Fight the power

            The Little Einsteins are a quartet of super cute cartoon characters who fly around in their rhythm-powered rocket ship, helping socially awkward butterflies and growing harpsichords out of seeds.  In an episode that has now become famous in our household, they contended with an instrument-stealing Grumpy Wizard.  This particular bad-tempered magician made a big impression on Benjamin over the summer.  After watching the show, he summarized the plot for us.

            “Grumpy Lizard taking trumpet away,” he worried.

            “It’s not a Grumpy Lizard, it’s a Grumpy Wizard,” his brother told him.

            Benjamin nodded.  “Grumpy Lizard taking trumpet away.”  He repeated this mantra innumerable times a night for what felt like weeks, somehow getting the word wrong time and again.  “Grumpy Lizard taking trumpet away.”  Zachary groaned with frustration each time he heard it.

            Eventually, the Grumpy Wizard really became a lizard in the kids’ minds.  For a time, their little plastic alligator was known around these parts as the Grumpy Lizard.  Then Benjamin moved on to obsess over other fictional characters, most notably Tinkerbell.  The Grumpy Lizard was still live and well and living in Tahoe, but Ben sometimes mentioned pirates and princesses, as well.

            So, when we instituted a sticker chart to try to reward all behavior that did not consist of biting his peers, I wanted to get him a used Tinkerbell costume as a reward.  When I went to buy it from a mother in the area, she had a pile of other stuff she was selling, too.  I stocked up on rewards, including Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, and three pairs of plastic dress-up shoes with feathers and sparkles on them.  Each time Ben earns a certain number of stickers on his chart, I pull out a reward.  I have yet to give him Tinkerbell, as that will make all other prizes seem pathetic by comparison, but he has earned a doll, chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, and special time alone with Daddy.  Last week, he earned his first pair of dress-up shoes.

            He was beside himself when I presented the plastic blue slides with the feathers and the giant hearts on them.  “Princess shoes!”  He sat down immediately to pull off his socks and slipped them on.  He stood up and promptly fell on his ass.  He sat there crying as he stared at the shoes that had fallen off of his feet.  Walking in heels is hard.

            I helped him put the shoes back on and stand up.  With a little effort, he was able to balance and even slide forward.  In a few moments, he gained confidence and started working his way across the floor.  And then he spoke.

            “I just gonna poke some giants and the Grumpy Lizard,” he growled.

            Apparently, these were warrior princess shoes, and he finally had the power he needed to vanquish that felonious little lizard.

16 responses to “Fight the power

  1. Never underestimate the power of a great pair of shoes.

  2. I might need to borrow those shoes. He cracks me up!

  3. Wonderful! Have you read “The Paperbag Princess” by Robert Munsch, in which the princess vanquishes the dragon?

  4. Ah, yes. Walking in heels IS hard. But hey, sometimes wearing them helps if you’re kickboxing bad guys. It hurts more when you kick them if you’re wearing heels. (Isn’t that why Buffy always wore heels? No? Hmph.)

    Um. I think my nerd cred just showed up a little there. 😉

  5. Excellent! And you never know when it might come in handy to know how to walk in heels.

  6. Wow! I never realized that heels had such power! I might have to try some after all 🙂

  7. I love this post in a way I can’t fully express! At such a young age, Ben has tapped into the power of the heel. LOVE IT!

  8. There’s just something about heels, isn’t there?

  9. Walking in heels is hard. I’ve never mastered it myself but glad that Benjamin found power in his new shoes.

    Now give me a pair of Blundstones or Keens boots and I would go after that lizard myself.

  10. My little girl walks better in my heels than I do!

  11. I am also slightly hooked on Tinkerbell…

  12. Have I told you how much I love your kids? They are truly delightful.

  13. He may be the only person in the world who puts on princess shoes and uses them to poke giants and grumpy lizards! 😀

  14. LOVE this, Emily.

  15. Pingback: Reverberations « Wheels on the bus