It started shortly after Christmas. The children had watched The Muppet Christmas Carol approximately 982356362 times and I was verrrrry close to declaring myself all done with Michael Cain (which I think is illegal), so I used some Amazon credit to buy them this movie.
Treasure Island is one of Will’s favorite of the adventure stories for boys* and he had often spoken fondly of the Muppet version, which I had never seen, so we made a family event of it. Everyone loved it and Sam became quite enamored of the music.
By a stroke of luck, we had bought a lot of Playmobil during a huge sale at Thanksgiving, including a Pirate Ship that was officially Grace’s birthday present (because it is seaworthy and she loves baths)–but luckily she is not possessive of it! Sam began asking nightly to play pirates with Daddy, and would set up the ship, along with (sometimes) a castle and our old west saloon.
[french fries not necessary to play, but helpful for keeping little sister busy.]
I am not sure that a single day goes by when Sam does not ask for his “Pirate King.” At first this only meant the movie, but we wised up and bought him the original cast recording for his birthday so now he asks to hear the music more frequently. He also asks to sing the songs, but prefers to do that with Daddy (I really don’t know the words, and anyway I do it wrong).
With his speech issues, the lyrics are the last thing Sam figures out to a song, but he has a real ear for melody and timing. He sings all the different parts, or tells us when it’s our turn (and woe betide us if we do not jump in fast enough–see above, re: me doing it wrong).
To keep with the theme that had naturally occurred, I bought Sam the DK Eyewitness Pirate book. The style of the DK books is still a little old for Sam (and frankly, I don’t think it’s very well organized), but he humors me and looks at it with me occasionally.
*I don’t believe for one minute that adventure stories are just for boys. I’m referring to the subgenre of books that star young boys doing grown-up things and were originally written for boys, like Treasure Island and The Jungle Book, and the wonderful movies that followed. There are a few books like them for girls, but those are rarer.