Caillou and Other Fictional Characters Who Might Die by my Hands

istock terraxplorer

istock terraxplorer

Sally would watch TV 24/7 if I let her. She loves it and I’m ashamed to say that, like the love handles she’ll probably have in 28 years, she inherited this love from her father and me. While I’m fairly certain that managing her addiction is only slightly less challenging than keeping Jeff Conaway sober, that doesn’t mean I can throw in the towel. So I try, sometimes unsuccessfully, to keep her viewing to a minimum and I only let her watch shows that are educational or at least suited for kids. (…That’s what I’m supposed to say, right?)

Problem is, a show that is good for young children is typically enough to drive an adult to domestic terrorism. The one–seriously, ONE–exception is Sesame Street, to which I will donate every penny of the $27 in my estate when I die.

But then there are other freaks of nature shows, like Caillou (Kye-yoo), one of Sally’s favorites. Caillou is a bald 4-year-old. If that isn’t strange enough, he’s Canadian. He has decent morals, which is the one thing keeping me from reaching into the set and strangling him with a primary-colored jump rope, but I have nightmares where everyone I know has his laugh, which sounds a lot like a drunk crow watching Seinfeld.

Sally’s other great love is Olivia, about a sassy, 6-year-old pig. I admire her ‘tude. My biggest problem with Olivia is her inane theme song, which has been stuck in my head for about four months. Curious George, however, ranks high on my list of animals to put out of their misery. The poor monkey was ripped from the jungle to live with the Man with the Yellow Hat. And we’re supposed to believe that George is happy — indeed, happier — to be living in an apartment with a nerdy scientist who has George make him breakfast in the morning. Not to mention Sally speaks in monkey for at least 30 minutes after the program.

Flawed though these shows may be, they don’t hold a candle to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, a catastrophic collision of CG animation and sexually frustrated Disney characters for whom real-world physics only occasionally apply. Mickey and team spend their 30 minutes solving various problems and mysteries with . . . let’s say “creative” tools. If a child were to take Clubhouse law as gospel, she’d start using giant candy canes to help her cat out of a tree; use a toy thermometer to test real hot bath water; and leave for college armed with the knowledge that if the moon is blocking your path to another planet, you can give it a pacifier so it will roll over for you. Really. Banging my head against the wall feels remarkably good after watching this.

Sally has acquired some funny quotes from these shows and a few have even provided some teachable moments (suction-cup shoes don’t really work). So I suppose they’re not all bad. For her, at least. For me? I’m a little bit crazier, thanks to these programs, and George’s worm race experience doesn’t make for the best water cooler conversation.

What about Barney? (You know you were thinking it.) I have flung my body off the couch, across the room, onto the remote–bruising ribs–to shut off the tube before Sally can figure out what that purple mind-eater is. I mean seriously, I’m not going to knowingly write my ticket to the funny farm, even if it would give me a few more minutes to work on this blog.


9 responses to “Caillou and Other Fictional Characters Who Might Die by my Hands

  1. OMG!!!! This is the best one yet! While reading this I kept sayin Yeah right on! You are awesome! And yes Nate speeks monkey as well after George…lol and to my dismay Grandma introduced him to Barney!!!!!…

  2. mybeatingheart

    I TOTALLY agree with you that Sesame Street is the only tolerable children’s show.
    Sadly….I did not fling myself across the room fast enough and Barney is a part of our lives! And once they find that purple dinasour, there is no going back! Yikes!

  3. SESAME STREET????? Really??? Where they highlight characters that cannot even pronounce “r’s”? Ugh! Way to be an example PBS. I can’t stand it when kids talk that way, much less puppets. Not cute as baby “talk”. Especially when children are then forced to spend recesses in speech therapy because their mother’s thought it “cute” and chose to not correct it. And the entire second half is dominated by the most annoying screeching from that red “thing”! After all you were so “right on” about all the others. Another thing I found wrong with these programs is: you know the one “bad” character or when Caillou has a little fit? Well my daughter always latches on to the fits or the bad character’s attitude, not the resolution! Thanks so much “children’s programming” for making me spend the rest of my life trying to “undo” your good intentions. Way to go, though I disagreed about SS, another laughter inducing post and a highlight to my day!!!

  4. Just wait til she gets to after school specials on ABC and all the pre-teen angst!

  5. I must agree…Except I feel that Caillou is Satan worse than Barney(we don’t watch either.)…..We don’t watch the whinny little bit of a Canadian. I was a nanny for avid Caillou fans……Its horrid… We do watch the offending Micky Mouse…all for the Hot dog dance at the end. The best show I feel is Jacks big music show…. But the TV mostly is on Food network. Eddie does love Rachael and Paula Dean….He also really likes the Brittany Spears videos….I do understand this may devalue my opinion all together…

  6. Ya, maybe one day Gilbert will maul Caillou and we can watch Rosie play with all his toys in silence. They actually had a show about monsters in his room in the middle of the night. My little one had NO idea what a monster in the room was until that *&%#!!!!!!!’n show. One more *&%#’n thing for her to be scared of. I LOVE your description of ‘hiding’ Barney!

  7. After reading your hilarious blog…I can’t help but think that there was no love for Dora or Diego. There’s nothing better than a little girl who’s normal voice is always shouting and a punk fox that is always trying to swipe things away. As for Diego…if it wasn’t for Rosie Perez as the hyper and animated “Click”, the it would just be like Dora pt. 2. Much love for Sesame Street though…Still can’t believe that Gordon, Maria, and Bob are STILL around. I do have to ask though…what is Abbie Cadabie’s story? Thanks for keeping me smiling!

    • Ah, wondered if Dora would pop up. I saw Dora one time a few years before I had a kid and I hate her so much I couldn’t even think of what to write about her. So thank you for adding her to the list for me — she definitely deserves to be on the hate list.

  8. Wonderful sentiments. A neighbor gave us several Barney videos while we were living in Japan. We let Joshua watch them because it was nice to have something in English, but the purple dinosaur’s voice still chills my blood.

    I’m a huge fan of Between the Lions. It’s similar to Sesame Street, but strongly focused on books and reading. Nothing like a family that reads together.

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