Recently, my toddler has become a Disney fanatic.
It first started right before our short trip to Disney World, when we let her watch a few of our favorite movies and listen to our favorite soundtracks. Her Disney obsession has only grown from there — a princess party for her third birthday, a dress up set for Christmas, and an amazing amount of Disney-related loot from the Easter bunny. My husband and I figure that this is just an intense, but adorable, phase.
However, it has impacted our lives in some pretty unexpected ways …
1. She conveniently loses her “glass slipper” practically everywhere we go.
Of all the Disney princesses, my toddler is especially infatuated with Cinderella. This has led to an interesting little game that she plays at grocery stores, Target, and every single house we visit.
It goes a little something like this:
As we cruise down an aisle at any store, she waits until I’m not looking and removes a shoe, stuffing it in between some random products (diapers, cans of green beans, the linen aisle … you name it). A few minutes later, she declares, “I’ve lost my glass slipper at the ball!” A shoe-hunt ensues, where we must retrace our steps throughout the store and refer to her as “Cinderella” in order to find where she stashed the plastic, glittery monstrosity. During playdates, she pulls this same move. When it’s clearly time for us to leave, and we’ve destroyed our friend’s playroom enough, she announces that she must find the glass slipper before making her grand departure.
2. It’s filled our heads with a surprising amount of random trivia knowledge.
My husband and I try to make it to a pub trivia night at least once a month with a few friends from college (who don’t yet have kids). The winning question one recent night was How many salad plates do Anna and Elsa own?
Only parents of a Disney-obsessed toddler would be able to succinctly answer that one — and that we did! (For the record, it’s 8,000. Another table of parents contested our answer, thinking that the song said, “a thousand.” But we reigned victorious.)
3. It’s helped us introduce her to healthy foods (with a bit of creativity).
While my toddler doesn’t exactly request healthy, balanced meals on her own, I’ve learned that it’s pretty easy to rename anything to appeal to her Disney obsession.
For example, last night, we dined on Mickey Meatloaf, Olaf noses, and Enchanted Forest Trees … which in reality was a perfectly healthy dinner of turkey meatloaf, steamed carrots, and broccoli. And last week, I watched as every bite of my “Cinderella Stew” was devoured by my toddler. (It was basically a pumpkin risotto.)
Bibbity-bobbity blueberries, Snow White apples, or asparagus magic wands? She’s in!
4. It’s encouraged us all to dance more. (Seriously.)
This one is due to a little phenomenon called “The Hot Dog Dance.” Maybe you’ve heard of it? At the end of each Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode, my daughter requires everyone present in our house to get up and pretend to be one of the dancing characters.
Since this is currently her favorite show, I have really been able to get an extra step boost on my FitBit.
5. She begs less for junky toys.
Now that my toddler has had a little taste of Disney World, she can’t wait for more. So every time she asks for some ridiculous gadget in the supermarket checkout line, I simply explain that we can’t get it because we need to save our money for our next trip to the Magic Kingdom. Tantrum averted! She even rounds up our spare change from around the house.
6. I’ve had to do way less laundry lately.
Yes, I am that parent with the toddler in full-costume at the post office. The good news though, is that the constant wearing of princess dresses has really cut down on our laundry quotient.
7. She already has some major career goals.
Due to her love of Doc McStuffins, my toddler has her heart set on becoming a “doctor of stuffed animals.” My husband is pretty sure that’s technically called a taxidermist, but for now, we won’t tell her that.
8. Her sticker game is on point.
If you have a Disney-obsessed toddler, you have probably seen a huge sticker increase in your household. Everywhere you go, toddlers are offered Disney stickers. It’s nice to know that she won’t be let down by an “inferior” sticker selection after a difficult doctor’s appointment, but really, how many stickers can one cavern hold?
9. She’s more empathetic than ever before.
Last week, my husband and I were finally able to go on a long-awaited date night — a fancy dinner out, followed by a live performance. I had spent a whole 30 minutes on my hair (which in mom time is some serious grooming), and was all dressed up and ready to go. But just as I finished applying the last of my mascara, I received a call from our babysitter, who had to cancel due to a family emergency.
Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed. But here was the upside: My toddler’s empathy over the whole thing was amazing.
“Mommy, you must feel pretty sad that you cannot go to the ball with Daddy, your prince, tonight,” she said, before giving me the sweetest hug. “Don’t worry though, your fairy Godmother will help you go a different day.”
10. Her imaginative play skills are next-level good.
This is probably my favorite unexpected consequence of my toddler’s Disney obsession. The Disney storylines give her a great starting point, and my daughter takes it to the next level of imagining pretend situations and relationships. She will spend entire days in character as Elsa, and if I dare say something that Anna would not say, she will ad lib to get me back on track.
It’s honestly one of the most adorable things to watch; and hey, anything that involves learning through play is a winner in my book.More On