Embracing Elmo


How did we end up with Elmo pajamas, again?A few months ago, I wrote about my son’s new found love for a little red furry guy named…Elmo. I was really hesitant when he first started to show interest. He doesn’t watch a ton of TV, but when he does Sesame Street is definitely the program of choice. I always assumed it would be easy to avoid being one of those families whose playrooms are littered with cartoon figurines and recognizable characters splashed on every book, cup, and pair of pajamas.

Now? I get it. Like so many other elements of parenting, it takes experience and a healthy quantity of ill-timed meltdowns for one to actually understand how and why so many parenting cliches exist. And I quickly realized that Elmo and his crew are a lot more than obnoxious bright colors and squeaky voices—they are learning tools.

I’m sure most of it is due to age and other environmental and social exposures, but since Cullen has gotten into Sesame Street his language has taken off. He doesn’t even watch the show all that often, but he pours over the books and carries little figurines with him everywhere he goes. He also loves the look and learn apps on our iPad. He can quickly and easily identify Elmo, Big Bird, Grover, Cookie Monster, Oscar, Ernie, Bert, the Count, and others I’m likely forgetting.

He’s suddenly stringing small sentences together, and most of his statements involve direction or ownership. Uh oh, Ernie. Mama, no Bert. Dogs, OUT! Watching him piece together words and develop his own language is definitely one of my favorite parts of parenting to date. And of course, he would have done this with our without Elmo’s help. But I guess what I’m trying to say is that now that I’m in the thick of it, I can see how these familiar characters bring consistency and learning opportunities to his days.

And while I now have to stop his loving grandparents from buying him every Elmo-themed kid product on the market, I’m certainly not going to stop him from choosing his own interests and favorite characters.  hanks to Amazon prime, our next Sesame Street book arrives tomorrow!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a Britax B-Ready stroller ($500 value)!  Contest ends on Sunday at midnight!