Deconstructing Elmo

August 23, 2011 by

I’m a little more than a year old. I’ve never seen the legendary Sesame Street; and yet, I felt inexplicably drawn to the “Read Along with Elmo” series book I found at the bottom of a pile of books meant for me. This particular edition features the story of “Wee Willie Winkie” – again, no personal frame of reference, but the title character is a mouse: small, adorable; almost like it was engineered for someone like me to enjoy! This going to be fun!

I start with the first page. They’re already expecting a lot, as they establish two parallel narratives: the fascinating tale of Mr. Winkie’s adventures alongside the meta-narrative of reading with Elmo (thus the series title) and his commentary on the act of reading. A little bit of a developmental stretch, but so far, so good. Page two.

Things get strange here. Wee Willie’s run through town continues, but Elmo is nowhere to be found! Instead there’s this blue guy that bears a passing resemblance to Elmo (Papa says his name is Grover). What happened to Elmo, the series host with whom I’ve been reading? I don’t mind Grover. Seems like a perfectly reasonable chap. He even engages me in some rudimentary developmental stuff, asking me to count (numbers) the purple (colors) toadstools (OK, you lost me on that one; who says “toadstools” anymore?). But I would’ve at least expected a little heads up, like, “Sorry, but Elmo has another book appearance, so Elmo has asked Elmo’s good friend Grover to guest host for one page. You will like Grover!” No such luck. Not even a “by your leave.” Oh, well. Nobody’s perfect. Let’s see what’s in store on page three.

Well, well, well! Guess who has returned? And yet no mention of the absence? Just a little commentary on how much Elmo loves to read with me. If you love it that much, where were you on the previous page? Never mind; at least you’re here now. On to page four.

Who the hell is this? A turquoise Elmo with shaggy hair and a bow – I assume that means this is supposed to be a girl? Still no introduction, no “excuse Elmo,” not even a BRB text message? The head spins at the unreliability. I’m so baffled I’ve stopped paying attention to the rodent’s exploits. But there’s only one more page. It’d be a shame to make it this far and not go all the way. Onward to page five.

Again? Elmo has returned? What, am I supposed to rejoice as though the Messiah is finally here? Or do you think so little of me that you assume I won’t notice? But here’s the worst part, asking me, “What was your favorite part of the story?” Well, I could tell you, but I’m not even certain you were there when it happened, so I’d end up explaining the whole narrative arc to you. The series isn’t called “Explain a Book to Elmo.” So don’t even think I’m going to stoop to your level.

In conclusion, I found the whole experience extremely frustrating; all the more so because my expectations were so high. I suggest a whole re-work of the series using this title as their guide: “Read Alone without Elmo.” Then you would at least know what you’re getting.

The author is a literary critic, pianist, and Persian king living in Atlanta. His hobbies include bartending, wobbles on the beach, and climbing on stuff. He can be reached.


other stuff from the fam

March 8, 2011 by

we’ve been enjoying movies together as a family over supper. the other night: the aristocats….enjoying might be too strong a term. Ramsay enjoyed the dickins out of the music playing gatos. Cyrus liked the bright flashing lights. Marthame and I liked Finding Nemo, Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz,  Toy Story, MOnsters Inc., or an awl through our ears more than the AristoCats.

nursing strike

March 8, 2011 by

Well, Mama is treating me like a freshly ransomed hostage now that I have ended my (mere 24 hour) nursing strike. I guess she got a bit uncomfortable. I didnt really like screaming through the night either. But a little autonomous being has gotta do what (in this case) he has got to do.

ka thump

March 7, 2011 by

…and the falling down, head thump.

pulling up

March 7, 2011 by

a word to my peeps: am busy with the solo pulling up. yeah.

Update from the floor level

February 20, 2011 by

Cyrus here, checking in. I’ve been busy yo. Working on tooth #4 (and it is a doozy! makes the other 3 seem like an in utero swim party). And I am (really as of this past week) officially crawling, altho what I’m really interested in is standing up. (Uncle Norwood, you were right on it at New Years!) Anyways, my most common posture these days is downward facing dog. Yoga Master Me. What else? Lets see. I still demand one (sometimes 2) middle of the night nursings (hey–wouldn’t you?!); I am real cute and all; my eyes seem to be staying blue (‘sparkly sapphire eyes’ says mama); and I loves me some food. Sweet potato, banana, beans, ogi (yeah I said ogi), avocado, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, mushed rice pasta, mushed anything that passes the ‘rents approval (which, apparently, includes stuff off the floor and stuff mama has licked. ew! but I’m breezy with that). When I have a spare moment, I’ll post a photo or two. Which, as you know, means never. But papa’s pretty good at uploading stuff, so check out his FB page if you want to see me. (Don’t try mama’s–honestly I dont know why she bothers.) Ok cyberfans, it is time for my faithful scribe to go to bed, so that is all for now. Ciao.


Tooth coming in!

January 11, 2011 by

SNOW!!! Oh boy did it snow, and my crazy parents took me outside in the cold cold cold to watch them take turns with Ramsay riding  the sled (yes, we live in Atlanta and have a sled–handed on from previous generations of Atlantans with sleds). We had a lot of outside fun. But even though Ramsay picked out the perfect carrot, the snow was too powdery for a snowperson (thank you Mimi for planting the seeds of inclusiveness that keep on blooming).

What else? Tonight Mama and Papa  felt my first tooth just barely breaking through my lower left gumline. Now maybe they’ll have some sympathy for me when I cry.

Ramsay, Mama, and I just spent 2ish weeks in Lubbock with my Momo and Uncle Norwood. While there, and before the New Year, I achieved the milestone of the back-to-belly roll. And now I do it all the time. I can really get around with rolling and a little bit of scooching. I especially liked watching my big brother feed the ducks and geese with Momo. Who knew there were seagulls in Lubbock, TX? I certainly didn’t, but then again, I don’t know what any of  those words mean.

Since we’ve been back, I’ve been sleeping at night in my crib, which is in what Mama and Papa have newly dubbed “the boys’ room.” (Before now, it seems to have been just Ramsay’s room. I sure hope he doesn’t resent me for the rest of our lives for that.) Anyway, we’re still just a few nights into this new arrangement, but so far so (mostly) good.

November 11, 2010 by

First glasses grab today. I’m looking forward to smacking them peepers plenty.


November 10, 2010 by

Yesterday, I, Cyrus Eli Sanders, rolled over (mostly) by myself. I think it was belly to back. On the bed with Mama. Mama got to watch me. The incline of the bed might have helped. But really i think my first roll over should be recorded as this past Sunday, when Mama left me alone (on the floor!) in the Parlor at church since I was screaming and she had to check in on Ramsay in the sanctuary. When she came back, i’d flipped. Over I mean. But Mama doesn’t really want to record that episode for posterity.

About hand coordination: I can regularly get my hands to my mouth, and don’t always have to clutch them together in a prayer hold to do it. And yesterday I grabbed a toy and brought it to my mouth. Way all by myself. I’m working on sitting, standing, walking, and driving–hoping to get all those done by the time Papa gets back in town (day after tomorrow so I’ll have to hurry).

I’ve heard some cool things about my big brother. Apparently he has a really great friend at school named Sophia. They had a play date this past Tuesday and had lots of fun.  This morning he asked to make his own lunch for school.  I saw him pack a hotdog (organic grassfed beef frank, y’all!), grapes, little gummy treats, a few little bunny crackers & popcorn kernels, and  jello — he doesnt know mama makes it with elderberries and vitamin C powder.

Slept through the night!

September 30, 2010 by

9:30 to 6:30. ‘Nuff said.