Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

Poppins, I presume February 21, 2011

Filed under: Motherhood — dayna @ 11:59 pm

I’m answering to a different name these days.  Can you guess what it is? Yeah, so we’re kind of crazy for Mary Poppins around here right now.

I guess it all started near Thanksgiving when the Disney movie came on T.V. I thought our three-year old might enjoy bits of it, but I had no idea the rapture that would ensue.  Then, about a month ago, we reserved the 45th anniversary edition from our local library

We all just plain love this movie. The plot, characters, and casting are magical. The songs are fantastic, and the messages are sweet and timeless.

I have to admit that it sort of took me by surprise that the girls liked it so much. I guess I’m learning that we often sell kids short by assuming they want “cartoony” movies. In my experience though, a lot of them seem to prefer shows with real “live” people. Mary actually has both. There are some little vintage animated bonuses sprinkled in to keep things interesting.

So anyway, the big girl has assigned roles.

Mommy=Mary Poppins.

Big sister= Jane Banks (uh, the big sister).

Little sister=Michael Banks. (Shh… don’t tell the tiny that she is playing a boy in this show).  

Our little director has done this before. About six months ago she was emphatically Dora. As in “The Explorer”. I was addressed exclusively as Boots, her Daddy was Swiper, and her helpless, but always willing, baby sister was… well, “The Map.” 

My husband and I found this part so hysterical that we even started referring to the baby as “The Map.” Like “Do you have diapers for The Map?” “Does The Map need to eat sometime soon?”  The 6 month old (at the time) seriously seemed to crawl in time to her theme song. “She’s the map. She’s the map…” We were pretty sure the nickname would hang around until college at least.

During the Dora casting, I was a little conflicted. Do I let her insist on this?  Is it disrespectful? Thankfully, I chose more of a wait-and-see approach and, after a few months (and many a fantastic expedition), it just sort of fizzled out.  Very occasionally it would enter into a conversation as a control tactic.  As in…

Me: ______, please don’t do that.

Her: No! Dora please don’t do that!

Me: (Sigh). Ok. Dora.

There might have even been a few exasperated “Whatever your name is, please don’t do that!” Just trying to be real here 🙂

But overall, it seemed pretty harmless.

This time however, I’m taking a different approach. I’m all in. I’m desperately trying to fill Mary’s adorable ankle boots by affecting my best British governess accent and using cheery phrases like “Spit spot!”

The big girl is totally thrilled by it. Her eyes widen and sparkle when I refer to her as Jane. And I’m here to tell you- that “Spoonful of Sugar” song? Gold. Pure gold!  The kid runs around the house in a toy-picking-up frenzy as soon as we launch into the chorus. Hmm, wonder how long this will last…

We recently had to return the movie to the library, but it is sure to be on our list again. Sorry if you were waiting on it. We kept this one the maximum time. It’s just that good.  She was also clamoring for a book about the Poppster. (Am I pushing the bounds of propriety with that familiarity? Mary would probably not approve). So we checked out the original book by P.L. Travers. It is thoroughly delightful, but still a touch over her head (and attention span), so we’ll probably try it again in six months or so.

For now, I’ll just be blissfully basking in the strong glow of a three-year old’s imagination, and hoping that the magic lasts a lifetime.

“Alright then! Carry on children!” 🙂

Who do your kids pretend to be? Are they totally insistent? Do you correct, remain neutral, or play along?

P.S. Anybody seen the Broadway show version? Anyone read the books?


3 Responses to “Poppins, I presume”

  1. carol thomas Says:

    Saw the show at ASU Grady Gammage last year – wishing the entire time that A was old enough to be sitting next to me. The show was great but 3 hours long and by the second act the smaller Mary Poppins wanabees were squirming. Many had come dressed as Mary and I’ve never seen so many umbrellas at a Broadway show. Thankfully none tried to fly off the balcony.

  2. As you might imagine, we’re fans of Miss “practically perfect in every way” around here, too. I just wish the movie wasn’t so long. But my kids’ favorite part is the Toppins a Bag song (feed the birds).

    And…I’m so glad to hear that my kids aren’t the only ones who act out the shows/movies they watch on TV. I don’t recall ever having done that!

    • dohadden Says:

      I find it fascinating that “Feed the Birds” is a favorite over there!
      My girls are “Jolly Holiday”ers and I “Step In Time” all around the house. It’s embarassing really;)

      I wasn’t too surprised by the acting out by the daughter. I’m pretty sure I spent most of my childhood as Annie, Laura Ingalls, and The Black Stallion (don’t ask!). I just don’t remember insisting that my parents partake like my bossy britches does…

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