Category Archives: Disney

Dear Disney (You got it wrong)

Dear Disney,

You got it wrong. Usually your TV programs are the one I encourage my children watch. Imagine my surprise the other evening when my children were watching “Jessie“. In the episode, Bye Bye Bertie, the loyal butler had enough of the children’s shenanigans and quit. Yes! I thought to myself. Finally the children (and mine) are being taught a lesson that adults are to be respected, that we are not here to just clean up their messes and we are not their friends.

Cue the next scene, when the butler is hired by the neighbor. A rich, extravagant woman with fetishes. First, what the hell are fetishes doing on a Disney program? Sure they go over my child’s head but Disney, you are sending a subliminal message and it isn’t pretty.

Then it got worse.

The rich lady had the butler put on tight shorts, talked to him in a degrading fashion and proceeds to chase him around the condo.

Does he quit because of the abuse? No.

Does he say, “you cannot treat hired help this way”? No.

Does he in anyway defend himself of call her on her actions? No.

Does he call the police, the condo association or any victim help group? No.

Do the children he used to serve and his former co-worker protect or defend him when they see him being abused? NO.

The Butler only quits when the children apologize for their behavior and ask him to come back. He is immediately replaced by another butler who is immediately subjected to the behavior that hasn’t been allowed in the workplace since Lilly Tomlin showed her boss who was in charge 9-5.

Did the Butler, the children or the nanny stop the abuse of the new butler? No. They ran away laughing.

Disney, if this had been an episode where the pretty nanny had to dress in tight clothes and be subjected to lewd comments from her rich boss it wouldn’t have made it from the writer to the table read. The episode would not have been filled with a laugh-track but poignant moments where you taught children everywhere what a respectful workplace looks like and how employers treat their employees.

Or they face a lawsuit and criminal charges.

Disney you could have done great with this episode. Debby Ryan, the STAR of the show, has been very public about being in an abusive relationship. She has a campaign about dating violence. Do you not think that maybe workplace violence falls into that same category? Did not one person at the network or on the show say this episode might be sending the wrong message?

Disney, you could have shown children how Bertram stood up for himself, how the children he serves stood up for him and how his coworker (their nanny) taught them how to behave.

Instead you went for the cheap laugh.

And my children have one more TV Show on their “do not watch” list.

A parent who knows what is funny and what is criminal behavior.

Time Traveling

If I could go back in time…I wouldn’t. I just wouldn’t. First of all you could not pay me enough to relive my youth. Or my high school years. In fact I think my mom would pay YOU not to make her relive my high school years.
I would be afraid to go back in time. Life is confusing enough. I am by no means where I thought I would be on this day in September. Yet I am so happy to be here. Sure life, well, sometimes sucks. Sometimes I wish my life was easier. With a chauffeur, maid and private island.

But if I could go back to one moment in time, not to live my life over but to improve the lives of moms today then I would want to go back to that moment when some well-meaning person messed up life for the rest of us. For example:

When some idiot mom invented the Elf on the Shelf and then decided to tell other moms. I would a moment to explain to her exactly what torture she would be inflicting on the rest of us. 

I would also find the same fool that decided to make St. Paddy’s day not about the Irish drinking holiday but about building a freaking trap for a leprechaun. I would remind them that this is an adult holiday. The children get Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter. Leave one for us. We deserve it.

I would go back and find the person who thought it was a good idea to buy Abby a Snoopy Christmas piano that David now plays every freaking time my mom calls. 

I would figure out who invented Play-dough, Goop and Silly Putty. I would explain to them in the future my kid is going to smash it into my brand new wood floors. I would encourage them to think of something else to do with their time.

I want to know who thought sparkles were a good thing to put on a little girl’s outfit. Did they not realize in the wash the rest of the clothes would become covered?

I would go to Walt Disney and thank him for this moment:

When I saw joy and interest and a little overcome fear in Boo’s expression as she watched Frozen on Ice. When I saw her sit through the entire show, gasping and cheering and enjoying. When I saw other little girls dancing, singing and showing their joy and it didn’t hurt.

I would go back in time and thank the people who made this day possible: the doctors, the therapists, the family and the friends. 

Just don’t ever give the child Play-dough.

The Box

It started innocently enough. We took Boo to see Frozen. Not once, but twice. She fell in love with the music, the movie and Elsa. When it was available on ITUNES we downloaded the soundtrack and the movie.

We now are banned from listening to anything in the car except for the Frozen soundtrack. A what was I thinking moment. At least the music is enjoyable.

At Easter, like most parents I tried in vain to obtain the precious Elsa doll. I tried everywhere without success. This weekend I happened to be in a big-box store to pick up things for Abby’s school project. Like a fool I went to the toy aisle where what before my eyes do appear:

SCORE!!! I immediately place it in the carriage, Boo steals the almost paid for Elsa doll:

Proud mommy moment. She loves it, she is going to play with it. Right? We get home and she refuses to let me take it out of the box. When I finally convince her that the doll is supposed to come out and be played with she freaks. Refuses to have anything to do with the doll. But the box? 

The box is to be treasured. She takes the box into her room and gives it the spot of honor:

Are you freaking kidding me???? I could have sold the doll on E-bay and paid for my retirement but you want the box? Abby tried for the rest of the afternoon to get Boo to play with the doll.

I was thinking to myself how do I explain to David that I just spent $25 on a box? But I was saved at bedtime, when I was putting Boo to bed and she refused to go without ….

The box? Yes, that is still in her room. But she slept with Elsa, I’m counting that as a win.

Dear Disney Pop Tarts

Dear Disney Pop Tarts, ahem, Stars,

I like you. I honestly do. I think you are cute. I think you have talent. I think you are doing a great job. There is nothing like watching your previously non-verbal daughter belt out the chorus of Come & Get It by the former princess of Waverly Place. It’s even nicer when your older daughter learns about dyslexia because you are willing to be outspoken about how you succeed with a learning disabilty.

But when you 10-year old who thinks Selena Gomez is the BEST SINGER EVER quickly followed by Zendaya, Bella Thorne and the rest of the Disney pop stars asks to buy a poster of her favorite singers, it is a tad alarming.

The posters and videos? They make me feel like an old curmudgeon. Like Oscar the Grouch, Oscar the Roommate (yes, I’m that old) or worse my mother.

Now, before you think I am being harsh I want to defend myself. I actually like some of the music. Last week stuck in traffic Abby and I amused Boo acting out the parts of the Frozen soundtrack. I got to be Elsa (because she doesn’t sing much according to Abby) and all the men (because I shouldn’t sing according to Abby).

Not only did I amuse Boo. I horrified a carload of teenagers in the next lane over. I think their mom’s should be thankful for me to making sure they utilized any form of birth control that day.

I’ve written before about the mixed messages Disney seems to send to our daughters. But now, well, as a mom of two young girls I’m asking you, the pop star, to realize the responsibility you inadvertently took on when you became a star.

You thought when your parents signed you up for that cute little show you were just acting and/or singing. But with the genre you chose it is more than fulfilling your dream. You see you are sparking little girls that were once like you. You make them believe. You provide the basis of the pretend play. You become their hero.

Then you grow up. You outgrow the show that made you. You outgrown you fan base. This is understandable. All kids grow up and go to college or in your case, the next stage of your career. Except you forget the date that brought you to the dance.

The kids that still idolize you haven’t grown up as fast or as much. They think you are your character. They are the reason you can afford that gown, that car, that vacation with your boyfriend. 

I know you want to be seen as a serious actor/singer. I get it. But our children don’t understand. They don’t understand why your belly button is showing on a tween magazine. They think it is gross when the see a headline with you and your boyfriend on a crazy magazine at the check-out stand.

As parents we try to limit the outside influences. But when we are checking out our groceries it is impossible to to answer the question on why so-and-so is dating him because he isn’t nice and is a boy and is gross. 

It becomes even more difficult when you are on the cover of an adult magazine, topless bar the hands covering your breasts. This magazine isn’t behind the counter, but right next to the Kit Kats.

I ask you to find a way to stay true to what brought you the fame. Be the star, the hero of millions. You are not Barbara Streisand or Adele or Jennifer Lawrence. You are a pop star who would have been in public high school if not for the millions of preschoolers and tweens that made you a household name.

You don’t have to stay the tween star. Be the Taylor Swift who has learned to bridge both audiences. Don’t be one of the million one hit wonders who faded when they became more interested in shocking us than making quality films and music. Don’t forget who brought you to the dance in your quest to become the next big thing. Become the artist who has the mom and the daughter rocking out at your performance. Your greatest gift as a performer is reaching all audiences.

And cover up the breasts with more than your hands, you’ll catch a chill.

I will gladly stand in line….

Like many moms of a child with special needs I am a little worried about the changes Disney is having to make to their Guest Assistance Card policy. Here’s the thing though…I am not upset with Disney.

I’m upset with those who take advantage of a Company’s good will. How dare anyone make life more difficult for those who already struggle. To add insult to injury, there are those who state that our children “cut in line”.

Really? Hmm…I will gladly stand in line for a ride and have done so before and with Boo. So here is the deal I propose:

How about if Boo stands in line and you stand in her therapy appointment?

How about if Boo stands in line and you clear her airway when she chokes on her drool?

How about if Boo stands in line and you hold her on your hip because she is too week to stand on her own?

How about if Boo stands in line and you hold her down while she undergoes blood work, cardiac testing, MRI’s and other medical tortures?
How about if Boo stands in line and you spend some time in Our Land?

How about if Boo stands in line and you do not look at her with condemnation because she cannot control her squeals, muscle spasms and vocalizations when she invades your personal space?

When we traveled there last year I was amazed at how well they took our daughter’s needs into consideration. Each cast member was trained how to treat all patrons with respect and courtesy. We never expected to “cut in line” in front of those who stood in line, but needed to keep Boo in her stroller/chair until the last possible moment.

Just to be clear, in our experience the only “cutting” in line was when there was no feasible way to get Boo’s stroller/chair to the ride through the normal line. We stood in line, like everyone else, in attractions that had a safe method to get her to the attraction. Even when we “cut in line” we did not immediately get on the ride. Rather Disney allowed people who had been waiting to enter the ride and put us on in a reasonable (to me) manner.

When asked if Boo has so many ‘issues’ why would we even consider taking her to a theme park I have the following response: Well, for one, her sister shouldn’t miss out on life events because her sister needs some consideration. And two there is this….

Why shouldn’t Boo get to see the Magic of Disney just because she is unable to stand in line?

I agree there is abuse, like all great plans some fool has to mess it up. But it is not Disney’s fault. The Company really has no option to try and improve on their system. I applaud them for being proactive and for listening to the parents like me.

And I hope those who ruined this beautiful experience lose sleep tonight.