Hannah Montana, or… where my mothering went wrong

Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana on the yogurt!”
I would have ignored the voice squealing to my right in the dairy section of ShopRite if it hadn’t sounded strikingly like that of my daughter.
My 21⁄2-year-old daughter.
My 21⁄2-year-old daughter whose unmasked glee had produced sounds of the type I make only after trying on 27 different pairs of jeans and finally hitting pay dirt.
When I find those that simultaneously suck in the gut and minimize the butt . . . only then do my eyes adopt that slightly glazed expression, my lower lip drooping as I let out a long sigh of satisfaction.
I couldn’t fathom how finding a Disney Channel “star” on the box of her drinkable yogurts had done this to my toddler.
Where did I go wrong?
Did I introduce rice cereal too early, not swaddle her properly as a newborn?
How has my daughter joined the ranks of squealing girls everywhere before she can even brush her own teeth?
Hannah – for those of you living under a rock – is the alter ego of Miley Cyrus, daughter of “Mr. Achy Breaky Makey me Barfy” Billy Ray Cyrus.
Minus the mullet, he’s now on the Disney Channel playing dad to his real-life little girl, who has a secret life as a teen pop star.
Confused? So was I.
The first time I tuned in with Jillian, I had to watch two episodes before I figured out brunette Miley donned a blonde wig and became Hannah.
Here’s what really gets me: I didn’t exactly hate the show.
Nor do I exactly despise the Cyrus duo’s poppy “Ready, Set, Don’t Go” that’s been playing ad infinitum on XM.
That doesn’t, mind you, mean I’ve fallen under the spell of smiley Miley.
Like a younger version of Rachael Ray, her bubbly personality brings out the grump in me.
A refreshing change of scenery from the train wreck of the Spears’ girls, but still well in tween territory.
And, it seems, toddler territory.
I have, at least, gotten to the bottom of the mystery.
Pulling up to the pumps at the gas station in Jeffersonville a few weeks ago, I unlocked Jillian’s door so she could say hi to her “girls,” the sisters who get off the bus and smother her with attention.
Pulling at the hem of her bubblegum pink t-shirt, the elder of my baby-sitter’s granddaughters showed off the big portrait of Hannah she was sporting.
“We’re going to the Hannah Montana concert,” she squealed.
Yes, squealed. Aha.
Coupled with Hannah on yogurt, Hannah on cereal boxes, and Hannah on Nintendo, I’m not surprised Montana mania has gotten its hooks into my little girl.
Add in those darling Disney princesses and I’ve got to hand it to old Uncle Walt… the mouse still reigns supreme.

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