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'Sesame Street' at 40: Over the hill?

This week marked a pop culture watershed. Big Bird and his crew turned 40.

Surviving 40 years in TV land is tough and getting tougher. "Reading Rainbow" never made it to middle age. The Teletubbies lasted four years. "Dora" hasn't hit double-digits (and yet is still desperately trying to hang onto its audience). And my assessment of the Halloween costumes on the kids here suggests that kindergartners are done with "Power Rangers." What's more, I've never heard of "Sesame Street" backlash. My oldest, wisely but disingenuously, will deny up and down that she ever willingly watched Barney and Friends. But she'll cop to tuning into see Super Grover as a preschooler.

Ask anyone -- kids, high-school students, adults of a certain age -- and they'll be more than happy to give you skits, tunes or plot points from their formative years of Sesame Street. I know a number of people who are still get livid when they think about the decision to make Snuffleupagus a physical character, rather than Big Bird's imaginary friend. Cookie Monster remains a part of the hipster consciousness, and even Stephen Colbert has bemoaned Cookie Monster's pivot away from cookies as a dietary staple.

Unfortunately, even if it survives another 40 years, my kids aren't likely to have the same formative memories of Sesame Street. We've gone through the Elmo phase, but I can't imagine that either of them were very touched by Elmo. As the years have gone on, Sesame Street seems to have become safer and more homogeneous, even as the competition for the attention of the preschool set has exploded. Elmo is just another fuzzy thing in their universe of licensed characters.

I have two questions for you, on this Friday: Do (or did) your children watch Sesame Street with any regularity, and what was your favorite moment from the show? If you need a little refresher, check YouTube. If you need a big refresher, check out Jen Chaney's DVD review. Babble has a great cheat sheet of their 50 favorites. Here's mine (narrowly beating out Richard Prior):

By Brian Reid |  November 13, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Entertainment , Preschoolers
Previous: Slipping us a new Mickey | Next: Cooking with gas: The first 5 solo recipes for the elementary-aged


I watched as a kid, and as a parent (I'm now 41, so I don't remember the really early years, but definitely on the early side), and I remember the Elephant Elevator Operator song the most. He had a cool song, and he take the elevator wherever people wanted, but he was so big, no one else could get in the car with him.

I learned to count to ten in Spanish, and though the big city was really different (I grew up in rural/suburban area), with sidewalks and street lights and stoops.

Big Bird was a favorite, with his ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ song. This was also one my oldest DD favorite's, too. Younger DD loved Elmo, and youngest DS liked The Count.

Posted by: pamsdds | November 13, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Inspired by Google's week of Sesame Street logos, I sat my kids down with the PC and cruised the sesame Street youtube site. Kids are 4 & 6 years. They loved it. We watched old skits that I remember watching as a kid, new ones with new characters, the Count, Cookie Monster, the Rubber Ducky Song..... oh, it made me nostalgic!

I will start taping some of it for them, I guess. I am 44 and grew up with Sesame Street. My dad grew up with Jim Henson in College Park, MD, so we always felt a kind of special connection.

Posted by: beta1 | November 13, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

I was living in Germany when it started, and was 13 by the time we came back, so I didn't watch much as a kid. But my own kids watched for years.

First introduction: pre-"American Top 40", AFN Radio stations played the top hits in the US every Friday night on "Stateside Sound Survey." I heard Bert and Ernie's song "Rubber Ducky" when it hit the charts, and all of us kids in the housing area simultaneously went "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?"

Favorite moment from kids watching: "Letter B" (I posted the lyrics a few days ago), a magnificent variant of Paul McCartney's "Let it Be."

Least favorite moment: "Cookies are a sometime thing." AAAGGGGH! Colbert is right. I remember my son screaming "the PC police have gotten to Cookie Monster now! Is nothing sacred?"

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | November 13, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I think there are so many kid shows out there that Sesame Street is quickly becoming just one of many things a kid might watch occasionally, rather than an every-day thing. My 4-year-old went through a brief phase where she liked SS when she was 2.5 or so, but she was never really into it.

I will admit to having a soft spot for Cookie Monster. Pretty much any time he shows up on screen, it's funny.

Posted by: newsahm | November 13, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Sesame Street and The Electric Company were my favorites, the originals please. I found I didn't much like the newer characters, Zoe and Elmo are pretty annoying, though I do like Mr. Noodle. I had the Sesame Street album (Rubber Duckie, I Love Trash, ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ), I think Cookie Monster needs to go back to his cookies. But recently I saw Norah Jones do "Don't know Why Y Didn't Come", so I searched for other guest star appearances. My favorite skits were some of the original counting ones where the baker counts the pies, then trips down the stairs.

