Thursday, August 09, 2007

Oh, joy! Rapture!

As most of you know, I have been obsessed with The Wizard of Oz my entire life. People will ask me, "When did you start collecting Oz stuff?" or "When did you first see the movie?" and I have to say I honestly don't know, because I don't have a single memory of life before my Oz obsession. In fact, one of my earliest memories involves waiting for the annual airing of The Wizard of Oz on TV. Someday I will explain to WCK that this was back before TiVo, before DVDs, before -- yes -- VCRs. The Wizard of Oz was on TV once a year and if you missed it, if you missed any part of it, that was it until next year. For several years in the late '70s, I harbored an enormous fear that the TV network would try to pull a fast one on me and air the show before it was scheduled to begin. I would sit in front of the TV for hours, guarding it, just in case. You never know when a TV network is going to try to slip one by you. I have this memory of sitting on the living room floor vigilantly watching Family Feud for any hints of an early Oz showing while my family ate dinner without me in the kitchen.

If we didn't have a TiVo or numerous copies of the movie on DVD, I would probably still do this today.

Anyway, you can imagine my dismay when, a few months ago, WCK declared The Wizard of Oz to be "scary" and didn't want anything to do with it. I'd given her a picture book with buttons on the side that play all of the songs from the movie. This book horrified her, and she immediately demanded that I put it away in the closet, and then she'd seek reassurance about 10 times a day every day: "Wiz Oz scary," she'd say. "Away? Closet?"

I'd tell her it was tucked away in the closet, while trying not to cry. How could my child not like The Wizard of Oz? How?

Then, this week, as is WCK's style, she suddenly changed her mind. "Wiz Oz," she said. "Like it!" She asked me to take the book out of the closet, and she now carries it with her everywhere she goes and plays the music nonstop. She knows the names of all the characters. She dances to the soundtrack with gleeful abandon, and the other night I had to wrestle her to the floor at bedtime to get the little Ruby Slippers off her feet. I've been trying to teach her to say, "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too!" It comes out, "Doggie, too!" but she's working on it. She's a little unsure about the Wizard's big green head, but she's completly comfortable with the witch.

Anyway. THIS HAS TO BE THE GREATEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE. When I told Jay we'd spent part of the afternoon dancing to the Oz soundtrack -- as well as "Clang, Clang, Clang Went the Trolley" for a little variety -- while wearing Ruby Slippers, he said, "Everything is going according to your plan, isn't it?"

Yes, yes it is. I'd better enjoy it, because tomorrow she could change her mind again and throw the Ruby Slippers in the toilet. I wouldn't put it past her.

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