Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The cult of Elmo

Elmo rules my house. This silly red Sesame Street puppet has the ability to calm the most wound up toddler. Elmo (a.k.a "Sesame Street," "Elmo's World") is the only TV Sophia asks to watch. Elmo is teaching Sophia how to use the potty. Elmo tells Sophia in her Valentine's Day book that he loves her. Elmo talks to her on the phone. My aunt even made an Elmo book about cutting Sophia's nails. Sophia will do almost anything Elmo tells her to do. Elmo is my hero.

He is also my archnemesis. If she glimpses Elmo any where, in any place, she immediately reacts and needs to see it. We avoid the toy aisle like the plague.

Sophia went to day care today dressed head-to-toe in Elmo. From her Elmo sneakers to her Elmo track suit, this child was decked out. She was so proud of her outfit, and she did look cute, but it's also a little disturbing.

She has red Elmo slippers and Elmo sneakers, an Elmo towel and washcloth, Elmo books and videos, Elmo dolls, Elmo telephones, Elmo music, Elmo sippy cups, an Elmo fork and spoon, an Elmo chair, I even have two Elmo videos in my iPod for those particularly bad car rides. It's gotten so overwhelming that if Sophia sees something red, she'll point to it and say, "Melmo, Melmo."

What is it about that furry red monster? Sometimes when Sophia has a particularly rotten day I pop in an Elmo video or turn on Sesame Street On Demand and she is happy as a lark for about an hour. She exercises with Elmo and dances with Elmo.

But there is only so much Elmo an adult can take.

I've tried to play up Big Bird, Cookie Monster even Grover, but none of those characters hold a candle to Elmo. I'm sure Ryan will soon be inducted into the Elmo fan club, and at that point I might as well paint my house red and wave the white flag.


Kim Cicconi said...

I've seen interviews with the guy who's been doing the voice/puppetry for Elmo since the character started. Not only is it hilarious that he's a 6'3" African-American man, but he's fully aware that he's the simultaneous savior and bane of parents worldwide.