Posted by: StrollerMomma | November 13, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

My favorite was the Grouch when I was little. I would pile up my toys and make a "dump yard." I am going to try to not let my kid watch any TV until after age 2 then very limited amounts but everyone I know who has young kids laughs when I say this and says wait and see...I watched a lot of TV when I was little but all the books I read discourage it. Thoughts?

Posted by: sunflower571 | November 13, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Oscar the Grouch was my favourite. I also enjoyed the Count and Bert and Ernie were hilarious.

I have also watched the Spanish version. I wasn't as into that as it had different characters.

I don't think my kids know Sesame Street. Right now... they are totally enthralled with Fraggle Rock and we are giving them the boxed set for Christmas. They keep asking me if I am sure that the library system doesn't have more than the 1 CD I brought home.

Posted by: Billie_R | November 13, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, the days of 7 channels, no public internet, and no leapster...

I liked the music, and we about wore out the two LPs we had, 10th Anniversary Album and Sesame Disco.

Agreed, my kids dig it, but it's more like one of a number of shows, not "the" show.

Sunflower, soon you won't have time to read books, and you'll forget everything you read anyway. Don't sweat it.

Posted by: 06902 | November 13, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Another thought...while I liked him as a kid, I absolutely cannot stand Big Bird now. Everything about him annoys me. I want to smash the stereo when I hear "abcdecky".

I have issues.

Posted by: 06902 | November 13, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Sunflower - ditto on "Don't sweat it." You'll watch tv or not and unless you abandon your kid in front of the tube all day everyday, it won't make much difference. You'll do the very best that you can for your kid. You'll need a break, you'll make mistakes. It will turn out OK as long as you forgive yourself, keep going and love, love, love your kid and yourself. Oh, but DO be aware of projectile pooping - no one told me that could happen and it was, um, unpleasant when I found out the hard way...

On topic - I did watch Sesame Street when I was a kid and I loved the Count. I do watch it occasionally with my son now and was pretty disappointed in how they changed the Count. But my kid does like Elmo and it is still educational. I do like the parodies that they do of popular prime time tv shows. So, happy B-day Sesame Street!

Posted by: VaLGaL | November 13, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Pre-school and kindergarten teachers will tell you that they can quite accurately guess which kids have watched Sesame Street with regularity and those who haven't. The kids that have watched Sesame Street come to the classroom already prepared knowing the ABC's,a basic set of recognized vocabulary words and the ability to count.

Hint to Sunflower: Read the book, take a few notes on what you think makes sense, toss it in the trash where it belongs, and then make it up as you go along. You'll be able to make better informed decisions for your 2 year old after knowing your child for, let's say, 2 years, than you can make before he/she is born.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | November 13, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Sunflower, soon you won't have time to read books, and you'll forget everything you read anyway. Don't sweat it.

Posted by: 06902

LOL. My SILs think I am worrying about stuff too much. I am trying to line up daycare and I am 14 weeks along. Seems logical to me but not to them.

Billie, I loved Fraggle Rock when I was little! I haven't thought of that show in years!

Posted by: sunflower571 | November 13, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Sunflower, I marched right into the daycare in my building the day after my positive pregnancy test to sign up for a slot, so no worries. Good care is hard to come by and waiting lists are long and unpredictable.

My son doesn't watch SS very often because he's in care all day, but my husband downloaded the 40th anniversary CD with tons of great songs on it, and he's just getting a kick out of it.

I watched it every single day, along with Mr. Rogers, and my favorite skit was (still is, really) the two aliens that hear a phone ringing in an empty house. At first, the sound of the old-style ring scares them so much then pull their chins up over their heads, then they creep closer and start to imitate it. "BRRRRRRRRIIIIIIING! BRRRRRRRIIIIIING! Yep, yep, yepyepeyepyepyepyepeyep..." God. It still cracks me up and I'm 33!

Posted by: Mazarin | November 13, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I convinced my DH not to let our DD watch TV til 2 and we stuck to it with the exception of a short hospital stay. She now gets to watch Sesame Street while I comb out her hair in the morning and evening and loves it. Her favorite character is Elmo but Murray (and his little lamb speaking Spanish) is popular too. She thinks Grover is Super Grover all the time and yells happily whenever she sees him. Since we don't let her watch anything else, she thinks it's a treat and a half to get to watch and dance to the music (and learn stuff too coincidentally).

We're going to stick to Sesame Street for the next few years. It lets us participate more because we know the songs and stories (they still use a lot of old clips).

Posted by: bellemay | November 13, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

PBS was all that was available when I was in elementary in the 70's - so it was Sesame Street and The Electric Company. We watched both in Kindergarten. My husband remembers way more about TV as a kid than I do, especially Schoolhouse Rock - which we have bought for the kids. I just didn't watch a lot of TV as a kid, esp during the day.

