One of the trickier parenting knots I've had to unravel since Julia was born is how much TV, if any, she should watch. I know people at work who consider it an abomination to let kids under two watch even a second of TV, and I have friends who will sit their kids in front of Pixar movies for hours on end.
Because Julia wakes up at least an hour before my brain turns on properly, we begin our day with "Sesame Street," and watching it as an adult gives me a very different, darker perspective. Not only are Bert and Ernie obviously a gay couple, but it's an emotionally abusive relationship: Ernie gets his way on everything, and whenever Bert tries to get his way, Ernie harasses his way to victory. I've recognized Cookie Monster as one of the great tragic characters in modern literature, perpetually in thrall to his cookie addiction. (They even showed a flashback a while ago where we saw that he was once a perfectly normal kid whose life was forever destroyed when his mom brought him a plateful of chocolate chips.)
I've even grown to like Elmo, who for years I had resented for the way he supplanted Grover as the show's go-to furry monster. Since Elmo is supposed to be both younger and cuter than Grover, I had been envisioning some kind of "All About Elmo" scenario where the producers decided Grover's demographics weren't skewing young enough. But I think if I was a kid, I'd be more drawn to Elmo's constant enthusiasm (seriously, is there anything or anyone he doesn't love?) than to Grover's klutzy neuroses.
The other odd thing I'm noticing is the presence of people I know better from much more grown-up shows. Dr. Gina, for instance, was Tony B.'s girlfriend on "The Sopranos," and this morning, I caught Tyler James Williams from "Everybody Hates Chris" singing along with Gabby a song that I think was called "Meow, Tweet, Moo." Now I know how parents must've felt when they saw Steve from "Blues Clues" play a killer on "Homicide."
This blog entry has been brought to you today by the letter Q and by the number 17.