Baby Primary Ignition is slowly but surely learning to talk. Two of her favorite words are “Dah-wee” and “Mo.” Which are apparently baby talk for “Dory” and “Nemo.”
The older she gets, the more I’m starting to realize just how much mass media characters matter, especially when kids take to them so early in life. They become a big part of how they discover and relate to the world around them.
I couldn’t help but compare Baby’s love of Dory to my love of Sesame Street when I was about that age (she’s one and a half). In the mid ’80s, Bert and Ernie were it for me. Bert specifically, for some reason. I had these little stuffed Bert and Ernie dolls, and my mother tells me Bert went everywhere with me. Perhaps even at that young age I realized I’d one day, like Bert, be a nerd with a nasally voice.
Actually, those Bert and Ernie dolls have ended up in Baby’s toy chest. I actually get a pretty big nostalgic kick out of seeing her play with them.
The wife and I haven’t exposed Baby to Sesame Street yet, largely because we don’t subscribe to HBO Max these days (I guess the Justice League “Snyder Cut” didn’t draw us in.). Full episodes are available on YouTube, though. So I imagine it’s only a matter of time before Elmo’s voice echoes off the walls of the Siebert house for hours at a time.
I don’t want to dislike Elmo. He was around when I was a kid. But too much of anything, and I tend to turn against it…
Maybe we’ll reach a compromise with Daniel Tiger. He’s the stand-in for Mister Rogers these days, right?
Email Rob at email@example.com, or check us out on Twitter.