Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What I learned on Sesame Street

Murray and Roselita
There are three things in this world that I know to be true:
  1. Milk and bread only become necessities one day before a major snow storm.
  2. Scotch tape always seems in abundant supply, except when you need to wrap a birthday present.
  3. When day 17 hits on your child's Christmas break from school you will let her watch 25 hours of television a day.
That's right, Day 17 of Christmas break from school.  From December 21st  to now would be 17 days without any formal educational stimuli.  Starting with the ten day trip to Grandmama and Fafa's house, the Princess has survived on presents, candy, cookies, pie and a unending stream of attention.  Someone may have even slipped her some booze.*  It's hard to tell since every three-year-old slurs words and challenges bigger people to fights, especially those hopped up on high fructose corn syrup.

We arrived home just before New Year's thinking that a few days of Grandparent Detox were in order, and then, just when we couldn't stand the little darling any more, she would go off to school and we could get our lives back in order.  I love the little Princess with all my heart, but I understand that I can no longer keep her interest by myself.  She's seen through my charade of entertainment, and after half a day with me I just become annoying.  By day 15 of break, my role was to open Play-doh cans, unscrew the paint cups and occasionally remind her that the dog does not like to be pounced on.  At least school was scheduled to resume the next day.

Except when inches of snow drop and it's -26°.  Evidently these weather conditions make attending an educational institution an impossibility.  It's also the weather conditions that make a parent give up and let Netflix babysit.  "At least I'll get her to watch something educational while I sit in the corner and weep," I say to convince myself this is a responsible idea.  How about some Blue's Clues or Sesame Street?  That's like a school that comes in delightful hour long segments.

To my surprise, she did choose Sesame Street, a show she didn't want to watch after her third birthday because it was "only for babies."  And watching it with extremely tired eyes, I started noticing things I didn't before.  Things like:
  • Ernie and Bert can afford to live in a downtown New York apartment even though they have no jobs, a kindergarten level education and an unhealthy attachment to bottle caps and rubber ducks.  Either they are living on government assistance or they are heir to the FEO Schwartz fortune.
  • Cookie Monster probably has Type 2 diabetes.
  • The older I get, the more I relate to Oscar the Grouch's way of thinking.
  • Telly Monster sounds like he's 45 and works in a New York butcher shop.  What's he doing hanging around a bunch of kids?
  • It's kinda mean the way Elmo keeps pestering Mr. Noodle in his Elmo's World spot.  Just let the homeless man outside your window sleep.
  • Elmo's World, itself, needs an update.  Today's episode talked about developing film for cameras.  Unless Elmo is a hipster art geek, he probably should go digital.  Or just do a show about iPhones and take a countless number of pictures of food.
  • I miss Kermit the Frog and spent the rest of the day showing the Princess his on-the-spot reporting segments.  On the plus side, I love Murray, the new "host" of Sesame Street.
  • The Street still rocks and made a 37 year old man laugh.
At least if I have another few days of no school, I can spend it watching an old favorite with my daughter.  I hear that the temperature sky rockets to the 20's later this week, and school should be back on.  Maybe we have time to squeeze in one or two more episodes.


*Editors' note:  Dear Child Protective Services,  Under no circumstances did anyone give our child any alcohol.  That would be wrong.  She didn't even eat that much sugar.  And we had no prior knowledge that chloroform was doused on that rag.  She was just smelling things, and well...let's have my friend Mr. Franklin explain it to you.

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