Friday, November 04, 2005

unanticipated changes in perspective

This afternoon my mom and I completely ruined all of our wait-til-the-last-minute records: we started our holiday shopping, because I wanted to pick up an Elmo doll for Jacqui. I know, I know, I swore I wouldn't become one of THOSE mothers who has to have the latest bestest toy for her kid and will beat you up if you're holding the last one in the store. If I had to fight crowds of crazed parents, I wouldn't WANT it. But no one does their holiday shopping this early, so there were plenty of "Knows Your Name" Elmo dolls on the shelf. It's so cool! A CD & USB cable are included so that you can download your kid's name, birthday, and other details for Elmo to incorporate into his stories. (Note to mommy-shoppers: This is not the same Elmo you'll find on Amazon/Toys R Us. That one is personalized at the factory, and only with the child's name.)

The thing about Elmo is this: I used to HATE him. But it's hard to hate something your baby loves. There never were any "baby" muppets on Sesame Street when I was a kid, and that's one of the reasons I've never liked Elmo. Grover and Big Bird were the youngest, emotionally, and we loved THEM. Elmo -- well, the complaints about him are many, and his virtues seem few, but when it comes right down to it, he's GENTLE. He's got that third-person speech thing going on, but he's NICE. (And Cookie Monster's always spoken that way, and we love him.) Elmo's voice grates like iron nails on slate, but he holds her attention and makes her laugh. How can I not love him when SHE does?

I tell you what, though -- I will NEVER love Barney. Not even if she marries him.