Next Stop: Batty

Hangin' by a thread, here. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Disney's Missing Mommies

Well, Taylor (7) got over her chickenpox and we were all healthy again.

For about five minutes.

And then, someone upstairs got the news that Steve was headed out for a business trip. This put into effect the now-familiar cosmic law which states: one of my children or the other must be reduced to a whining puddle of boogies and phlegm just as soon as Mr. I'll-Be-There-Thru-Thick-And-Thin has fastened his seatbelt and returned his tray table to its full, upright and locked position. Happens every time. Once, before Carly was born, Steve was away, and Taylor was so sick and miserable that I finally gave up and just brought her to bed with me. As we cuddled there, I hummed a lullabye and gently stroked her forehead. Then she announced that she was going to throw up. O-KAY! My heartfelt thanks for the heads up, and let me introduce you to your father's side of the bed. I know, it's not his fault he has to travel on occasion, and it's very hard on him, too, and blah, blah, blah. But STILL. We're talking boogies and phlegm. Usually fever. Sometimes dia-you-know-what-a.

So this time, it's Carly (5). I swear, that child was hale and hearty when I tucked her in. But Steve leaves town and BOOM. 2:30 AM, she's at my bedside, coughing, stuffed up and...puddle-like. Poor little thing.

After a very long night, I looked forward to a day of TV for the sick girl today so I could lie down and die for maybe just a minute. She and Steve had finished reading Bambi together last week, so I thought the Disney version on DVD was a good idea. She had never seen it before. We had avoided it because Bambi's mom gets, you know, s-h-o-t. But now that she's "read" the book, I figured she was somewhat prepared. Still, she wanted me to hold her hand when the hunting scene came, and BLAM! It hate it when Bambi's mom dies. Always did. "Why?" I always wondered, "Why did Bambi's mom have to die?"

And come to think of it...why indeed? Why can't Bambi keep his mom? And why can't Jasmine in Aladdin have a mom? Why can't the Little Mermaid have a mom? Why can't Belle have a mom? Gee...was it something we said?

Obviously, Disney didn't kill Bambi's mom, or Ariel's, or Belle's. These stories were around long before Disney. But Disney PICKED 'em.

...And Cinderalla, where both parents die, but the mom dies FIRST. And Pinocchio, where puppet boy just gets Guiseppe. Heck, Peter Pan is a vertiable Ode to Momlessness. I've only seen bits and pieces of The Sword and the Stone, but I didn't see a mom anywhere, did you? The Great Mouse Detective: Papa Mouse gets kidnapped, leaving daughter mouse...completely alone. Snow White had unsurpassed beauty, but no mom. Glenn Close steps in and adopts the ape boy in Tarzan, but Jane just has...Daddy. Perhaps Pocohontas was delivered to her father, the chief, by an Eagle, because in that movie there's no mom in sight. There's a brother in Brother Bear, but the mom is killed by hunters. Finding Nemo opens with the mom as shark bait (my friend, Pete, says Nemo wasn't Disney, but who asked him? I'm on a roll here). Chicken Little: new movie, old approach -- NO MOM. Was Ice Age Disney? Whatever. The mom drowns in the first 10 minutes. Guess what happens at the beginning of Hunchback of Notre Dame? Yep. Dead mommy.

And there may be more. Did I forget any?

So Disney celebrates the non-traditional family. Who knew? In a way, I can dig that. But how about a film (or twenty) where the mom is not only NOT DEAD, but is raising the kid by herself (which is like, FOUR TIMES more likely than a solo dad in this country, anyway...)? Or, if that's too much to ask, could the mom just please survive the experience once in a while? I mean, moms do some handy things around the home. They're useful for...oh, I don't know...EVERYTHING. And I've got another great idea. If one dad in a Disney flick is so darn good, how about TWO? (-:

As for Carly, I'm sure she'll be all better soon; Steve's due back later this week. Until then, HER MOMMY IS HERE.


At 8:31 PM, Blogger Shelley said...

Aladdin, Snow White, the Rescuers... not dead moms so much as just no moms in sight.

Lots of orphan action out there, too.

See also

Great minds, and all that!

At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Laura Weber said...

Hey, Disney just bought Pixar so you were just ahead of the game. I was just reading Bambi to Eliza and had the same reaction - dead mommy syndrome. I see a niche market for you, Tracy!

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Chelle said...

And while we're at it how about a story with two mommies - think of it as balancing out all the missing mommies.

At 5:38 AM, Blogger Tracy said...

Yeah...two mommies! I love it. Can you just imagine? Kids everywhere would learn that not all families are the same, and some have two mommies! Oh. Wait. They already know that. Too bad, Margaret what's-your-name secretary of ed: the cat's out of the bag. Two mommy families are here to stay and kids know about 'em!

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Colleen Sabatino said...

loved this piece - fabulous - as a mommy now with two girls under two - I so value having the amazing experience of being raised by my mom and aunt - pretty much two moms - and the latest response from my husband when I disussed opportunities for better communication was "I think you have an idealistic perspective of marriage" - maybe I should pitch my story to Disney! Thanks for the great piece.


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