My 22-month-old son has a girlfriend, and she is animated. No, not her personality. Her.
He’s just starting to piece things together, and already he is obsessed with Elsa, from Frozen. As a father, I am trying to come to terms with this infatuation. Months ago, when his development wasn’t near as far as what it is now, my wife was changing a diaper and trying to pry a toy out of his hands at the same time.
“Let it go, Jamie,” she told him.
“Let it go. Let it go. Elsa?”
It has only progressed since then. The 501st time through the movie has only reinforced his obsession with the Ice Queen from Arendelle. Jamie will literally walk around the front room singing with Elsa to “Let It Go,” in grand fashion.
I cannot deny that I owe the ability to change laundry, finish an email or clean the kitchen on various days to this Disney masterpiece. But at the same time, I am wondering what is with the outright obsession? And why Elsa and not Anna?
My wife found herself in this very conversation the other day with friends, she said. After thinking about the question over the two princesses, I have no good answer. Anna’s the one that makes the sacrifice. A larger portion of the plot revolves around her. Yet this toddler is completely obsessed with her blonde counterpart. I am not sure what this suggests about the future.
There are nights when we don’t want Jamie watching a 2-hour movie. There are nights where we would rather him play with toys, read a book, or interact with parents. Sometimes this goes over well, as intended. And sometimes there is a fundamental lack of understanding that only a toddler is capable of.
There are nights where he will hold the TV remote, and hand it to us, asking “Elsa? Elsa?” And when he hears no, he falls apart and cries. I am only left to wonder how long this obsession will last? It is cute and it is funny until the answer is no.
I know kids go through phases with various fictional characters. Jamie’s first recognition was Elmo. He still likes Elmo, but it’s cooled. He also likes Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wizowski, Ralph (from Wreck it Ralph) and a handful of other fictional characters.
But make no mistake. None hold a candle to Elsa. Is it the magical powers? Is it the catchiness of “Let It Go?” Just trying to bring some rationalization and understanding to an area where there is none.
Frozen has engrained itself into the fabric of parenthood so deeply that it is impossible to escape. If you want to know who the parents are in any given room, work the phrase “Let it go” into the conversation. A parent will react every time. Whether it is a look of affirmation from their significant other, or some form of recognition in their body language, it will be there every time.
At some point I’m sure we’ll move on to the next obsession. In the meantime I’m sure I’ll be watching this movie at least a few dozen more times. It will be interesting to see if I pick something up I haven’t the first few hundred times.