Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#092 In which our hero obeys Elmo.

Elmo has swallowed my daughter's soul.

I guess I'm not surprised it happened, Elmo is, after all, a wildly successful and carefully crafted marketing machine aimed at the pre-school market. What surprises me is just how quickly Elmo worked his insidious charm on my impressionable princess.

Like so much evil in my life, it started at daycare. Our daycare provider, whom The Scientist and I absolutely love, had the "Chicken Dance Elmo" toy. It's a little obnoxious, but it did teach my daughter to flap her arms like a chicken, which is very funny indeed. And that is the problem... we didn't recognize the threat to our way of life quickly enough. Had we seen it, we might have been able to put the kibosh on it promptly.

But, it wasn't really a problem. Not until the other major source of evil in my life, my father-in-law, got involved. While he was here last he bought "Hokey Pokey Elmo." Now the graven image of Elmo was in my very home. Lily played with this toy, but not obsessively or anything. We continued to be lulled.

Then, the last straw. My father-in-law bought an Elmo video. Needless to say, it was a big hit. So much so, that Lily wanted to do little else but watch the damn thing. She quickly learned how to stick the VHS tape in the machine and is this close to figuring out which buttons to push on the remote to make it go.

But then, the unthinkable. I had the little girl with me at the supermarket, and we were passing by the DVDs for sale bin...

And I bought her a new Elmo video.

I know! I didn't think the Elmo madness could affect grown-ups, but apparently it can! Lily was just so cute, and the video was about animals and fish... and she does love animals and fish...

So I did it. To my eternal shame, I did it.

This is how my morning went: I came downstairs to find that Lily was already awake, and Nana had brought her down. The TV was on, but Nana can't quite figure out how to work the DVD player. Lily sees me and immediately jumps up, remote control in hand.
LILY: Elmo!
ME: Looks who's awake already! Can Daddy have a hug?
LILY: Elmo! Elmo!
ME: Do you want some breakfast?
LILY: No! Elmo! Elmo!
All the while she has this look on her face like, "Why is Elmo not playing right now? Jesus, guy, I know you know how to turn on the DVD. How clearer do I need to be?"

So, yeah, I let her watch Elmo. I know, I know... shame on me. I feel pretty bad about it. The Scientist and I probably watch too much TV as it is, we really don't need to instill this slacker mentality in our year and a half old.

But who I am I disobey the power that is Elmo?


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