Elmo’s World, ugh…Mister Noodle, double ugh.
Jenson decided that he loves Elmo- or as he says Melmo. I don’t really know when/where he picked this up, but I think it’s from a couple of Elmo books he has. I let him watch Sesame Street every couple of days – especially if he wakes up bad from a nap or if we can’t go outside because of the weather. He likes the whole show, but if face absolutely lights up when “Elmo’s World” comes on towards the end of each episode. He always turns and looks at me with a huge smile on his face.
I felt bad by letting him watch tv at first…like I was copping out on my parenting duties for that hour. But I gave up that guilt. I watched tv as a kid (plenty of it). When Jenson is older and has a sibling, I’m not going to refuse him tv until his sibling is “old enough” to watch tv, so the next kid is going to see some tv by default before reaching Jenson’s current age. It’s all about moderation. He asks for it every day, multiple times a day, but we usually only put it on if we need to….for his sake or ours/mine. If I can distract him or take him outside instead, I do. But on a day like today where it’s raining and he woke 2 hours early than usual and has been crying and fussing all morning about every single thing, I finally put it on for him. And he’ll be okay.
Elmo is pretty annoying. I hate how he refers to himself in the third person. I feel like it teaches or reinforces kids to do that. I know he’s supposed to be mimicking preschoolers, but if they don’t all talk like that, why make it a thing for those who have the proper grasp of first person? It feels patronizing. But really, what I dislike most about Elmo’s World is Mr. Noodle. The first time I watched an episode and he came on, I was like “What the what?”! He looks and acts like the neighborhood drunk…all scruffy, sweaty, and unkempt looking…falling all over the place and not understanding basic instructions or questions. I was super-creeped out about him. Still am, actually, but I’ve decided to accept it and just not watch the screen when he comes on. Sometimes I look up and think – he’s not as bad as I think…I’m exaggerating it in my head – but he is. I read a bit about him and apparently the episodes that we are watching (from netflix) actually features Mr. Noodles brother Mister Noodle. He has since passed, but he was in a ton of movies and shows, and was nominated and won awards for other performances. As far as the character…I guess kids like it. He’s like a Charlie Chaplin-type character…clumsy and silly (and silent). Kids apparently like seeing adults being silly and making mistakes so they can help correct them – makes them feel smarter than adults. It’s empowering, I guess? So they empower kids by making them feel smarter than the drunk, Mister Noodle, but then dumb it down by having Elmo talk in the third person?! Whatevs.
Also, Bert and Ernie aren’t puppets anymore…they are claymation. And Snuffy is real – everyone can see him. I forgot that he was invisible when we were kids – Big Bird’s imaginary friend. But he came “out” at some point (not like that…but “real”).
Jenson really likes Sesame Street and I think there is a fair amount of value in the show. He’s been counting to 10 for months, and sometimes I do keep counting through the teens, but probably not as much as I should have been trying to teach. One day he just kept counting on his own to 14. A few days later, he made it to 18. Now he can go to 20, though some of the higher teens are unrecognizable at times. Sesame Street is big on counting, so where I failed at trying to teach him higher numbers like I should have been, Sesame Street handled it. He talks to the screen and points out things that he recognizes, and tries to repeat hard words like humungous and dinosaur.
I also like that they have celebrities and musicians on the show for a segment. I think that part is for the parents. L.L. Cool J….David Beckham? Yeah, they’re for the moms.
Note to friends and family: Yes, Jenson likes Elmo…but there is no need to go out and buy him Elmo stuff. This too, shall pass and I have no intention of flooding our house with Elmo stuff. He has some books and a few small toys….good enough.
Seriously…he loves it though: