Thursday, August 19

Hannah Montana Syndrome: Don't Let It Happen To You.

My four year old daughter just fell head over heels for Hannah Montana and it was completely my fault. Don’t worry, my punishment is something that won’t soon be forgotten. The constant impulse to stab myself in the eyes and ears with a fork or pencil or any random object each time my daughter says that character’s name is just one of the many pay-backs currently being allotted for the crime.

The pop princess has been on auto-repeat in Little Miss Mind's Eye Jr. since early this past Wednesday and so far it seems my child can work her into any conversation.

Add that to the horrified look on Dad’s face when our beautiful child started spouting off on her imaginary mobile phone about [said in an exasperated, huffy tone]
That moment pretty much nailed that I had gone did wrong. Done wrong bad.

Hmmmm… I wonder what kind of imaginary phone my daughter owns? Even though it looks suspiciously like our digital ear thermometer, all indications show it’s actually an iPhone. Awesome, we have matching mother-daughter imaginary iPhones.

Anyway. How did this Hannah Montana exposure happen? Let me plead my case. Basically in a nutshell, it was an absolute moment of weakness where all bets were placed on predictions that had been based on out-of-date information and trust me, the price is being paid.

The Weakness: Promises were made for a midday movie from the library this past Tuesday and this time it could be the 4 year old’s choice. It’s usually a safe gamble because there’s always something in the children DVDs section at the library that is age appropriate and in English or French [broken translation supplied par moi.] Oh how I laugh at that ‘always’ because ha! I should know better.

So, no such movie was found and disappointment was imminent when suddenly my girl pulls a Hannah Montana dvd off the shelf that had multiple episodes, plus some Jonas Brothers. As she thrust it forward innocently saying ‘this one please’ with a smile, the voices in my head screamed:
nooooooooooooooooooooo! Don’t do it.’
[sidenote: The only thing really ever learned via Oprah by this particular writer is ‘always listen to the little voices telling you that you are in danger, your impulses are usually correct.’Guess who didn’t listen to her Oprah instinct? That right, this lady right here.]

Clearly the next action to be taken should have been a responsible adult stating ‘why don’t we check back tomorrow for something suitable’ but that’s not what happened. The day had already already been very trying, we were just broaching that long stretch of the hot daytime hours when indoor downtime was best, and she had set her heart on watching a new show after a really active morning. A meltdown was in the cards and weakness won. I. Said. Yes.

The Bet & Prediction: When we visited Disney World this past March, episodes of Hannah Montana were watched out of desperation and my daughter dismissed them as ‘silly’. The relief that provided me was immeasurable but like all things related to my child tastes and interests; fickle is as fickle does, always unpredictable. Who knew she now would Love Hannah Montana with a capital L? Anyhow. Figuring that she’d turn up her nose again at Ms. Miley Cyrus and her teenage ways, promises were made about how we could return this movie tomorrow because she probably would ask for something different after a few minutes.

The Price Paid: Let me start this by stating at one point during the Hannah Montana Siege, I thought that renting Fatal Attraction would have been a better choice.
"Sure sweetie, I think this one has bunnies in it."
To be completely honest, at first it appeared that Miley Cyrus had made no impact whatsoever. Sure, a couple of Hannah Montana episodes were watched but nothing remarkable happened immediately after consumption, save for her new obsession surrounding the procurement of a marshmallow gun like the Jonas Brothers used in the episode called “Me and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas .” Oh my god I wish I did not know that factoid.

Wednesday morning the dvd was returned and a more suitable collection starring Curious George was procured. As of yet we have not watched that loveable primate and Man with the Yellow Hat because somewhere between putting that Hannah ******* Montana dvd in the return slot and our walk home something switched on inside my child.

And it was not pretty.

She became a teenager. Well at least a teenager from a 4 year-olds’ perspective, a 4 year old who doesn’t really know any teenagers, like, at all.

Suddenly Hannah Montana was her new imaginary friend and O.M.G! My little girl became a teenager with a mobile phone glued to her face having an absolutely inane, horrific conversation. It was like she was possessed. It was obvious she didn’t really know what she was saying because the conversations didn’t really make sense. Or maybe she nailed it, who can really tell? But it doesn't matter because the most disturbing part was the tone, oh the teenage tone. Flashes of our future came from every direction, a future we really could wait a whole lot longer to see.

The apex occurred right before bedtime during what was thought to be a successful distraction from the *whispers* Miley thing. Hannah appeared to have left the building when a sandbox diversion was deployed on my girl. Next thing you know we were cooking for a tea party, making sand cakes, getting water for the tea, and all the usual trappings. My daughter was directing the project and giving suggestions on how things should be done.

Then out of nowhere:
Hannah Montana wants us to use these eggs to make the cakes. We’re going to invite the boys… oh wait, Hannah’s calling me
and her hand came up in the universal sign of ‘can’t talk, on the phone’ as she lifted the digital thermometer to her ear.

It’s hard to describe what it felt like to be dismissed by a four-year old possessed by a teenager, my 4 year old possessed by Miley Cyrus. It’s true, flashes of the future years have been witnessed many times before, but those are glimpses, not hours and hour on end. Trust me, parts were hard to bear, especially the part about boys.

Plus I think she has a better mobile phone than me, real or imaginary.

The recovery might take some time, the wounds are still too fresh. For now all that can be said is that age-inappropriate children’s programs will be the only standard from here on out so momma don’t end up in the corner rocking in the fetal position.

Reprogramming and rehabilitation has taken on a whole new meaning in our household. First step, Dora The Explorer Methadone.


Avitable said...

Next, you should introduce her to Ke$ha, or, as I like to call her, the future Mrs. Avitable.

Rebecca said...

Oh dear god. So you're saying I have about 2 years before faced with this by my own sweet girl? What if we move to the desert? Or the Arctic?

Karen said...

Word sista. Living the same nightmare.

Her Bad Mother said...

Emilia knew that she would fall. KNEW IT.

Now G can come over and they can fight over the Hannah Montana microphone.

Apryl's Antics said...

We surrendered to HM a couple of years ago and have since banned it and all other shows that predominantly feature sarcastic teens involved in crazy "Three's Company-esque" misunderstandings while the adults are rarely present. When I was a kid, we watched adults behave the same way, but the leap from pre-teen to adult was much larger than that to a teen. It's too easy for kids to aspire to that behavior and want to emulate everything they see.

I used to think the shows were harmless, but I have learned from my own experience that they are, in fact, insidious.

Fortunately, the transition was easy for us. We now stick to Discovery Channel kids, Animal Planet, and movies. The bonus is the kids watch less TV.

IzzyMom said...

As my recent gossip trolling has informed me...Miley's grown into some flavor of slutty Britney wannabe; definitely not a Disney girl anymore!

Plus, if you haven't experienced it yet, hours upon hours of Hannah Montana, because it's on an infinite loop on Disney, will MAKE YOU INSANE.

I've made N turn it off at least twice a day this summer because I cannot fucking stand to even HEAR it..

This Mom said...

I am suppressing my four year old's HM interest as best I can. But should I be concerned that she recognizes Lady Gaga on TV???

Just found you through the blogroll on Canadian mom Blogger, and I am now a follower!

Kate @ This Mom Loves

Mary G said...

I can understand. I fell in love with Annette Funicello (?) of the Mousketeers. And I was probably twelve or thirteen.
On the up-side. Took the seven year old shopping for a lunch box and she spurned HM. 'That's old,' she said.
Only, my ***!, what comes next?