Before Abby Cadabby, Ernie, around the time of Bashful, but after Upsy-Daisy, there was Sleeping Beauty and all the Disney Princesses. She still likes Disney Princesses to this day. So do we. Having a 4 year-old girl in the house means we have an excuse to indulge ourselves by watching Disney movies. We have been waiting to add another title to the collection of Pudding approved movies, though popcorn lends an appeal to certain non-Disney choices.
We didn’t get to see Tangled at the cinema, as there was no sensory showing for it, but it looked good from all the clips I saw. I resolved to buy it when it came out.
I’d read another FS blogger’s post about her daughter being inspired by Tangled to draw a Rapunzel mural on her bedroom wall. What struck me the most is a comment she made later about Rapunzel dealing with her isolation with art. The Small Bits family are posted to a Mexican border town, a place that is dangerous and isolating. I hadn’t thought until that point about what Pudding’s artwork is telling us. She is in her own way isolated. Her drawings focus on human faces, particularly the eyes.
I loved it. Pudding seemed to enjoy it too. She still cantered away when the popcorn ran out, but every once in a while she would return to check it out. When I sat down to watch Tangled, I was thinking about it in these terms, and watching it through a lens of Foreign Service isolation.
But not for long.
Rapunzel strokes her hair when she is nervous. She goes barefoot the entire time. She yearns to be with other people, but is scared of them. She is (said to be) clumsy and naive. There is a whole montage of her swinging, rolling around, and generally sensory-seeking. Even though she has lived in a tower her entire life, she is not at all afraid of being in water. She has special talents too.
I’m not saying that Rapunzel is on the spectrum (though if Arthur can do it, I don’t see why Disney can’t go that little bit further). I’m saying that I viewed Tangled through a spectrummy eye. Even though I was predisposed to interpret it differently.
It is more than seeing my child in a different way, it is seeing life through an entirely different lens. The world is altered with my spectrummy eyes.
So if it looks this different to me now, how does Pudding look at the world? I still don’t know. But I can tell you that she asked for a Rapunzel doll as her next reward. Maybe she is starting to see herself through these eyes.