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It’s Elmo’s World and I’m Just Living In It

toddler and elmoBack in my naive pregnancy days, I envisioned our future baby-filled home to be nicely organized with clever little toy baskets tucked away in corners. Toys would be neutral, wooden, and battery-less, and my child would be entertained by arts and crafts, sunshine and fresh air, and romps around local museums. Now, some of this has turned out to be true.  We do actually have a pretty well-maintained toy situation, although there is plenty of plastic and blinking lights (his favorites, of course!). And my son definitely inherited my love of the outdoors and adventure.

But we can’t always be outside (this is Seattle, after all) and eventually we have to come home from the museums, the parks, and the zoo. While I know there is nothing inherently wrong with a little TV watching here and there, I avoided it as long as possible since there were plenty of other things we could do. But as Cullen has gotten older and more independent (read: demanding), and it has become increasingly difficult to do things like prep dinner, feed the dogs, and unload the dishwasher. So every so often when dinner is running late and mama needs a break, Sesame Street is turned on.

The funny thing is, despite me finally giving in to some TV viewing, Cullen doesn’t really have that much interest (or attention span) for it.His true love? Our iPad. It has saved us during plane rides, road trips, and particularly grumpy winter afternoons. I downloaded a few different apps for him – piano playing, animal noises, science games, and an Elmo ABC app. It took almost no time for him to be totally hooked on the Elmo app – by far his favorite! What IS it about the furry red guy?

Last weekend, Cullen had a fever and wasn’t feeling so hot, so the whole family piled onto the couch and watched Saturday morning Sesame Street. After two episodes, Cullen ran around the house the entire rest of the day yelling “Elmo, Elmo!” and asking for more of his friend. He got his 18-month shots on Monday, and had a brief but uncomfortable reaction afterward. His leg really hurt and I felt so bad for him. During nap time, I found myself on Amazon ordering a plushy Elmo stuffed animal to surprise him with.

I gave it to him yesterday, and it hasn’t left his arms yet. He is totally enamored, and we all share our “kisses” with Elmo all day long. This morning, while looking for new pajamas for him online (it seems like he outgrew everything 12-18 overnight!), I couldn’t help myself from getting the Elmo pj’s that were on sale. Elmo is happening, and I have embraced it. Neutral colors have been replaced by plushy, blinding red monsters, and the smile on my son’s face makes it all totally worth it.

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