Caspian and Ariel

Caspian is deeply, madly in love with Ariel (from The Little Mermaid).

This isn’t precisely recent. Prior to our last trip to Disneyland he’d written a letter to Ariel (with a drawing of his robot bunny), and on said trip he delivered it to her she sits and talks with children at her grotto (not the restaurant, but a dedicated spot near the Matterhorn at the boundary between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland).

It is, however, much more pronounced lately, perhaps more so after receiving a Little Mermaid fleece blanket in the mail (a cereal box offer). He’s requested to watch the movie several times of late, and has the movie soundtrack on his MP3 player and listens to it often. He is also, apparently, an R.E.M. fan. He asked me to put that on today, and then had to specify “No, I want Out of Time.” But I digress.

This has led to some interesting conversations. He wants Ariel to come live with us, perhaps “stay in our bathtub.” On more than one occasion he’s whispered to us, somewhat guiltily but sincerely, “I love Ariel more than I love momma and dada.”

Josh: “It’s a shame [our pet] snail isn’t too smart.”

Caspian: “If he was we could talk to him. I’d build a big aquarium so I could go snorkeling! I’d make it from here [runs to front of house] to here [runs to back of house]. And then I could bring Ariel here and she could stay with us!”
Caspian: “… my brain told me!”

Josh: “You are your brain!”

Caspian: “No, no… my skin is me and my hair is me and my clothes are me!”

We’ve had that discussion before, so this was somewhat teasing on both our parts.

Josh: “But you can change your clothes and you’re still you. You can change your hair and you’re still you. You can even get surgery to change your face, or turn from a boy into a girl!”

Caspian: “How do they do that?”

A distraction arose as I was starting to explain, and I basically forgot the question. About an hour later, while finishing dinner…

Caspian: “Can we change the dog into a boy?”

Josh: “No, it’s very expensive and they only do that for people. It’s… as expensive as a house.”

Caspian: “Whoah… Is that as expensive as eight thousand airplanes?”

Josh: “No, airplanes cost about as much as a house.”

Caspian: “I wish I had an airplane of my own. Then I could fly to Disneyland by myself.”

Josh: “Would you pick up Ariel?”

Caspian: “Yes, but I’d have to sleep in the back. Ariel would fly.”

Josh: “But you’d have to fly! You need your feet to fly an airplane.”

Caspian: (quietly) “It’s just a cover. Ariel at Disneyland just has a cover over her legs. But you can’t tell anyone outside our family! You can tell the dog, the cat, the fish, the snail... oh, and momma. But that’s it! If you tell anyone outside our family they will be sad. I… I know there aren’t real mermaids. I just know.”