Everything we know we learned from High School Musical. My four year old daughter Sabrina loves Troy’s girlfriend Gabriella. If you know who I’m talking about, you feel my pain. Sabrina is so much in love with Gabriella that on a recent trip to Target, while shopping for a friend’s birthday present, Sabrina literally melted in the aisle when we came upon a Gabriella doll. She just had to have her.
Not one to buckle to my children’s shopping aisles demands, I told her we would figure something out. Sabrina wasn’t kicking and screaming as we left the toy department, but if that would have swayed me, I’m sure she would have gone for it. Later that night I told Sabrina we would get the Gabriella doll for her birthday–which is still months away. Sabrina wisely pointed out that the doll might be sold out by then. She was incessant and would not be denied.
It turns out Gabriella plays a lifeguard in HSM2. We’d been trying to get Sabrina to learn to swim without success. Every time we visited a pool with Sabrina she would cling to me or my wife, refusing to let go. This past year she started swimming independently with the help of a noodle, but she wouldn’t swim solo. That changed when I told Sabrina I’d get her the Gabriella doll if she learned to swim. Sabrina doesn’t just want the Gabriella doll, she wants to BE Gabriella. Sabrina even sings Gabriella’s parts, and only Gabriella’s parts, on the HSM (1&2) CDs.
So I bought Sabrina the Gabriella doll. I didn’t let her open the package. I told her my plan was to return the doll if she didn’t swim the next time we went to the YMCA. Sabrina promised she would and, in fact, insisted that she was a good swimmer. We just didn’t know it.
A few days later Sabrina had her chance, and low and behold she did it! My girl has a very impressive dog paddle that keeps her head above water! She would not have made that important step if it weren’t for her infatuation with Gabriella.
Sabrina also wants a HSM clock and she talks about it fairly often. Of course she doesn’t know how to tell time. I suppose we could buy the clock if she promised to learn to tell time, but this slope seems to be getting more slippery with each step. If we have to buy her something for everything she learns, we’ll be in big trouble. Her six year old sister Skylee will demand equal treatment as well. As it was, we had to get Skylee a Sharpay doll when we got Sabrina Gabriella. I’m not sure why I bought Skylee Sharpay, except that I’m just a sucker for my girls. I’d do just about anything for them if I could.
There are some lessons in all this. I’m just going to need to wait for HSM3 to learn them…
Andy Falk is a father of two incredible daughters ages born in 2001 & 2003, Skylee
and Sabrina. Andy is very active in the lives of his daughters, from coaching soccer to supporting them during swimming season to just plain doing homework or hanging out. Andy also surfs regularly, bicycle commutes and is a successful Realtor in Marin County, CA. Andy earned his MBA from San Francisco State University with an Internet Marketing concentration, and holds a BA from the University of California at San Diego where he studied and surfed in the 80’s.