My kids watched Sesame street periodically, they knew the characters and could sing the songs, but were not huge fans. They still managed to read and write and count and be nice to other people without their daily intake of Sesame Street.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | November 13, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

As a child permitted only to watch PBS kids shows, I found Sesame Street tedious and enraging. The adults are patronizing and condescending, the "concepts" being taught are so overly simplified that they are absurdly obvious, even to a toddler, and there is no engaging narrative. There were some mildly interesting segments that showed nature, or the manufacturing of various objects, but these were quite brief, or just an excuse to harp on the number 3 or some such redundant garbage. Anyone who understands the idea of 3 or 7 or the sound "K" makes wants to move on from that, but the show just never does. I wanted to watch cartoon shows, where the plot unfolded over the course of an episode, there was drama and suspense, unexpected action, etc. In a show like "Scooby Doo," characters related to each others as peers, whereas the dynamic on Sesame Street was generally a character "instructing" another character on some frustratingly obvious situation while the second character poorly feigned a pathological lack of competence and comprehension, thus requiring the remedial intervention.
As an adult, I decided that the show is well-intentioned enough to be harmless, and was willing to believe I was the exceptional child who felt provoked and hostile towards it, so I plopped my young daughter in front of it a few times, only to find that with the addition of the speech and grammar-impaired Elmo they had actually managed to make it even more infuriating! For me that is, not my daughter. She just wasn't particularly interested and never really got "into" it.
If your parents can't be bothered to teach you the alphabet or how to count to ten, if a learning disability necessitates endless repetition of this, if you are having trouble recognizing basic facial expressions and the emotions they convey, if you can't tell fast from slow, large from small, before from after, virtually no matter how many times you are shown, or if you are somehow able to derive pleasure and comfort from constant reminders of your mastery of this material, this is the show for you, and I am glad it's out there to help.
I know there are worse shows out there, like that creepy, insipid Wonderpets. I won't even get into my feelings about Barney or the Teletubbies, and for parents who just throw out the television after being exposed to some of this programming, all I can say is don't blame the medium, but yeah, quite understandable.

Posted by: rh36 | November 13, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I was too old for Sesame Street when it started. However, DD watched it and loved it. Her favorite spots were when the characters sang the songs we listened to in the car. She wore out several Sesame Street tapes.

Just realized that I've dated myself here. Oh well ...

Posted by: anne23 | November 13, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Sunflower - dont' give in to peer pressure. If you don't want your child to watch TV - don't let him/her. It is so easy to go without TV (my youngest is 6) and the children benefit so much more from NO Tv. They learn to self-entertain earlier, they read earlier, etc. Babies learn from tactile exploration - so the more stuff you let your child do - touch, build, etc. - the more development the child will have. TV only inhibits development AND it is used in the prison system as a babysitter to keep prisoners immobile. It saps energy and creativity in children and even makes adults less active.

Of course, if the parents watch lots of TV, then the children will anyway. But if your lifestyle is currenlty TV-free, there is NO Benefit to showing children television. Lots of beneifit to no TV at all!

Posted by: Amelia5 | November 13, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Sesame street was never the same after the demise of Jim Henson. He was responsable for most of the really great things about the show, imo.

My oldest was a fan, but now at the old age of 4.5 she's done with it.

I do miss reading rainbow, though. I get those dvds out of the library for her, but unfortunatley there aren't many of them (odd, since it was on for so many years).

Posted by: floof | November 13, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

SUnflower -

A) hell yes, line up daycare now. I live in RIchmond, but used to live in DC, and directors were astonished, and pleased, when I came around looking for infant slots at 14 weeks.

B) My daughet is just 7 months old. When you first turn on the tv she is ENTHRALLED - and she sometimes looks at the blank screen as if awaiting the moving pictures. And I rarely turn on the tv when she's awake, because of it. But as she's gotten bugger, and a more active play-er, she cares less. She pays attention when you first turn it on, but sometimes I'll sit her in the bouncy seat and turn on PBS Sprout while I shower, and when I come out she's ignoring the tv and playing with her toys, the same as if I put the bouncy seat in the bathroom with me.

As to the original message - I liked the bug family who lived in Ernie's flower box. And just this morning I was singing "buh nah me nah", or however you spell that, to my daughter as I changed her diaper and dressed her.

Posted by: JHBVA | November 13, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Mazarin, Amelia5, and JHBVA thanks for the advice.

I think it would be useful if someday on here parents told the best and worst advice they ever received

Posted by: sunflower571 | November 13, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Sunflower: easy.

