Thursday, January 31, 2013

You can lead the way


Dearest,

I admit it.  I am a sucker. A mindless consumer trying desperately to try to be mindful of all things "How to raise a ________ (insert awesome characteristic here) daughter."  I know there are worse things I could be addicted to but it's so important to me  us that we teach you that being a girl is not what the media tries to sell you these days (which is to say that your only purpose in life is to be attractive and loved by men, but not TOO many men).

So when you were born I read all the studies about television and media.  Turns out the whole thing is a bunch of crap, all of it.  There are even stereotypical gender roles in Sesame Street (gasp, I really love Sesame). So I began to face parental dilemma (for TV whores  addicts  aficionados like myself) TV or not?  How much TV and what? I opted for TV in moderation (selfishly as I can't eliminate from myself completely...how will I know what happens to Olivia and President Fitzgerald Grant?) So we found Sprout.  As a sorta-wanna-be-hippie/ster I love all things "public broadcast".  Sprout is produced by PBS.

Mostly you enjoyed the Pajanimals before bed and in the morning Sesame Street (specifically Elmo) and then you got the black plague of winter 2012 (that lasted into the new year).  And your TV watching increased in direct proportion to my exhaustion.

Your Sprout viewing expanded (it's PBS, it can't be bad, right?)  You found Caillou.  You loved his theme song.  You loved when the weird grandma narrator deciphered Caillou's cryptic emotions "Caillou's sad" (says the voice over while onscreen we see screaming, whining, crying Caillou).

Daddy and I thought Caillou's theme song was a little bratty  disrespectful when he states "growing up is not so tough, 'cept when I've had enough."  Had enough?  Had enough of what?!  You are 4!?  But we allowed you to continue your Caillou obsession.  While you had a double ear infection I let you watch Caillou most of the day (curse you On Demand) on the couch.

Since then something took hold in you...

see other parents agree with me
You started uttering the following phrases on the regular:

"Es too har" (it's too hard)

"Es not fair"  (the fair's in August kiddo)

As I watched Caillou with you in the morning recently I heard the bald headed tot say whine the same thing numerous times in only 24 minutes.  And I had a moment where I wanted to jump into Caillou's mom's strange clothing (is that Canadian style?) and give that little tot a piece of my mind.

One of those recently read tenets of raising a powerful girl (told you I love PBS) popped into my head:  "Encourage her to solve issues on her own rather than fixing things for her." Lately every time you said "mommy it's too hard" I would rush over to my poor baby and fix it.  "It's not fair" left me trying to reason with you about concepts far above your comprehension.  

So I made a unilateral parenting decision (your dad was at work).  I sent Caillou on a long vacation.  And introduced you to (the early seasons) of Dora.  I am glad to see you enjoying a female protagonist who loves to exclaim "We did it!".  And in the meantime we are working to deprogram the Caillou right out of you. Sayanora punk.

Of course we will help you if you can't, but we believe you can do it,

mama 
  
title courtesy of a much better theme song !Lo hicimos! We did it 

2 comments:

Ashley H said...

Wowza. I can remember my little cousins watching Caillou when I babysat for them. That kind of stuff never even crosses your mind until you have kids of your own.

Larry Lane said...

Caillou was my oldest son's favorite show when he was 2 or so, and holy crap did I hate that show (still do to be honest). It seemed OK at first but the more we watched it the more I despised that little bald headed punk. I finally made the decision that we weren't going to watch it anymore when I caught myself making extremely offensive parodies of the theme song.