belting it out. Now, I'm over it!

  5. I have boys, but they still loved the movie. However, they are way more into Despicable Me 2, so we don't listen to Let It Go a lot. I kind of wish I heard it MORE, I the only mother in the world to have said that recently? Haha. I love your take on it--as usual!

  6. Z doesn't seem that interested in Despicable Me. She really needs to branch out! And I did like it at first I guess it's a familiarity breeds contempt type of thing!