Monday, November 17, 2014

Ready .... let it go!

My granddaughter Coraline is three years old now. Three is the age of agency, and Coraline grabs hers hard and holds on to it with a death grip. She may not understand how everything in the world works, but what she does grasp, she locks down hard with all the stubbornness she can muster. Like how rock and roll works. She knows. And how to drink tea: pinkies up.

And the words to the theme song from her favorite movie, Frozen.  She was singing the song in the back of my van last week, and I was amazed that she seemed to know all the words. I was also surprised to hear her sing, "Ready, go ... Ready, go ...." I asked her, "Is that the name of that song? I thought it was 'Let It Go.'" She told me no, it's "Ready, go." OK.

Thursday she was here for our weekly visit, and she wanted to watch the video on Youtube. So I turned it on my computer, and we watched. Or I thought we were watching until I realized she wasn't with me. She was behind me acting out every one of Elsa's moves as she sang along with the song. It was adorable, and I thought she pegged both the acting and the lyrics.

And then I realized she was singing what the words sounded like, but she wasn't actually singing the words and had no idea what the lyrics meant. And she was singing, "Ready, go ... Ready, go ...."

"It's 'Let it go,'" I said.
"No, it's 'Ready, go,'" she corrected.
"Really, Coraline, I'm looking at the words right here on the screen. It's 'Let it go.'"
"It's 'Ready, go.'"
"Listen." I sang the words. "See? 'Let it go.'"
"No, Mamá, you're wrong. It's 'Reeaattty, go.'" She sang it for me.
"I'm looking right here. Right here! Come and look ... If only you could read." I realized I had no way to prove my rightness to her.
"Who told you it was 'Ready, go?'" I tried another angle.
"Well, Carlie was wrong. It's 'Let it go.'"
"Well, Carlie is my best friend. You're my best grownup, Mamá, but Carlie is my best friend."
"Your best friend can be wrong, you know," I said.
"She's not though." Coraline wouldn't bend. (Multiply these lines by 20 to get a true idea of the conversation.)

I have to mention what an earworm that song is. I can't get it out of my head. Coraline spent the night and most of Sunday with me this past weekend. We watched the video of the song several times, so it was firmly stuck in my head. With more frequency than I'd like to admit, I'd burst into the chorus. I'd be cooking or driving down the highway in my van and without thinking I'd start singing, "Let it go ... Let it go ... Don't blah blah blah blah blah."

And from her carseat behind me Coraline would sing at the top of her lungs, "Ready, go .... Ready, go...."

And then we would have the same conversation as the one above again. We had that conversation at least a dozen times during our 24 hours together. Maybe more. I even showed her a video where we could see Demi Lovato sing it, and we could read her lips. Or at least I could read her lips. Coraline wasn't persuaded, because her best friend Carlie knows everything. I think I'm going to teach Coraline to read early so I can prove to her that Carlie is wrong, and I'm right.

That wasn't the only thing we disagreed about though. She's super excited that I'm getting a new puppy, but when I told her my new dog's name is going to be Doc, she said, "No, Mamá, you're wrong. Your new puppy's name will be LuLu."

"I don't like LuLu," I said. "My dog's name will be Doc."
"No, LuLu," she said confidently.
"I'm not kidding, Coraline. My dog's name is Doc."
"No, it's LuLu."
"No, it's definitely not LuLu. I don't like LuLu, not even a little bit." (Multiply these lines by 15.)

Later, when we weren't arguing over the "Let It Go" lyrics, we argued over the new puppy's name in the van. Same conversation as above times 5, and then I said, "Why do you want to name my dog LuLu? Do you know who LuLu is?"
"Yes, she's something something fairy queen and something something ...." I couldn't hear the story because she talks so softly in the van I have to make her repeat everything 3 or 4 times.
"That's not who LuLu is and you know it," I said.
"LuLu is your new puppy," she responded. "Ready, go! ... Ready, go! ..."

I realize it may sound like we argued all weekend, and I'll admit we had these two ridiculous conversations over and over. Neither of us gave an inch -- she didn't because she's three. I didn't because I'm right.

We were at Walmart buying a couple of dog beds and a chew toy when I said, "I wonder what color collar and leash I should buy for Doc."
"LuLu wants pink," Coraline said.
"His name will be Doc, and I don't think pink is the right color for a big, black dog. I'm thinking bright blue."
"LuLu wants pink," she insisted.
"Look," I said. "You already named my transgender male betta fish Lady Fish. Doc is a boy dog. I'm not going to name him LuLu and buy him him a pink collar and leash." I heard the guy standing behind us laugh.
"Your puppy will be a girl, and her name will be LuLu," Coraline said calmly, as if I hadn't even spoken.
"I've already chosen him, and he's a guy, and I will name him Doc," I said, just as calmly.
"LuLu. Your puppy is named LuLu."

I stopped the cart. "OK," I said. "We're going to settle this once and for all. You know who LuLu is, don't you?"
"She's your new puppy," Coraline said.
"No, LuLu is what you call your grandpa's wife. You call her LuLu, right?"
"Yes, I think so," she said.
"When you go to visit Grandpa and his wife, you call her LuLu, don't you?" I know the answer, of course.
"Yes, and your dog is going to be called LuLu too," she said.
"Much as I appreciate the irony of naming my dog after her, I think some people might not see the humor in it," I said. "The dog's name can't be LuLu. It has to be Doc."
"No," she said. "It's LuLu. And she'll be a girl doggy."

The overnight ended about 7:00 last night, and we were at a standstill. As she walked out to the car holding Rock Dad's hand, I sang after her, "Let it go .... Let it go ...."

And she sang back, "Ready, go .... Reattty, go ...."

She must get that stubbornness from her father's side. Or maybe it's just because she's three, but I know she'll see things my way eventually.

Or maybe I will just name my future new puppy LuLu. It's not such a bad name for a dog, is it?

Stubborn as a 3-year-old

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