As I’ve mentioned, Annabel is hugely into My Little Pony. This is full circle for me, because while I was never much into Barbies or baby dolls when I was growing up, I loved me some MLP. My brother and I would spend hours and hours playing with them, making up elaborate stories and shows that we’d perform for anyone who was
forced into lucky enough to watch. One of my old neighbors from almost thirty years ago recently told me that one of her favorite childhood memories was playing with My Little Ponies in my backyard.
However, I remember absolutely nothing about the ponies we played with. I know they had the symbols on their bodies, but I can’t remember if we even knew that those marks meant, or what the ponies’ names were, or anything like that. Annabel does NOT understand my memory lapses. She’s at that glorious age where she remembers everything, and expects everyone around her to as well. And, she wants to talk about the show…all the time. At first I was like, “UGGGGH” because talking about a cartoon that isn’t The Simpsons wasn’t my idea of a good time. But it was important to Annie.
So I started watching it with her on Netflix. And, surprisingly, I like it. Every episode has a great message about friendship, and some of them tackle complicated issues that lead to really interesting conversations with my almost-five-year-old. For example, an episode of My Little Pony lead to a discussion about xenophobia. Seriously. The episodes also have some clever pop culture references that I appreciate (it had me forever with its Big Lebowski, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter allusions).
Anyway, it’s been really fun to have this silly thing to bond with my daughter over. My mom has brought by some old ponies, and Annabel and I laugh at how different they look (the new generation of MLPs had quite the nose job). I also blew Annie’s mind by finding the My Little Pony soundtrack online. It killed my cred on Spotify, but I’ll be damned if those songs aren’t catchy.
As Annabel gets older, I know it will get harder for us to have these bonding interests. I love it when she runs up to me and whispers in my ear, “When James is asleep, can I watch My Little Pony with you?” I love that she’ll sit practically on top of me while we watch. And, I especially love the stories Annie comes up with when we play with the figures. That girl’s imagination is something else. I know soon enough she’ll be onto something new, and it might not be something as innocent as this show*, so I am going to enjoy this while it lasts.
*really hoping the next thing she likes isn’t the MLP spin-off Equestria Girls. Those pony/people hybrids are creeeeepy.