We are a living commercial for the Sprout Channel in our house. Ollie loves Chica, the puppet on the channel’s morning live program, The Sunny Side Up Show. She “talks” in a squeak, and I’m impressed by the puppeteers abilities to make her understandable. I get him up in the morning, ask him if he wants to see Chica, and he nods, vehemently. He’s pushed me out of his way on his way to see her.
I’m happy to report that, for the most part, I enjoy the Sunny Side Up Show enough to let it accompany our mornings. Outside of a dreadful 20 minutes where they show Barney, I can happily tolerate Bob The Builder and Fifi & The Flowertots to give him lots of opportunities to dance and point excitedly. Thomas & Friends is a huge hit with him. Like other little boys I know, Thomas’ adventures are an Ollie favorite. But, interestingly, he does realize when they show a newer episode, an episode where George Carlin is not the narrator. He likes the Carlin episodes, he doesn’t like the replacement ones. As much. (And, really? George Carlin? Bizarre.)
After the Sunny Side Up Show, they segueway into an hour of Caillou. An hour of a cartoon that sucks to epic proportions. When I realized it wasn’t just a couple episodes, but a whole hour of this torture, I groaned. Loudly. I don’t do a good job of concealing my distaste I have for this show. I’ve even rewritten the theme song to more appropriately express for my feelings. The way the show’s producers planned, theme song should be this:
I’m just a kid who’s four
each day I learn some more
I like exploring
In my house, it’s this:
I’m just a kid who’s four
each day I whine some more
I’m so annoying
I know I should try to hide my feelings for this whiny little bald-headed boy with the randomly giggly little sister Rosie. I know, I know. But I’ll tell you, the random giggling, the primary colored shirts, the way that Caillou always seems to get his way, the “cute” way that Rosie mispronounces “butterfly” (flutterby) is just too much. It irritates me. It irritates me like a loose hair that I can’t reach stuck in my bra strap.
My disdain for this show has maybe perhaps rubbed off on Ollie. And for that I am eternally grateful. From the opening chords to the theme song, until I turn it off, Ollie shows distress. He fixes his face to its dislike setting, points to the tv with more urgency, and uses all his communication skills to express that he does. not. want. to. watch. Caillou. Change the channel, Please and Thank You. And while I try to not to satisfy every whim of my stubborn almost two-and-a-half-year-old, I do comply. Happily. We switch to PBS when Caillou’s on Sprout, to watch a tried-and-true favorite, Sesame Street. When Sesame Street is over on PBS, they switch to Caillou, and I switch back over to Sprout for another hour of Sesame Street. Why is this kid shoved down our throats? But, Ollie likes Elmo, and that’s something I’d much rather encourage. In a WWF wrestling match between Elmo and Caillou, I’d be the one shouting from the sidelines at Elmo to clothesline the baldy.
I’m not sure that pride is the appropriate response to Ollie’s distaste for Caillou, but I am proud. For all my efforts to have shared interests with him, he dances to Achy Breaky Heart. (I know. The former music snob in me cringes at this confession.) He likes monster trucks. He doesn’t like tomato soup and noodles. Grape jelly makes him cringe.
I will take this shared distaste of a bald-headed four-year-old who’s name means “Pebble.” And thank my lucky stars that his interests aren’t reversed. If he loved Caillou as much as he seems to hate him, I’d wonder if he was really my kid.