A few weeks ago in preparation for Toy Story 3, I allowed SS to pick a Pez dispenser. I thought she was going to choose Mr. Potato head as it is the only character recognizable to SS (she has not seen the Toy Story 1 & 2). I made sure that there were no B@rbie ones in her field of vision. SS did not hesitate and quickly picked up a Buzz Lightyear dispenser. It has become her best buddy even though she does not know who he is. We did teach her that Buzz says "To infinity and beyond......!" SS goes around repeating this and making all sorts of funny faces. Today was the big day, SS was going to meet the Toy Story gang. P really had his heart set on the 3D version and I'm happy it was not available here. SS is a very sensitive child and it would be a disaster to have 3D effects coming at her.
We get to the scene where the toys are in the daycare room from hell. Those toddlers were not only ugly, gross, mean but just disgusting. SS was taking their abuse of the toys in stride, probably because she can be equally rough with her toys. That is until ugly toddler licked Buzz. SS was in her seat between us slamming huge amounts of popcorn into her little mouth and washing it down with a toxic red Icee. When SS saw evil toddler's tongue she lost it. She flew out of her seat and into my lap while screaming and crying "Oh no Mama, my Buzz Lightyear. No mama, my Buzz Lighyear." I seriously considered leaving the theater, because I could not see SS calming down in a timely manner. SS just clung to me, hung on for dear life until the end.
BTW, I have never seen that many quiet, well behaved kids before. The place was silent. SS was the only loud mouth in the theater and thankfully for us the adults thought her impassioned defense of Buzz was freaking adorable. When we arrived home I realized that SS's buttery (or buttery like substance), greasy hands had made their way all over my blouse and shorts. I had to change clothes and wash that gory mess. But what matters is that by the end of the movie SS declared Buzz a super hero and she wants to be Buzz. Hah, take that freaking B@rbie.
SS is very relieved that her Buzz Lightyear survived those awful toddlers, and that disgusting licking.
After the movie we took SS to spend some energy swimming. And who knew I would also reach a milestone. P wanted to try the diving board and SS and I stood by him, doing the necessary oooh and aaahs. I am annoyed because he did an awesome dive but the camera was in the stroller. Then after P's second dive SS looks at me and says "Mama, you turn." Who, me? My precious little girl, I do not do diving boards. Why the heck would I jump twelve feet into 13 feet of water and certain drowning death? I am a certified diver and did jump from a boat into 85 feet of water. That is different, I had the floatie thing just in case, and I had huge flippers, and well it was NOT a diving board. Diving boards scare me.
SS would not let go of her request and P assured me I would do just fine, feet first, no sweat. He pointed to the two lifeguards. There was a forty something dude supervising the low diving board. But he had his hands full with the short crowd. Then there was a skinny 16 year old supervising the death trap I was considering jumping from. P then reminded me that he is my personal lifeguard and would not allow me to drown. Except that he was holding SS, would he put her down to jump after me? I sure as heck was not placing my trust on skinny 16 year old boy. P promised me he would indeed jump in if needed.
By the time I made it to the top of the board I was shaking, completely scared. P and I used to swim by a hatchery in Blue Lake. I spend many hours jumping from a rock about 8-10 feet high, into the very cold river water. But somehow that always felt OK, it felt safe. Plus P was right there next to me and I trust him. The thing is I knew I had to do it today, I had to do it for SS. I don't want anyone ever telling her she can't do something because of her gender, race or size. If she wants to play football, we'll make sure she is safely padded. If she wants to do martial arts, we'll make sure to find a reputable dojo. The only way I can help my daughter believe in herself is by putting myself out there. She needs to see me, the one parent who is a female (boy how I briefly wished I was a lesbian to spread the guilt), doing things that are out of my comfort zone. I am the only mother SS will ever have and I needed to shut up and jump. Dude I was shaking for about half an hour after jumping. But SS saw me and she was proud. It is the best applause I have ever received, my girl was proud of me, and that is one neat feeling. I better get over it quickly because I see more crazy jumping in my future.
Last year SS would not jump in unassisted. She started needing us holding both hands and by the end of the summer she was comfortable with one hand. Today she reached another milestone, a solo big girl jump.
On the second jump her butt was too close to the edge. We worked with her on how to jump further in.