Tuesday, March 22, 2011


What is it with this guy?
 Josie has discovered Elmo. 

Zeke went through a big Elmo kick when he was her age, but as crazy for the little red punk as he was, Josie's got him beat by a mile.  Every waking moment she wants to watch Elmo.  Or hold the Elmo doll.  Or do the hokey-pokey with the Hokey Pokey Elmo that she managed to wrangle from school by throwing an arched-back fit every time the mere suggestion that the doll might be taken away was made.

Sometimes it's all at the same time.

This morning as I was getting them ready for school, she insisted on doing the hokey-pokey with Hokey Pokey Elmo while holding the Elmo puppet while watching an episode of Elmo's World on TV. 

I caved only because I knew she was tired and cranky, the result of having been up every couple of hours,  crying and asking for Elmo.  I finally brought her into bed with me at 4 in the morning to try to sooth her and get her to sleep.  She sat up, pointed to the TV and said, "Elmo!"

"No, honey, we're not watching Elmo now.  It's time for night-night."

She slumped in my arms, utterly defeated, moaning, "no! no! no!"

So pitiful.

Finally, she rested her head against me, snuggled in, and went to sleep.

I'm not overly alarmed by this behavior -- I know it will pass -- but I'm having a hard time understanding it.  I don't remember ever forming attachments like this as a kid.  I didn't have a binky or fixate on a doll.  I was always very independent and almost disdainful of those kinds of displays, like they showed weakness or something.  My mom tells me that when I was about 2 there was a doll that I played with with some regularity, but one day it got lost.  She kept waiting for me to get upset or ask for it or something.  I never mentioned it and moved on.

I don't want to be a hardass.  But I kind of want Josie to sack up and not be such a patsy for Elmo.  I feel like it doesn't bode well for her future relationships, to be so overtly needy.

Or maybe I'm the one that needs to chill out and not view the situation so harshly.


  1. That little Elmo fuck drives me crazy. So far, J knows none of these characters. This makes me happy, because Elmo and Barney make me violent. I know the time will come, but we are postponing.

    J loves his thumb, and he loves some of his stuffed animals and cars, but so far doesn't have a fit when one of them disappears into the laundry. I was like you - no binky, no blanket, no one toy that I hadhadhad to have. I don't remember giving it any thought - I just wasn't so attached.

  2. I actually don't mind Elmo (or even Barney) *that* much in reasonable doses. If she wants to watch Elmo and in doing so, will sit still while I get her dressed in the morning, I'm all for it. But this business of waking up at all hours of the night begging for him is weirding me out.

  3. I loathed Elmo before Elliot fell in love with him, mainly because bad grammar makes me feel stabby, but Elliot fell in love, so I watch him occasionally. (Elliot does not wake up longing for him at night...)

    I found that Elmo is really a nice little guy. He's kind to his friends. He's cheery. He has nice manners, is curious and loves his parents and goldfish, too. And I've even been thinking that for 3.5 year old monster, his grammar isn't all that bad.

    My point here is that if Elmo is Josie's future type, maybe that's not all bad. So there's that.

  4. I agree with your assessment of Elmo - I find him endearing and often funny (as you pointed out once, the "ask a baby" segment is inspired). I just wish Josie didn't pine for him at 4 in the morning. Playing a little hard to get isn't such a bad thing.

  5. I think it's pretty cute. And to Elizabeth's point, better Elmo than say, Oscar the Grouch. That guy is always telling his friends to "Scram!" THEN I'd be worried about Josie's future attachment issues. At least Elmo is emotionally available.

    I was obsessed with Mr. Rogers as a kid. And I married a man named Fred. Coincidence? I think not.

  6. You're right, you're right, I know you're right. She could do worse than Elmo, for sure. I would simply like her to dial it back a notch.

    Now, re your Mr. Rogers fixation, the question is, does your Fred wear a cardigan and immediately switch from loafers to lace up sneakers when he comes home?

  7. No cardigan, but he *does* switch from slip on shoes to slippers when home. Grrrrr.