This week I'll celebrate my fourth wedding anniversary. Yay!
However, there's another anniversary I can't help thinking about: it's been a year since Frozen came into - then swiftly invaded - my life.
I remember being excited to take the girls to see the film last December in the cinema (Liv wasn't yet one so I could get her in for free), and it was Diana's first trip to the cinema since her baby cinema days so she spent the entire time standing up, awed.
Before the film, we even tried to find some of the songs on YouTube - back in the days when it was hard to find Frozen songs online; can you imagine such a world?! - to get excited about the characters.
Fast forward a year, and Frozen is firmly a part of our family DNA. So it's understandable I can barely feign enthusiasm for it at this point.
Obviously four-year-old Diana is a prime target for Elsa obsession, but she's not the only one who's hooked. One of Liv's earliest words, 'man,' came from pointing to Olaf the snowman. She regularly says the word 'Elsa,' but hasn't quite yet mastered her name. Since Diana has an August birthday (and wasn't that into the Frozen merchandise in time for Christmas 2013), we had a tumultuous seven-month period in early 2014 where every single one of Diana's friends got the Elsa dress and the Elsa doll, flashed them around nursery, and caused a mini heartbreak for my daughter, who was trying to comprehend why she had the multiple misfortunes to be the youngest kid in class, with a summer birthday that was never celebrated and no Frozen toys to speak of.
When her birthday did come around, and she duly received all of the Frozen gifts she'd begged for (and more: her birthday yielded an Olaf iced tea set that the girls play with every single day and love to bits, a Frozen water bottle, Frozen mosaics and even an Anna dress, my quiet way of rebelling against the world's Elsa obsession. Anyway, she has a better costume (I think) which comes with a fake-fur trimmed fuchsia satin cape. Need I say more?)
Instead of exhilaration, she seemed exhausted by it all by that point (we had listened to the soundtrack on repeat so often the CD was completely scratched). Result!
But here we are in December, and it continues. When D wrote a letter to Santa the other week, everything she asked for had the word Frozen in front of it: 'Frozen umbrella, Frozen stickers, Frozen coronation dress, Frozen backpack, Frozen dress-up heels...'
Is this a joke?
Apparently merchandisers know my daughter better than I do because everyone from ASDA to Claire's Accessories has a range of Frozen clothing and toys available.
Since everything Frozen-themed is a go - and there are actually items in stock - I'm just embracing it, except I'm only getting the girls Frozen stuff I like, too (I decided we'll do novelty Christmas jumpers this year; Elsa and Anna sweatshirts from Next are just the ticket).
This means no overpriced eBay buys, no Frozen ice palaces for £140 (are you kidding me?), no Frozen furniture (although it is, crazily, available).
But there is a high chance of another dress-up costume ending up under the tree. In my family, those costumes are worn with as much regularity as real clothes, so they're a worthwhile investment...
And even though Frozen is kind of getting on my nerves at this point, the film's universal message is one of the best parenting (and life) mantras ever: 'Let it go.'
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