Elmo is a better parent than me

I have known for a long time the powerful pull that Elmo has over the Munchkin. She always pays rapt attention whenever the “Elmo’s World” segment of Sesame Street comes on, and nearly always comes running to tell me about what it is – or to ask for something.

“Mommy, I have skin!”

“Mommy, I need a hairbrush!”

“Mommy, I can sing!”

“Mommy, I put my clothes on!”

You get the picture. Recently, a new DVD has came out – Elmo’s Potty Time. Amused, the Webmaster and I purchased it and showed it to the Munchkin (my mother was even more amused than we were). The Munchkin was enraptured, and has watched it a few times now.

Here’s the basic plot of the 45 minute long DVD – we get to see Elmo’s bedroom for the first time (not his imaginary house as seen in “Elmo’s World”) and as he comes out of the bathroom (hey, what monster-kid in an apartment in New York City has their own private bathroom right off their bedroom?!?!? There’s something wrong here!!), he begins to talk about how he’s big enough now to use the potty all by himself. His dad comes in at this point (Elmo’s dad has a mustache and looks like an Elmo-ized version of Telly, strangely – it’s all in the nose), and we have a flashback to Baby Elmo’s first experience with a training potty – complete with song. Elmo then progresses to talk with other characters about using the bathroom, that accidents happen (a duet with Grover), and being a big kid and wearing underwear (as illustrated by an adorable little-girl Muppet version of Prairie Dawn), and also adding the importance of wiping, flushing, and washing hands.

If there’s anyone out there who is not a parent who read the above paragraph, I sincerely apologize for putting you through that.

Besides the typical “potty” jokes and the urge to shoot myself when the lyrics “It’s potty time/you gotta go with the flow” get stuck in my head, it’s actually a pretty decent DVD. I figured, hey, it can’t hurt her to watch this, and maybe it’ll get some of these concepts planted in her head. After all, Mommy didn’t have a cute catchy song to sing that “accidents happen/and that’s okay” like Grover.

What I didn’t figure on was the Svengali-like grip the furry red bastard has on my daughter.

She’s begun to sing the songs, which is enough to drive any sane person mad. But then she actually told me yesterday (while we were out shopping) that she needed to poop, and then while I rushed her back to a bathroom, she managed to hold it in, and when I placed her on the toilet, she performed. She was glowing with her accomplishment. “Mommy, I go poo-poo in the potty!” she crowed, using Elmo’s term for a bowel movement.

This has never happened before. Granted, I knew that she wasn’t quite finished, but she wasn’t willing to continue. So I obligingly cleaned her up and we continued our shopping. I had to change her Pull-up later when she didn’t make it the next time.

This is a major acheivement. She managed to poop without an accident – and in a bathroom that wasn’t at home or Grandma’s, no less. Still, it makes me feel inadequate. Because it was Elmo who did the cute song-and-dance, and talked about how a dirty diaper feels uncomfortable, and got it through her toddler-thick skull that maybe using the potty to poop isn’t such a bad idea!

Forget being grown-up like Mommy – she just wants to be like Elmo.

When Elmo comes out with a DVD about giving yourself time-outs when you are naughty, I’m going to hang up my mommy hat and just let him parent my kids. Apparently, he’s got more skills than I do.

Is it any wonder that I haven’t stopped nursing Tad yet? I need the validation!!

3 Responses to “Elmo is a better parent than me”

  1. Little Cousin's Mommy
    September 4th, 2006 07:11

    Of course Elmo is a better parent, he’s in his forties and he gets to go home at the end of the day!

    Think of him as the fun, weekend dad and you are the responsible, full-time mom. Don’t be so hard on yourself, it’s easy for kids to like someone better (for the moment) who has never given them time-outs.

  2. DozeyMagz
    September 4th, 2006 07:14

    You should maybe consider getting yourself a bright red fuzzy Elmo suit!

  3. Oddball (Aka Jedi Master)
    September 4th, 2006 14:07

    Elmo is not the better parent. You are doing what any good parent would do. Since you lacked a tool in training your daughter in potty training, all you have done is acquire another tool to help you in your work. Think of Elmo as your new tool that is very useful, and remember it gets easier every time (speaking of which I may be seeking advice in the following months). If you are insterested I have a plan to shut the fur ball and the purple joke up for good, (insert evil laugh here).