To insanity and beyond

Before my darling wee daughter was born, I imagined what she’d be like. In some scenarios, she was an obedient, eager-to-please little girl — a smaller version of Kaija. In others, she was a feisty little firebrand like her dad and I were — in short, the way she was up until her 30th month. Never, however, did I imagine her clad in a spacesuit, leaping from furniture in her attempts to defeat her archenemy, the ruthless emperor Zurg. No, I never envisioned giving birth to Buzz Lightyear.

And yet, there he is, in my living room, each and every day, yelling “Buvv Wightyear!” before tackling me in midair from the ottoman. Resisting my hugs and kisses and protesting “I Buvv Wightyear” when I say “I love my sweet Maddi.” And even in dance class, my little space explorer insists on being called Buzz.

But that’s not all. Oh, no. Because should you call Chris anything but Woody or me anything but Jessie (from Toy Story 2), Maddi will quickly correct you. Baby James, depending on how affectionate Maddi is feeling, is alternately Zurg and Zurgie. In the morning, she will trot out into the office and cheerfully hail her father with the words, “Hi, Woody!” When we go into James’ room to retrieve him after a nap, it’s “How my Zurgie?”

The first day, it was cute. The second day, it was grating. Now, when I awake each morning, I wait to see how long it takes before our dear princess remembers that she is not Maddi, but actually Buzz Lightyear, sworn to defend the galaxy. It has been about a week and a half since she watched Toy Story 2, but each day it continues. In fact, so used to the Buzz Lightyear regime have we become that I find myself correcting myself pre-emptively before she can remind me of her identity.

So I was relieved beyond the telling today when she put a sticker on her upper lip, said “I have mustache,” and then pronounced, “I Poppa. You Nana, Mommy!” and insisted on being called Poppa all evening.

Unfortunately, as I asked her by name to pick up her shoes on our return home, she looked at me reproachfully and stated, for the 37,865th time, “I Buvv Wightyear, Mommy!”

In other news, at the 30-month mark, Buzz measured a healthy 36 inches tall and 31.5 pounds in weight.