I didn’t snap until May, which is damn impressive considering the movie and its earworm of a soundtrack had been out for six months. Despite the fact that my own kids weren’t that enamored with Frozen, the rest of the country was, and so we suffered. All of us. Until inspiration struck during a car ride on Mother’s Day.
We weren’t even listening to the Disney Channel or KidzBop or any other station that panders to pint-sized tyrants with horrible taste in music. And yet, the familiar opening notes of Let It Go started to fill the car. I groaned. And then impulsively blurted out:
“Hey kids, here’s a fun fact. Did you know that this song is really about farting?”
They looked at me, horrified yet curious. “Just listen,” I told them.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried!
I heard giggles from the back seat.
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know!
Bigger laughs fill the car. By the time we got to the chorus, they were roaring.
Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door!
The song finished, cementing another bond within our family: a juvenile, gross inside joke. I made them promise not to repeat it and made my son pinky swear to keep it together when his teacher plays the Frozen soundtrack during free choice time at school. They agreed, and considering that I didn’t receive any phone calls from the teachers, I think they kept their word.
I frequently lament the fact that time with my kids has passed way too quickly. I miss the details about life with little ones: footie pajamas, counting to “eleventeen,” the smell of baby shampoo. Predictably, I’ve turned into the weird lady at Target who grins way too enthusiastically at anyone under the age of two.
But as much as I miss the baby stage, big kids have their advantages. Aside from the obvious stuff like not pooping on themselves and knowing how to start the coffee maker for me in the morning, it’s also been fun to give them a glimpse of me as a person, not just me as a mom.
They’re old enough to be able to handle (and perhaps even appreciate) that I have a dry sense of humor and a fondness for the occasional, well-placed curse word. It’s time for them to understand that I cry shamelessly at all happy, sad and sappy occasions. Especially the sappy occasions. And they need to know that I will never, ever be a morning person.
It’s kind of a relief to outgrow my role of angelic caretaker and become more of a camp counselor – still in charge but also able to bend the rules occasionally. I don’t think I’ll ever get over longing for the baby days, but when I’m feeling nostalgic I’ll try and remember that toddlers never would have laughed with me about poor flatulent Elsa encouraging little girls everywhere to just let it go.