When the Captain was little, he liked to watch sweet little toddler TV shows, like Peep And The Big Wide World and Thomas The Tank Engine. I can still sing the theme songs to both, stone cold. The Peep theme song in particular is a modern classic, and it saddened me when he stopped wanting to sing it all around the house:
When Gal Smiley got to TV watching age, the two of them got into Hi-5, a show which I have encyclopediatic knowledge of. I can sing every song, I can quote every episode, and most importantly, I can discuss the girls’ wardrobe for HOURS. I still care way, way too much when I see a cast member on some other show now. I saw Karla on an episode of Castle a few weeks back. She played an assistant who had to knock on a door to a change room, open it, then scream in horror upon discovering a body. That was her entire part, and I squealed as if they’d scored a cameo by Lady Gaga. I am humiliated, slightly.
As an aside, their Christmas album is seriously one of the best, very poppy and cute and crowd pleasing for kids and adults alike, featuring a nice mix of classics and original songs that are destined to become classics. It’s always the first out of the box when we break out the Christmas tunes.
By the time the Captain turned 6, he started making noise about watching some “older kid” shows, but I wouldn’t have it. Some of his friends were watching things like Spongebob and The Clone Wars, but I didn’t think they were appropriate for the girls so I kept them safely glued to Treehouse and Disney Family and PBS Kids.
Then we went to Disney in 2010, when the Captain was nearly 7 and Gal Smiley was 5 1/2. The only channel we got that showed kids’ programming had The Suite Life of Zack and Cody on a 24 hour continuous commercial-free loop, so that’s what they watched while the Little Miss was sleeping, and BAM, we were a big kid show house. When we got home we DVR’ed the entire Zack and Cody oeuvre and watched every episode 15 times apiece, and from there slippery sloped it down to Good Luck Charlie and Phineas and Ferb, and now we’re on to Lego Ninjago and of course, The Clone Wars.
So all this is to say that poor Little Miss Sunshine, who was just 2 1/2 at the time of the Disney trip, never really got a chance to discover preschoooler type shows. Instead of brightly coloured, slow moving shows with a vague educational component, she’s been raised on a steady diet of tween sitcoms featuring commercials for the BEST BARBIE EVER MOMMY I HAVE TO HAVE THAT RIGHT NOW.
So! Last week I was compulsively searching the TV listings for Christmas specials, because I seem to miss the big favourites every year, so now I check every day to see what’s on. And on a whim I decided to record Dora Saves The Snow Princess, because I thought the Little Miss would like it.
And DOES SHE.
She is INTO Dora. She obeys Dora’s every command. Dora is like a little Latina drill seargent/cult leader and the Little Miss is her willing recruit. When Dora says jump, she jumps. When Dora says to call for the Snowflake Fairy, she calls. When Dora asks her what was her favourite part, she answers with intensity and passion.
She’s a true believer, too. She’s watched it three times now, and every time she seems to honestly believe that if she doesn’t yell “Backpack!” just a little louder, then Backpack won’t open. When Dora achieves success, she beams. I’m starting to wonder if she actually understands how a TV works.
And then! At the end, the Snow Princess offers up a medal of thanks to the key players, and holds one out “for you.” So the Little Miss solemnly bows her head, then puts on one of Sir Monkeypants’ old 10K medals, and then runs to show me that she got a medal for helping Dora. Even more hilariously – the last time she watched it, Gal Smiley joined her, and when Gal Smiley made to bow her head at medal-receiving time, the Little Miss freaked out because Gal Smiley had not helped AT ALL, she had not even JUMPED when Dora said JUMP, and the Little Miss had done ALL THE WORK, and thus the medal was HERS, and Gal Smiley should not be making motions to take HER medal, NO SIREE.
And I was a super mom because I totally kept a straight face while comforting her and assuring her that she would be getting the medal for all her hard work (totally laughing as I type this, though, sorry baby!).
My new little Dora follower has me wondering how much she really gets out of the shows the older two watch. I’m thinking we will have to have a few more episodes of Dora on the PVR, maybe sprinkle in some Wonder Pets and Little Einsteins, too. She’s still my baby!
12 thoughts on “Snow Princess”
Totally funny Lynn! Thanks for my morning giggle. Quack on Peep &BWW has the best lines (of which I can quote MANY) of any kids cartoon.
