This week’s blogger is Kerry Whiteley. Kerry is a stay at home mother of two children who is trying to figure the whole mothering thing out. She works part-time from home, does freelance writing, and has dreams of being a published author but spends the majority of her non-mothering time obsessing over her next blog post. She finds the funniest part about parenting is how contradicting we can be to ourselves and enjoys a good laugh at the things she held so dear at one point of mothering and how it drastically changes in one year or less. While she feels overwhelmed and guilty at times, she is always on the brink of bliss. You can read her blog at Winding Road.
I have always been very particular about the various influences in my children’s lives. Starting at an early age with my daughter, I would only let her watch Baby Einstein videos or a few select shows on Nick, Jr. while supervised with an adult. I eased up over the years and allowed her to watch a show by herself. Then I went further and allowed a Barbie movie and even further, a Barbie movie without monitoring.
I’m living on the wild side these days.
It began with the addition of the minivan to our family shortly before my son’s birth. This purchase opened a Pandora’s Box of parental lunacy into dimensions I swore I would never go, specifically into Elmo-land. We denied our daughter Elmo and Barney and I still stand firm on our distance from the purple dinosaur.
As it turns out, my son loves Elmo and not surprisingly, my daughter does too. There is something quite infectious about the little red guy with the high pitched voice, which doesn’t irritate me as much as I anticipated. My husband and I have found ourselves giggling along with our children during Elmo’s Potty Time video and had a fun time at Sesame Street Live recently. Needless to say, my son has acquired a good bit of Elmo paraphernalia including the Elmo dress and play doll, Elmo singing toy, Elmo backpack, Elmo t-shirt, Elmo & friends figurines, Elmo potty and the now infamous Elmo bathtub mat.
One night I was bathing my son and trying to quickly finish up so that I could bathe my daughter, get the kids to bed and enjoy my nightly glass of red wine. The water was draining and I was putting the bath toys away. My son was pointing to each Elmo on the bathmat saying “ball” because the mat is patterned with multiple Elmos holding beach balls. He’d say, “Elmo…ball” over and over pointing his little finger at each one. Finally, ready to move on from the repetition, I said something I never imagined coming out of my mouth:
The imagery of this statement had me giggling a good while and shook me out of my hurry to move on to the next thing. Elmo is technically a boy, right? Still, I just can’t imagine him with balls or even metaphorical “balls”… he doesn’t seem to be too much of a tough guy. But then again, Elmo is quite comfortable with his sensitivity and laughs unabashedly. He is very honest with himself and others as well as very loving evidenced by singing “Elmo loves you” multiple times per day in our household.
Perhaps our definition of tough should be revamped because the world really does need more sensitive boys. I can only hope that as my son learns and grows that he will have balls like Elmo.
Who’s your favourite Sesame Street or Muppets character?