I visited a dear friend when Thalia was about two. The friend also had a daughter the same age, and a five year-old too. I made some sort of pandering Elmo reference to the little girl as we tried to get her to eat her apple sauce.
“Oh, she’s over Sesame Street,” my friend said. “That won’t work.”
“How can a two year-old be over anything?” I asked, more shocked than judgy. Or maybe a little more judgy than shocked. It’s hard to say. I was shocked. (And judgy.)
“Because her sister is onto Dora. So that’s that.”
That exchange stuck with me all these years. And I remember thinking (judgily) how sad–that little two year-old, robbed of her furry monster-loving, innocent toddler years in exchange for a slicker, flashier, animated romp with a fat-headed girl with no sense of color coordination, whose absentee parents allow her to traipse across the Mexican countryside by herself.
No Sesame Street by preschool? Outgrowing Ernie and Bert in your first 24 months on this planet? Sounds like communist business to me.
Oh, hello irony. Nice to meet you. Thanks for punching me in the face.
The guy in the giant Elmo suit outside the Central Park zoo on Saturday scared the crap out of Sage, and she hardly knows the difference between Abby Cadabby and Zoe. Poor guys never stood a chance, what with Dora ruling the TV by declaration of Queen Thalia. Who herself is already close to outgrowing the Noggin crew, as she’s now flirting with the world of Discovery Kids and Cake Boss.
(And yes, I see my girls’ growth in terms of TV watching and pop culture references. Got a problem with that?)
Other five year-olds are starting to say things like “Dora is for babies,” and no doubt, in time one will say it to Thalia and that will be the end of that.
I have to admit, it all makes me a little wistful.
So in a way, as much as that high-pitched, too-loud cartoon voice makes me a little twitchy, I’m okay that my daughters continue to be in love with the over-excited explorer girl. I sort of liked that Thalia was so excited for Dora’s Big Birthday Somehing-or-other Super Special One Hour Show That’s Probably Not that Special on Sunday, that she drew a picture of Dora with the number 8 as a “memo” to herself to remind herself to tune in. I like that she’s proud that she knows how to say estrella and vamanos, and I think it’s sweet hearing Dora implore, Say map! and knowing my girls still answer back without hesitation.
I also kind of liked that the biggest debate in our home last night was an knock-down, drag-out fight (between Thalia and Sage, not me and the girls) about whether Boots is a boy.
Sage said no.
Let me tell you, some of you people on Twitter must have some very interesting gender discussions in your home.
And that we’re not the only family that spends far too much time watching Noggin.