birthday, girls, old pop culture references, parenting, screen time, second child, Sesame Street

The Monster at the End of This Post.

When my (almost) six year old was a toddler, she received a “TMX Ernie” for a gift and it scared the crap out of her. To be fair, it is kind of an overwhelming toy: when you push the tummy (or “tickle” it him), it he starts to laugh, falls over, then stands back up again. And he’s nearly a foot tall, so a third of a toddler’s height. I never tried to make her get over her Ernie aversion because I figured it’s a healthy instinct to be wary of something unnatural. (It will be a good instinct to have when the robots take over. OK – try to take over. They will not win.)

Eventually – like last year – she was OK with Ernie, so we brought him back out again. At that time my toddler was a baby and laughed at Ernie. It was good clean fun. But fast forward a few months, and she also developed an Ernie aversion. So off to the garage he went.

Sesame Street is still pretty popular in this house, as the Ernie aversion is only applicable to that toy apparently. My toddler LOVES Elmo and Abby and also loves the “Super Grover” part of the show. Now, if you haven’t seen Sesame Street in a while, I must tell you that Super Grover is not quite the same – he is now “Super Grover 2.0” and uses the “power” of investigation. Cool. Fine. Whatever. Not a big enough change to stop me from tuning in. I’m just glad my girls like lovable, furry, old Grover.

My lovable toddler talks a lot. However, as she has just turned two, we cannot always understand what she is trying to tell us. One day we swore she was talking about “Chupacabra” and she just kept saying it. How odd, we thought, for a toddler to know the word “Chupacabra” even though she hears a lot of Spanish and my husband will be running a race next month named for the (mythical?) beast. But what an odd thing for her to pick up on, we thought. She is babbling on, and we are responding, “Chupacabra?” and finally she says, “NO! Not Chupacabra! Super Grover!”And we all laughed. Ha Ha Ha. Funny baby.

So when it came time for her big sister to pick out a birthday present, big sis picked out a Super Grover that talks. “How fun!” we think. I was a little unsure given the Ernie incidents with both girls, but Super Grover doesn’t move, he only talks when you press his belly, so I was sure it would be fine. She has an Elmo that talks and sings when you press his belly and she loves it. So. Yay! Win! Big sis is proud she picked a good present, little sis will love her new toy – right?

OK – so you’re way ahead of me: she did not love it. Not at all.

Not only did she not love it, she ran away from it. While crying. Ran away from it while crying. Tried to hide from it. NO, we were not chasing her with it (is that what you think of me?) but it didn’t matter. So I took the voice box out of it (oddly there was no on/off switch). Didn’t help. So now, poor, lovable, furry, old Grover has been relegated to the top shelf of the bookshelf in big sis’s room.

AND I have to get a make-up present since big sis is pretty disappointed by how her gift was received. Well, I don’t have to, but I’m cool like that.

He is not near. He is far.