Kid-fatuations: Jake and the Never Land Pirates

Don’t ever let anyone tell you kids aren’t capable of having attention spans. I’ve learned they are selectively capable. When it comes to eating: no attention span. When it comes to church: no attention span. When it comes to getting dressed: no attention span. When it comes to school: no attention span. When it comes to anything preceded by, “Please look at Mommy”: no attention span. When it comes to a kid-fatuation… Defined here as any infatuation a child holds with the intensity and passion of a fully-fledged stalker. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a WINNER!!!

Silas is presently kid-fatuated with Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Morning, noon and night. He literally came into our bedroom the other night at 4:30 in the morning to tell us he lost his Jake toy and could we help him find it in the morning. Seriously?!?! At 4:30 in the morning you feel like asking us if we can help you find something in the morning? How about just waiting until the morning to ask us that urgent question?!?!

Whenever we get into the car, I am Izzy and I have sprinkled pixie dust over the car so it can fly. Izzy was given a bag of pixie dust by Tinker Bell and her friends but she is only allowed to use it in emergencies. Have to take issue with Season 1, Episode 10, Surfin’ Turf. She uses the “emergency” pixie dust to save a surf board. I’d like to submit that as a blatant abuse of pixie power. Although, I will concede that sometimes getting in our car to go somewhere IS an emergency. Sometimes the car nap is a matter of life and death and I am not always sure whose.

From the moment he wakes up until the moment he goes to sleep, Silas wants to either watch the show or pretend to be the characters. And since we limit his television, we are pretty much acting out the show all day long.  Every member of this family has played every role. Hollywood should take a creative cue from Silas as roles are not bound by gender or even species. I have played every character from pirate to parrot.

I had a moment of weakness and thought to myself, “If we’re going to do this from sun up until sun down, then let’s go all the way!” I let him take his allowance to the toy store to get a costume but he picked out a Bucky (Jake’s ship) tub toy instead. Now, he is constantly climbing into the tub to play with the one and only Jake and the Never Land toy we have. Of course, his birthday is coming up so everything on his wish list is Jake, Jake, Jake. So, I imagine that resource crisis will rectify itself soon enough.

Oh, dear. How much more intense the imaginary play will be once we have actual props! We will then be able to add in the pleasure of meltdowns when he loses pieces. Of course, once he does have all the toys he won’t be using his imagination anymore and the kid-fatuation will quickly recede. As exhausting as it is, I do love the way his mind turns ordinary things into pirate ships, swords, gold doubloons, treasure. I love the look of excitement on his face as he builds upon his imagination with us and his friends. It’s like watching a time elapsed video of a seed being planted, watered and grown. You can see that sunflower grow and tower right before your very eyes. Those thoughts and ideas tucked within his head spring to life. He’s learning that he can make things happen.

I just need a training program. As an adult, my imagination has withered on the vine. I need to put together a creativity challenge for myself like those 30-day plank challenges I’ve seen (and, of course, never done). Wait. There it is. Someone is up from his nap now. I hear the call… “Mommy! Mommy! Let’s play, JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES!”  [Sigh.]

Not even 30 minutes after this exuberant proclamation he was very sick. He frequently suffers from croup which sometimes escalates into stridor. We have never had it set in as quickly as it did today. This episode was bad and the doctor sent us straight to the emergency room. The poor boy burst blood vessels all across his face from straining so hard coughing and trying to breathe. He could no longer walk by the time I got him to the hospital. All this, from a bouncy ball of excitement to limp and lifeless in a matter of 60 minutes. As much as a mother prays for a little break from the hyper insanity that is daily life with toddlers, it breaks our hearts when it comes this way. We’ve been here before but it does not make it any less terrifying. A little cool air, a dose of steroids and he was back to normal. I’ll bet you’ll never guess what he was doing 1 hour later. He was skipping out of the hospital singing the theme song to the show, “Yo ho, let’s go!”  A sight for this mama’s sore eyes. I hate fire drills but I like them more than fires.

After the scare he gave us today, and while I am building up my creative endurance, here is what I’d like to say when he asks me to play Jake and the Neverland Pirates, “How about we play Margaritaville instead? I’ll make yours a virgin and mine a double.”

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