Kids are weird

Posted by jdg | Tuesday, August 08, 2006 |

Well, operation "ignore Elmo and hope he goes away" is a fucking bust, just two weeks after I first noted that somehow my child had spontaneously started talking about "Elmo" even though she's never seen him on television, played with any Elmo toys, or to the best of our knowledge been exposed to that little shitbird in any possible way.

As I suggested then, Elmo may very well embody the Jungian "child" archetype, filling a niche in the collective unconscious that does not require a toddler to be exposed to his self-referential blatherings in order to know who he is. But now, I fear, Elmo has taken on new dimensions in our daughter's mind. No longer content to think of him as a mere colleague-in-whining and comrade-in-crappy-pronunciation, I believe that Elmo now embodies the "hero" archetype to Juniper, and she expects him to one day ride up to our home on a white steed and rescue her from these evil parents who dress her like a Bavarian Disco Baby, refuse to let her watch normal television and only buy her wooden toys from the Jura region of eastern France. Why else would she wander over to an open window, and call out to him like Isolde to Tristan, like Thisbe to Pyramus, like Wendy Darling to Sandy Duncan in drag:

Alas, poor Juniper, your "hero" failed to show. Now get over here and eat this pureed kale and play with this sleek Scandinavian wooden thingamabob that just worked so much better with the furniture than any of those crappy licensed toys they sell at Wal-Mart. Then we'll read to you from a vintage children's book filled with mid-century illustrations and put you in your crib next to that handmade stuffed creature that you don't give a rat's ass about and I'll sing you a Belle & Sebastian song to sleep. Elmo can't hear your cries, Juniper. He can't hear your cries.