I take a bit of comfort in two things: (1) She bypassed the whole Barney phase, unlike her brother, who tortured us with that horrible song over and over, and (2) She discovered him later than Buddy, who I think was in a full-fledged love affair with Elmo by 16 months.
I know Elmo has gotten a bad rap lately. Poor little monster. Parents are surprisingly divided on this topic, but I, for one, am not going to tell my kids they can’t enjoy Sesame Street because of the actions of an adult puppeteer you’ve never even seen before (and probably never would have.) The reality is that Elmo is a puppet. A puppet is not alive. The character of Elmo is completely separate from the actor who portrays him; they are not one and the same. Some parents may feel differently, and that’s okay, but that’s my take on the issue.
Anyway, so here we are, with a little girl who sees that red furry face and cries excitedly, “ELMO!” She sings the Elmo theme song in that kind of little toddler voice, where the words aren’t really distinguishable and come out in a rush, yet you can clearly hear the “Elmo’s World” at the end. (I should add that I find this rather impressive: she has only seen the actual “Elmo’s World” segment a few times; I think she learned the song from the “ringtone” of her hand-me-down Elmo “cell phone”).
It’s for this reason that I’m excited to take Mimi to her first live-action show, Elmo’s Super Heroes!, in January. And yes, we’ll be taking Buddy too, and while I bet he’ll probably deny it, I think he’ll end up enjoying it. Sure, he calls Elmo “babyish,” but he’ll still sit next to Mimi and watch it if it’s on TV. And what little boy can resist anything that involves super heroes?
Now I admit, I have ulterior motives. We are taking the kids to Disney World in April, and I’m a little worried about what Mimi will think of giant characters. Will she get freaked out? Or will she run to give them a hug and a high five like her brother? Part of me hopes that a little pre-Disney chracter exposure might help.
Here’s the plot of the show:
Calling all super heroes! Super Grover has lost his super-ness! Never fear, the fabulous five Super Heroes are here — featuring Elmo as Captain Fuzzy! Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Zoe and all their furry friends are on a quest to put the “super” back in Super Grover. Singing and dancing their way through fun lessons on healthy habits, they discover how exercise, rest, nutritious food and good hygiene can save Super Grover — and turn your children into Super Heroes, too! You’ll be feeling good when Elmo’s Super Heroes! comes to town!
For all my Massachusetts readers, here are the details: