Thursday, May 5, 2011

Adventures of a Self-Rescuing Princess

Sometimes, in a fit of pique that only a four-year-old can muster, Lily will tell Jen or me, "You're annoying me!" And here's my little secret. I annoy her on purpose in the morning.

She is such a deep sleeper that it's hard to get her up in the morning. So I'll turn on the light in her room when I enter, or sit down next to her bed and say something deliberately provocative. She's enough like me (or I'm enough like a four-year-old) that she's unable leave a false statement uncorrected, so she'll rise up, more often than not to announce, "You're wrong and let me tell you why!"

She was wearing her froggy footsie pajamas last night and because we had been watching super hero cartoons for Wacky Wednesday, I asked her if she was Frog Girl.

Her eyes opened and her smile lit up and she declared that she was Hopping Kid, and her power was to "hop on the bad guy's face to distract them."

And I'm happy that she's hoppy. I don't want to be a dad who forces his interests on his kid, but I would like to show her the stuff I like and tell her why I like it, and it's always wonderful when she likes it too. Princesses are fine, but she's been making a lot of "I can't do this, because that's for boys" type comments, and I'm happy that she likes the girl superheroes who fight right up there with the boys, because if she must be a princess, then let her be the self-rescuing kind.

So, before she got dressed, we had a superhero adventure with her dolls and stuffed animals. Hopping Kid teamed up with Super Bear (Who knew that Baby Bear was a part time superhero?) to defeat "Granny Cat" who had kidnapped Saturn Girl and "Brainiac 2525" (Lily had a little trouble remembering the number behind the name).

They managed the rescue so quickly that we had time to stage another kidnapping and rescue. This time, "Flying Mermaid with a Giant Head" had kidnapped Flower Queen and it was up to her daughter Wonder Butterfly, to save her. A giant Scott Pilgrim tried to save them, but he only messed things up by sitting on top of the prison and sealing it tighter.

Nice One, Pilgrim

We decided that only the horn of a space unicorn could free Flower Queen, but when we tried to pry it open, we learned that the unicorn pillow pet playing the role of the space unicorn was in fact only a pillow pet. I hate it when that happens!

Pictured: Not a Space Unicorn

She's eventually rescued and we have this exchange.

Me (as Flower Queen) : Thank you for rescuing me.
Lily (Wonder Butterfly): You’re welcome.
Me: As a reward, you can have candy for dinner tonight.
Lily: I don’t need a reward. I’m just happy you’re safe.

And that made me happy too.

Often when we have a little extra time, I'll walk outside to my car and after I've gotten halfway there, Lily will run out and give me my hug and kiss and say something sweet. "Bye! I hope you have a great day at work!"

As she was walking back to the house, she found a dandelion, so she picked it up and gave it to me so I could blow the seeds off. “I hope that all the flowers blossom so that mommy will be happy!”

She really is sweet. The night before, we watched three episodes of the Legion of Super Heroes, which I'll get to in a minute and baked some cookies. One of the episodes reminded me of the fable of Stone Soup and we told it to Lily. (Also, in looking it up just now, I see that there is actually a system for classifying folk tales, and I think that's awesome.) After that, we went upstairs to see if we could find a copy of Tom Chapin's Stone Soup song and also Homemade Lemonade, which is another really cute song. Jen and Lily jumped on the bed together while listening to it.

All in all, a very nice night.

And if anyone cares about the episodes of the Legion of Superheroes that we watched, here they are:

Phantom: While lollygagging in the Superman museum, Superman accidentally releases an evil twin from the Phantom Zone, who goes on a rampage. He was kind of creepy looking so Lily didn't like this episode, but I did. It was like Superman's smackdown of Darkseid from the finale of the Justice League, and about three times as long. I also liked how they continued to strike a balance between Superman being vastly more powerful than the rest of the Legionnaires, but still allowing them to challenge him in their chosen arenas.

Best moment: Brainiac 5 taking some hidden kryptonite out of a hidden safe, only to learn it is ineffective against this ersatz Kryptonian, who promptly steals it for use against Superman.

An unpleasant surprise
Champions: Lightning Lad is competing in the dodecathlon and assassins are trying to kill Phantom Girl's mom, the President of the United Planets. Superman and Phantom Girl provide security while Lightning Lad competes against his older brother, who is cheating in order to win. Lily was saying "I think he's evil," and I was saying, "I don't know if he's a bad guy or just a cheater. We'll have to watch to find out."  (He was just a cheater and at the end Lily very graciously said, "Oh, I guess you were right.") This episode had two iconic Legionnaires, Ultra Boy and Matter Eater Lad as contestants in the games and not Legion members and they team up with the rest of the heroes to stop the bad guys at the end. Another fun episode.

Best moment: Phantom Girl making her Clark Kent face.

Superman is not amused

Lightning Storm: At the beginning of the episode, Superman is being strangled by a space squid, so of course they dispatch Triplicate Girl to rescue him, which goes about like you'd expect.

Still a sucky superhero, but three Mirrors of Venus as a symbol is inspired

Lightning Lad is invited to join a team of "cooler" heroes, and while it's hard to imagine a team cooler than the Legion, there it is. Also, we get a cameo from certain members of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, an organization composed of superpeople with powers too lame even for the Legion. Members include Chlorophyll Kid (who makes plants grow really quickly), Color Kid (who changes the color of things), Double Header (who has two heads and no powers),  Infectious Lass (uncontrollably infects people around her with various diseases, including "gender-reversal germs"), and Stone Boy (who turns into an immobile stone statue). They get their own episode later in the series, and I can't wait for it. This wasn't the strongest in the series, but I'm happy that we watched it out of order, (Lily requested one with Bouncing Boy in it) because it features Lightning Lad's brother, who has gone from a jerk to a full on villain. 

Best moment: The Legion of Substitute Heroes, natch

The best and brightest of the Subs

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