Tonawanda News — I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”
Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.
On the scale of annoying children’s characters, we thought, Elmo wasn’t so bad. (We had banned Barney from our household.) We could deal with Elmo for a few years. Especially when he brought with him the the goofiness of Grover, the fraternal back-and-forth of Bert and Ernie, the approachable grumpiness of Oscar, the sweetness of Big Bird and and the manic, untamed glee of Cookie Monster with baked goods.
After all, they’d grow out of it in a few years. Right?
So, we stocked the DVDs. We had “Sesame Street” books and CDs and stuffed version of multiple characters. We tolerated Mr. Noodle and decided the Dorothy (the goldfish) was the real brains of the operation in “Elmo’s World.” We wondered out loud if the growing presence of Abby Cabaddy meant the show had “jumped the shark.” (My husband stubbornly believes so. Parenthood sometimes means getting FAR too invested in children’s TV.) And early every year, we trooped down to Shea’s Performing Arts Center for “Sesame Street Live.”
We thought that within a few years that the boys would move on — to the days of superheroes and Star Wars and other cartoon characters both classic and new. And with one of our children, we were right. Sam adored “Sesame Street” for a few years, had a Big Bird cake for his first birthday and a beloved stuffed Oscar, but the focus of his attention these days is comic-book characters (he tends toward the DC lineup, to this Marvel girl’s chagrin) and Star Wars. And that’s OK. That’s life.