Friday, February 28, 2014

The Rules of Singing Frozen

Like every other family in the world, my kids are obsessed with Frozen. We downloaded the soundtrack right after Christmas and have enjoyed hours of sing-alongs and fun. HOURS. And hours. Let me be very clear about this - I love the songs from Frozen.  I think they're clever, funny, moving, beautiful - pretty much perfect. And I've never seen so many children connect to music like this. I loved the movie, too - the characters, the story, the messages (big and small) - all of it. I sincerely love all of it.

But as much as I adore these songs, I've heard them a lot. And my kids' connection to this music is starting to get a little weird and proprietary. My 5 year old thinks they're her songs now - that they belong solely to her. A couple of months ago, she would hear another little girl singing "For the First Time in Forever" and she would light up and squeal about how much she loved that song, too. Then they'd sing it together and twirl in circles and be so adorable and sweet that my heart would explode.

But last weekend, she heard someone humming that song and she snorted and raised one eyebrow. "Please stop. You're doing it wrong. Elsa goes: (starts singing) "Tell the guards to open up (pauses, takes a breathe) THE GATES!" No you sing, 'the gaaaatttes'! While I sing 'the gates'. Do it again. BUT DO IT PRETTY. Go."

And her bossiness is not unusual. Kids love these songs so much that they've become part of who they are. Which is wonderful! But it then follows that kid logic would establish some rules regarding their use. I thought it was just my family until I tweeted this:

Based on the reaction I got, I realized that it was not just us and that there are way more than two rules regarding Frozen singing. So I present to you here,

My Kids' Top Ten Rules of Singing Frozen:

Rule 1: If music is playing in the family vehicle, it will be the Frozen soundtrack, or there will be a reckoning.

Rule 1a: Extremely rare exceptions of rule 1 may be made only for "Everything is Awesome", but only if it's a really, really long car ride or if there are a lot biggish boys in the car. Like older than 3rd grade.

Rule 2: Parents may not sing. No. Just stop that.

Rule 3: Actually, parents can sing the part of Hans in "Love is an Open Door" but only if asked.

Rule 3a: If you are asked to sing Hans, bring your A game and do not mistakenly sing Ana lyrics or else.

Rule 3b: When the song is over, revert back to rule 2. Respect Rule 2. That's where you live, mommy.

Rule 4: Parents may not get weepy or sniffly during "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" or "Let it Go". Sorry, but these songs are not for you and you don't understand them and they're not sad. So stop making the "I'm not crying" face and please just turn up the music.

Rule 5: It's OK for older boys to pretend that they don't like Frozen singing. We know this is an act and that they will sing with their eyes closed when they think no one is looking.

Rule 6: There are are assigned parts for every song. These are not negotiable.

Rule 7: Sometimes people want to take turns singing different parts. Taking turns is horrible and no.

Rule 8: The Elsa version of "Let it Go" is better. The end. The other version is still awesome. But the Elsa one is better. This isn't a discussion.

Rule 9: Parents and older brothers may not use the lyrics of Frozen songs as jokes or punchlines. These songs mean something. Show some respect.

Rule 10: Parents may never, ever use the lyrics of Frozen songs against the children who love them in any way. To do so is deeply wrong and quite possibly illegal (according to the terms of The Disney/Pixar Convention).

A hypothetical example that actually happened in our house: A mean mother tells her nice children it's time to clean up and go upstairs for the night or some other awful thing that no one wants to do. The children justifiably object to their mother's unreasonable demands. The mother sings "I don't care what you're going to say!" and points up the stairs LIKE AN EVIL WITCH. The children are infuriated and worse, their hearts are irreparably broken. Parents, you might want to sing something like "Your whining never bothered me anyway" but just don't. It's cruel and you're breaking Rule 2 and it's like you didn't even watch the movie because you obviously missed the part about acts of true love and the meaning of family and everything else that is good in the world.

But it's OK. Your nice kids understand and will (eventually) forgive you. I mean, everyone's a bit of a fixer upper. That's what it's all about.

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013

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