Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rachel has watched almost no Sesame Street.

And she'll be five next month. When we watched The Muppet Movie, she called Big Bird "Big Fluffy." I laughed.

Why not? Well, part of it is just I leave the TV off for great periods of time. I don't have it on as background noise at all; I'd rather have the radio or CD's. Katrina Kenison has a chapter in her marvelous Mitten Strings for God about not needing the TV or background noise, how you hear much more and listen better to our children and ourselves. I realize as well that I get easily sucked in and the kids are even more easily. So most of the time, it's off.

Another reason is that it seemed whenever I'd turn it on, they were soliciting donations. That didn't hold my interest, let alone a toddler's. Fifteen minutes of "For a donation of X amount, we'll send you this prize!" made the Elvis remote so very understandable. What they don't say is that once they have your name, address, and phone number they'll hound you into the grave for another donation. No, thanks; I don't even give my real name to magazines I want.

"But it's educational!" Sure it is, at least it used to be. Have you watched it in recent years? I remember playing with my sister, making various letters on the floor. "Look, Mom! We're an H!" We had the LP, too. It had Rubber Duckie, I Love Trash, C is for Cookie... Good times, good times.

But now? Not so much. The Number of the Day is mentioned twice, once by the Count and then in the short immediately following. Cookie Monster is on a diet of fruits and vegetables and Oscar the Grouch shows his soft side with his pet Slimy the worm. I miss those aliens, the pink and blue, that were afraid of the telephone ringing. Those two were hilarious.
And because I can:

Then comes the most compelling personage of all: Elmo. Master of merchandising, king of treacly drivel, with a voice more irritating than Fran Drescher's or Rosie's (Perez or O'Donnell--take your pick). The subject of Sesame Street came up at dinner this evening.

"Why don't you like Elmo?" Madeleine asked.
"Because he's irritating. And he's only around for merchandising. For selling things."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, when I was growing up, you could get stuffed toys of most or all of the characters. There were ones about as big as your Webkinz, and others maybe as big as Kit."
"That was okay."
"Right. There was a limit. Now, there's regular Elmo, Tickle Me Elmo, Chicken Dance Elmo, Rock and Roll Elmo... All he is is for selling more stuff."

Daddy and I continued the train after the kids had left the table. I felt a moment of inspiration; we've recently caught several episodes of "Lock N Load" with R. Lee Ermey. "You know who I want to see? Gunnery Sergeant Elmo. Wouldn't that be great?"
Daddy laughed and said in Elmo's falsetto, "You are all equally worthless to me."

So now, I leave it to you. What kind of Elmo would you love to see?

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At 6:23 PM, Blogger Catherine said...

Maybe self-destructing Elmo? The only character more grating than Barney.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Bear-i-tone said...

Clay pigeon Elmo. Pull!

At 5:59 PM, Blogger Terry said...

The only character more grating than Barney.

Caillou's up there somewhere.

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Many years ago, at the height of the Tickle Me Elmo craze, my friends and I came up with a whole list of alternate Elmos. My wife has forbidden me to list most of them here, as they are not appropriate for a family forum.

Speaking of Caillou...Amy and I both would love to see a Very Special Episode: "Caillou gets a Whuppin'"

At 6:14 PM, Blogger LarryD said...

I thought by now they would have had a "Greenpeace Elmo"...

How about "Sharia Elmo" accompanied by a Rosalita wearing a burka? You have to play with them in separate rooms though.

Like Dave, I have other ideas that are better left unsaid.


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