Sometimes, my daughter can be difficult. She has ADHD, anxiety, and sensory issues that affect her behavior, her temperament, and her moods.
She also suffers from what I call “stubborn kid syndrome” a disease shared by her sister and according to my mother me too. This means that sometimes can be very hard to deal with. Her outburst and stubbornness testing her mother and I. We know she isn’t doing it on purpose. She can’t control it, and it bothers her. She has even told us as much when she has calmed down and can be rational.
It can make her standoffish, unfriendly and mean. During her fits, she will hit family members and scream often with nothing calming her down. More often than I like to admit, it takes everything in me not to yell back in anger.
Which brings me to Experiment 626.
Where many little girls latch on to a princess to be their favorite character my daughter went down a different path. She
decided she liked 626, better known as Stitch, from the movie Lilo and Stitch.
The movie follows Lilo a young Hawaiian girl who lost her parents. Nani, Lilo’s well-meaning but completely overwhelmed older sister, is now trying to raise Lilo. Lilo is different, and a bit of an outcast. Trouble arrives when a social worker arrives threatening to take Lilo away.
Nani decides Lilo needs a friend. So she gets Lilo a dog. Instead of a dog, they get a little blue alien they name Stitch. Stitch is an escaped convict. A troublemaker created to cause havoc. As they say in the movie,
“He will be irresistibly drawn to large cities, where he will back up sewers, reverse street signs, and steal everyone’s left shoe. “
In his time with Lilo, he learns to overcome these urges and completes her family, “stitching” it back together if you will.
Lilo and Stich is unlike other Disney movies from that time. There is a strong female lead, no romantic subplot, no damsel in distress, and best of all no one breaks into song.
Why Stitch matters
The over thinking part of me wants to say my daughter is such a fan because she identifies with him. Stitch is a character who has to learn to control his emotions. He is a bit of an outsider wishing he could be good and looking for his place in the world. Struggles my daughter shares. On the other hand, maybe she just likes him because he is in his own words, “cute and fluffy.”
My wife accuses me of being just as obsessed with Stitch as my daughter. I spend a lot of time hunting down toys or other Stitch paraphernalia. Often I am just as excited as my daughter is when I find something new. I do love Stitch. But not for the reason she thinks.
Back before she was in school, and before her behavior issues were as prominent, it was just my daughter and me. Being a stay at home parent, we spent a lot of time together watching Lilo and Stitch. She would snuggle up next to me and we would sit there happy for a bit.
There was no anger and fighting. She wasn’t angry or upset. Her wonderful personality wasn’t being overridden by emotions she couldn’t control. She was just peaceful and content to sit quietly with me and watch Stitch.
Now as she has gotten older it isn’t just us anymore. She now has friends and is more into her toys. Her mood changing as she bounces from activity to activity. She doesn’t want to sit and snuggle in anymore. Sitting still on the couch is now a rare occurrence that only happens when she is sick or tired. Even then it isn’t long before she moves on to do something else.
My daughter and Stitch
The one thing she hasn’t changed is Stitch. She still loves him. Her entire bedroom is decorated with Stitch posters, toys, and stuffed animals. I bought most of it for her. I can’t help myself. It makes her so happy to get a new Stich item and it takes me back to when we were happy together on the couch.
My wife still teases me about being as big a Stitch fan as my daughter. I don’t disagree. I love what Stitch represents to me. That time that feels so long ago. When my little girl would snuggle up next to me and just be happy. When we would sit and watch her favorite character, a little blue alien who is cute and fluffy.