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The Usefulness of Sesame Street

I don’t remember a whole lot about Addie when she was a one-year-old like Vivi is now.  There are many general memories, but the specifics of when those memories occurred or what exactly brought about those moments seem to be lost.

One of the things I remember about Addie when she was a one-year-old is the word no.  Addie used it all the time.  She also used words like mom and dad.  Beyond that, I’ve forgotten when she really started to talk.

Casey used to teach her little games like patty cake.  The two of them could go through round after round of patty cake for what seemed like hours.  Addie learned the actions to the song pretty quickly.  I also remember randomly asking Addie what noises various animals make and she would respond with an interesting noise like, “honk, honk.”

Do you know what says “honk, honk”?  A penguin.

Anyway, I have tried doing the same things with Vivi that we did with Addie.  Either Vivi isn’t picking up all these games and words as quickly as Addie did, or she just isn’t interested.  Given Vivi’s determination to be entirely independent, I’m sure she just has a lack of interest with patty cake.

A few weeks ago, as a last ditch effort to calm the very angry teething Vivi, Casey decided to let Vivi watch Sesame Street.  Casey and Vivi were far off in Utah for Vivi’s first episode of Sesame Street, which meant that I missed it.

Today after Vivi had a full-on meltdown because she could not get her stroller to sit atop the small plastic storage container that she was sitting on, I took her downstairs and turned on an episode of Sesame Street.  Vivi’s eyes were immediately glued to the TV.  She sat next to me on the couch and just stared at the TV.

The characters on Sesame Street started doing patty cake. I watched Vivi to see what her reaction would be to seeing something on TV that we practiced at home pretty frequently. I was amazed at what I saw.  Vivi’s hands started copying the motions of the hands of the characters on TV. She copied all the actions from patty cake, and then she practiced waving goodbye with the characters.

I have been doing patty cake with Vivi for probably eight months. I have been waving goodbye every time I leave the house since Vivi was born. Even though I’ve spent all this time with Vivi hoping that she would learn to match my motions, she’s never obliged me in my wish. However, a whopping 120 seconds of Sesame Street and the kid picks up the motions like she could have been doing it for months.

My faith in kids’ TV shows was restored right then.  There’s just something magical with that show and its ability to relay messages to kids.

It’s also refreshing to watch a children’s TV episode that isn’t filled with farts and senseless noise like Sponge Bob.

Read more about my family on Moosh in Indy or follow me on Twitter!

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More on Dadding:

Daycare: The Inevitable Sickness that Follows

The 10 Weirdest Things I’ve Seen in the Men’s Locker Room

Backfire: The Not-so-crafty Non-Response

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