OMG, me too! Quack is SO quotable. My favourite episode is the one where he’s singing at top volume in a tube. “I’m an extra large super giant DUUUUUUCK!!!!”
I’m all nostalgic now :).
Ah, kids TV shows. What I find interesting is the variation in quality, some (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) are just appallingly bad, while others are really good and quite watchable for adults (in limited amounts). (Since you mentioned it, while not at the top of my list, I don’t mind Wonder Pets; I thing Ming-Ming is super cute, especially her voice and the way she can’t say the letter L, the fact that the singing is _not_ autotuned, and the fact that they always celebrate by eating _celery_ at the end – I can’t decide if that’s because Linny is a guinea pig and that’s just what they eat, or they’re trying to promote healthier eating, but either way it’s charming.)
Oh, and I laughed out loud when you wrote how you were laughing as you wrote the 2nd-last paragraph. Sadly, though, our kids (like yours, I’m sure) have reached the point where they notice when we laugh at them. For parents it’s a joyful thing when your kids make you laugh – it’s a laugh of love to be sure, but it does make them uncomfortable.
Same here – the Little Miss in particular is now super sensitive to the very idea that we might be laughing at her. So I do try to keep a straight face, but really, I do hope that she does understand that Dora can’t actually HEAR HER. Hm.
I haven’t seen Wonder Pets in forever and sadly, none of our kids ever went through heavy obsession, but I loved it. I also loved Backyardigans – the use of musical themes charmed me. I’m going to start a campaign around here – the Little Miss WILL love them :).
Isn’t it funny how trips elsewhere change TV viewing habits? In fact, most of our family trips can be identified with one particular show. Up until now, when we’ve been in Wales, it’s been the CBeebies line-up on BBC (although next time the boys will be MUCH too sophisticated for that). The last time we were in Florida it was (ugh! choke!) SpongeBob – thankfully it didn’t travel home with us. And during last year’s March Break ski trip the boys got hooked on iCarly. I was skeptical but, you know what, I’ve grown to appreciate it… I’m going to say it here – iCarly is not the worst thing on TV.
A big favourite in our house right now is Destroy, Build, Destroy. I tell myself it has some engineering / scientific / strategic thinking merit and let them enjoy it. Because at least it’s not SpongeBob…
Huh, I’ve never heard of Destroy – will have to check it out. After we visited you this summer we went through a HEAVY rotation of both Hole in the Wall and Splatalot. The kids loved both but personally, I think Hole in the Wall is kind of a genius show. Gal Smiley still dreams of putting together a team – sadly her team includes me, and they will get me into one of those silver jumpsuits OVER MY DEAD BODY.
Seriously? SpongeBob is awesome. I actually wish my kids were more into it.
(I still remember when Lynn first told me that she thought I’d like SpongeBob, and I watched an episode and didn’t get it. Somehow several years later (still BK) I became a fan – you were right, of course, Lynn! I’m still waiting for my kids to really get into it.)
Anyway, to each his/her own…
I feel that way now about Phineas and Ferb. Seriously, so clever and brilliant. The show is hilarious and the pop culture references are dazzling, and most episodes contain original songs that are funny yet also SO smart and catchy. You’d love it!
Oh yeah, I’m all over Phineas & Ferb. Our boys went through a very intense P&F phase a while back, and still like to watch it occasionally. It is a great show. And the Perry the Platypus theme made it onto a CD that Mrs CapnPlanet made for them, which is currently in heavy rotation at home. (“He’s a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action…” – hilarious!)
oh i miss peep! love him. and the wonder pets! sigh.
we are now in ninjago, power rangers, johnny test. phineas and ferb were short lived sad to say. both the hubby and i wish that the jeb would watch them more. whaccha doin?
When my niece was … probably 2, she had the DVD of Diego Saves Christmas and wanted to watch it all the time. And then she’d take great delight in getting the answers wrong. (Where does a llama take a bath? In a bathtub! *glance to make sure I know how silly she is*)
Little Miss must be just at the right age for Dora, and I think it’s awesome that she enjoys it so much.
Love that she’s discovered a preschool type show to love. Though I shudder at the Dora thing. I just can’t handle her and my Little Man didn’t see it until a younger and very obsessed cousin came to visit last year. 🙂 If I’m in the room, he knows I’ll make him turn the channel if it comes on – because at six, he will actually listen to stuff like that without having a temper tantrum.
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