Monday, March 13, 2006

Adios, Amiga!

I hate to do this, but I've got to somehow break Sofia of her obsession with Dora. I love that she learns Spanish from her and is very enthusiastic about going on her own "adventures" outside, and what girl doesn't want her own pet monkey? But it's going to have to end.

It all began innocently enough, over a year ago. We had bought a Dora DVD for David (who had previously never seen the show) when we moved to Vermont. We did not have cable or satellite and we were trying to unpack lots and lots of boxes and thought he might enjoy watching a new show, and we might get a chance to get some things put away. He liked it well enough, but it was Sofia who was really drawn to the show. Sofia never cared much for TV and still doesn't care much for anything...except Dora. And when I don't allow her to watch the show, she wants to play a Dora "game". Which means a computer game. There is a limited selection on the Nick Jr. site and I once thought it was a good idea to play one with the kids. Now she wants to do it all the time.

And I have to be careful when I take her clothes shopping with me. I have to avoid the Dora aisles or I will hear cries of "Oh, Dora!! Dat's Dora, mommy!! I want DORAAAAA!!!" We went shopping for shoes recently and luckily the Dora brand were too high up for her to see. They were ugly! OH MAAANNN were they ugly. We got some kicky white and pink striped ones instead.

She has one Dora t-shirt which her very sweet daddy brought her back from a recent business trip. But that's all she wants to wear, now. I've got all these adorable outfits and as I'm getting her dressed she says, "Dora shirt! Wear Dora shirt!" and "It doesn't match your pants, honey" is not a satisfying explanation to a nearly 2-year old.

So today I've got the kids with me on a car-maintenance mission, to a couple different garages in the next town, or as Dora would put it (very loudly), "We have to save the big, red Volvo from falling apart! Who do we ask for help to find a place to keep mommy's muffler from falling off the car? Let's ask the map! Say map! I said 'SAY MAP'!!!!" I brought them to one place, very briefly to get a fuel-injection cleaning and to replace a tail light, and then it's over to see if the muffler is really falling off, or if it's mommy's overactive imagination again. But while we're in the waiting room, the very nice man at the desk switches the channel to something kid friendly and, you guessed it! And it's a new episode, with a skunk, no less! I think, well, this is good timing. If ever you've got to watch the show with your over-zealous child, the muffler shop is the place to be. She won't go around pulling pamphlets off the wall or try to pour her own cup of coffee. But then the mechanic comes out of the garage and he's done already. It only took him 7 minutes to fix the problem. So that's good. Except we have to leave now. And Sofia doesn't want to. She really doesn't want to. So I try very gently to bring her over to the door and coo softly, "Okay, sweetie, we have to go now. We'll watch Dora another time..."

"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! AUGGGHHHHH!!! Dora!!! Dora!!!" And then I think she might have cursed me out in Spanish, but I'm not sure.

Now the Loaf's had her moments and she's far more prone to outbursts than her older brother, but this one was disturbing. It's not like we'd really had a long morning, and she slept well, so I don't think she was particularly tired, but she freaked. Big time. I wasn't embarrassed or anything, but I couldn't even get her into her car seat because she was doing that arching the back thing, making it impossible to get the harness buckled in. It took a good six minutes or so, after she'd tired out a bit, for me to finally get her in the seat. As we drove off I looked in the rear-view at her and she looked so forlorn- and sweaty. She put up a good fight. Dora would have been muy orgulloso.

We're moving again, very soon, but I won't be purchasing any DVDs this time. I'll unpack in the middle of the night, if I have to...

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