Posted by: Fern | November 10, 2007

Elmo Crack

There are so many things I promised I would never do with my children, starting solids before six months – D started at five to help him gain some weight, use formula – we started supplementing one bottle a day at five months for the same reason, co-sleeping – the boy was in our bed for the first four or so months and I now wish we’d gone on longer, and then there’s the telly.

I was convinced that there would be no telly until at least two years old, and even then it would be cut down to half an hour, maybe an hour a day, I was a “proper” mother, there was no way I was going to rely on the digital mommy.

HARHARHAR.

When Declan had reflux it was truly a battle, he would only sleep if he was attached to me and upright in the sling, if he was awake he was screaming, this was basically the first four months of his life, until we discovered Baby Einstein. All he had to hear was the opening notes and he would calm down, stop crying and instead just curl up on our lap and become engrossed in the various images. It was at a point where I was convinced that Disney were placing subliminal messages into the clips. Then we discovered Pooh Bear, and it was a welcome break, at least briefly… you see, when you spend a couple of hours a day listening to the tunes of Mozart and Beethoven then you spend all day humming them and sounding almost sophisticated, when you spend the same amount of time listening to Pooh Bear you spend the day informing everyone around you, in a very tuneful fashion, that you are a little black rain cloud. Dan would be teaching a class and singing about hephalumps and woozles, not the best look when you’re trying to control a class of 20 unruly sixteen year old boys.

As Declan has become older he’s developed an inability to stay still, he is constantly on the move, cruising around the furniture, standing behind his walker and pushing it, trying to climb on top of the coffee table, so the telly stopped being a way to distract him from his tears and instead became a way to calm him down before taking a nap. We started tuning in to Nick Jr and Playhouse Disney and seeing what else there was, we discovered that D loved Miffy and would take interest in the occasional episode of The Backyardigans and it was nice having a break from Pooh. Then one fateful day we TiFauxed an episode of Sesame Street, just to see his reaction, I LOVE vintage SS and both of us have a thing for Muppets, so we sat down with Declan in the walker and pressed play.

A red blur of fur came on screen and Declan was like an crackhead getting his first ever fix, his eyes lit up and there was no dragging him away.
The episode we have tells the story of Elmo marching in a parade, “A Little Furry Red Monster Parade”, that is until his friends come along and he realises that they’re not like him, so to include him he changes the marching song, the song that began as “hooray make way, for the little furry red monster parade” eventually becomes, “hooray, make way, for the little and big, furry and feathery, red and orange and yellow and purple and brown, monster and bear and bird parade”.

Now I want you to sit back and imagine that repeated in a high pitched voice, for half an hour, usually twice a day but sometimes three time, EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Pooh Bear has been cast to the side, Baby Einstein just doesn’t do it for him, but not only must it be Sesame Street, it must be Elmo, and it must be this episode. The little furry red monster is baby crack… and it is slowly destroying my will to live.

And then I’m actually thinking of encouraging this by buying him an all singing all dancing Elmo doll for his birthday… wtf?

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