This week Sesame Street started it’s new season. Thank God. I’m not sure how many times I would be able to sit through reruns of the Help-O-Bots or How Many Hats Can You Wear on Your Head Day (even though Baby A and I play this game at least once a week).
The show is in its 40th year and as The Week pointed out it hasn’t gone without controversy. When it first aired it was banned in Mississippi because of its multi-racial cast that included Maria and Gordon (the man doesn’t looked like he has aged a bit.), both of whom are still teaching America’s youth. Including my 16-month son who’s internal clock knows when the show is on. He hands me the remote each morning and afternoon hoping that I will find Elmo and his friends.
I do, happily. In the short time that we have been watching, I’ve watched A. laugh at jokes that he didn’t yet understand just a week ago; mimick actions—whether dancing, singing or drumming—that the characters are doing; and find comfort in the characters that he probably sees are his friends. As for me, it gives me something to build our day around. For instance, when Elmo is thinking about frogs, A and I jump around the apartment like them. Or, if the letter of the day is “M” I point out all the words beginning with the letter. I don’t have a degree in childhood early education, but this seems to work for us. It also affords me the time to set dressed, cook, and possibly send an email or make a phone call.
Happy 40th anniversary, Sesame Street. Without you, most mothers would spend their days in pajamas.