Monday, December 22, 2008
First you must know this: When we put on Wall-E for Ayla and Indy a few weeks ago, they barely paid it any attention.
They showed only the slightest, passing interest in the little robot and his sleek robot girlfriend (Ayla took a moment to obsess over whether or not Grammy had the movie at her house, remember?)before turning to each other to scream and fight and laugh and hug and wreak general havoc while mom and dad slumped on the couch and turned up the volume.
So I didn't even consider buying it for them for Christmas. They weren't interested. Right?
Then, two weeks ago, Grammy mentioned to me that Ayla had been talking about Wall-E and Flushed Away. And I know Ayla does love Flushed Away. She asks for it all the time. If she sees a picture of that mouse creature in the British-flag blue jeans, she points to it and says "Mom, you forgot to get me this!", all put out and accusatory-like.
So I bought her Flushed Away. (Don't worry mom. Ayla can't read this). And didn't really give another thought to Wall-E.
But then it began.
Driving in the car one day, Ayla announced: "My name is Eva. And Indy's name is Wall-E".
That was fine.
Then she started imitating those little robots. Have you seen the movie? There is something highly addictive about the way they croon one another's names, back and forth at each other,their voices electronic and unhuman: "EE-va!" "Wall-EE!". Yes, Ayla was repeating it. And she wasn't the only one. Suddenly, every time I went out anywhere, I heard at least one child repeating the sounds, like a pre-Christmas litany, an unholy pagan chant offered up to the gods of consumerism (if you're feeling cynical) or maybe just to the gods of good story-telling (if you're not).
"EE-va! Wall-EE! EE-va! Wall-EE!"
Should I get her Wall-E for Chrismtas? I pondered aloud to Noah. No, says he. We already got her Sleeping Beauty AND Flushed Away.
What kind of parents give their four year old three dvd's for Christmas?
Next thing I know, Ayla is actually introducing herself as Eva. "Hi boy, What's your name?" she chirps at the children's section of Barnes and Noble.
"Hi Alex I'm Eva. And my stitcher's name is Wally." (Stitcher being sister in Ayla-speak).
And then. Last night, tucking Ayla into bed, nestled all snug with her new Wall-E blanket and pillow (thanks, Aunt Sophie), what does the little elf utter?
"I hope Santa will bring me Wall-E for Christmas."
Well that was it. End of story.
Wall-E is on the way to our house. On his way this very moment, thanks to Amazon. Target and Borders are sold out. What did parents do before Amazon? How did you survive it?
And why do children wait until three days before Christmas to tell you what they REALLY, TRULY, want the most?
Merry Christmas, baby.