Worst advice ever: Never have more than one child. It's socially irresponsible; it's environmentally irresponsible; it will drive you to bankruptcy and ruin your marriage; etc. etc.

Best advice ever: Trust your instincts. Look for help from "experts" when you need it (pediatrician, parents, siblings, and yes even sometimes books), but never ever ever take anything you hear or read as "gospel."

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | November 13, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Sunflower- We made it past 2 with the only TV our son saw at my in-laws when we'd visit for the holidays. (Harder to control what goes on in other people's houses.) And some daycares have a 9 mo wait, others with this economy empty slots.

He knows some of the Sesame St characters from books, but hasn't seen the shows. I remember Sesame St from when I was little; I got to watch when we visited my grandparents since we were too far out in the sticks to get a PBS station.

Posted by: library2 | November 13, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I was too old for Sesame Street when it started, so I don't have any particular fond memories. My youngest sister and little brother were in 1st grade and kindergarten, and they watched it for the first year or so.

My sons were both big fans when they were toddlers/preschoolers. DH and a dear friend used to do some of the characters' voices, and that got very silly at times. Nothing else is quite like having "Grover" and "Elmo" in your living room reading _The Monster at the End of this Book_ or _Another Monster at the End of the Book_ to one's children. Or (when the boys started getting into Star Trek) having a visit from the "Evil Elmo from the mirror-mirror universe".

The other fond memory was the day DH called me at work, excited to tell me that older son, then 22 months, knew all the letters of the alphabet. I'd told him a month earlier that the kid was recognizing his letters from watching Sesame Street, but DH didn't believe me, and the boy had to demonstrate his knowledge several times before DH believed it. Gotta love those (rare) I-told-you-so moments.

Posted by: SueMc | November 13, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute, Brian...

It wasn't that Snuffy wasn't a physical character. It was that only Big Bird saw him. He was a physical character, though (or at least he always was during the years that I watched Sesame Street).

I enjoyed the show, and certain clips make me feel very nostaligic (love the "capital I"!!). But my boys don't watch TV, so they haven't seen it. I don't really feel that they are missing anything.

Posted by: lorn26 | November 13, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the memories! My mother loves to tell the story that my best friend and I (at the tender ages of 3) watched the very first episode of Sesame Street (with our mothers). The rest of my memories are so vivid, which characters I liked, which skits I liked, the songs that we sang over and over again. My DD likes the older episodes but not the newer ones. She is "over" Elmo and she's only 2.

Posted by: ishgebibble | November 13, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Sunflower, I would join in the "don't sweat it" crowd, not to be dismissive of your ideals - because I had a similar goal when I was preggers - but just to say, be easy on yourself. I think it's ideal to not have TV before two, and then in small amounts after that, but if something comes up and some TV is what you need, then so it goes. I don't think it's all that hard, but sometimes, circumstances get the best of you. For us it was when I was working full time and studying for the bar and our son was about 18 mos old and in a big attachment anxiety stage. Pixar helped us a lot at that point...

As for Sesame Street, I don't really remember liking it much (I do remember liking Electric Company) and our son has never watched it. Honestly, Elmo irritates the crap out of me and that's probably why I've never turned it on. I also don't really care about him watching "educational" stuff. He learns really well in preschool, and then it's time to play.

On parenting advice, I can't think of a best or a worst. I think it's good to hear/read a lot of different perspectives, take it all with a grain of salt, and do what works for the child and parents involved. It's never one-size fits all.

Posted by: LizaBean | November 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse


Best advice: make your own decisions - don't just do what all the other mommys/parent books, etc. tell you to do. Listen to everyone, but elvalute these ideas for yourself.

Worst advice: Put that child on a schedule! (Again - this was true for some children and not for others. So, it was MORE stressful for me to try to force my 1st onto a schedule then it would have been to just let her naturally run her own babyhood nap schedule. Some babies just don't/won't nap the same time every day, etc.)

Posted by: Amelia5 | November 13, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I was way more into Electric Company than Sesame Street -- it just seemed way cooler. But I always did have a soft spot for Grover, Oscar, and Cookie Monster. Really, they were kinda weird, a little out there, weren't they?

I don't really remember a lot of kids' shows from around then, but what I do remember from books, stories, etc., was all very moralistic and sweet, the "childhood as treacly-sweet wonderland, filled will good little girls and boys" kind of thing. Kind of like the world as Berenstein Bears book, where everyone's nice all the time, and when you do something mean, you learn why you're wrong and apologize before your 12 minutes is up.

And then here comes Oscar -- what? he's mean? for no reason? And how does Cookie Monster keep getting away with shoveling his face full of sugar all the time? And, oh, wow, look, Grover is just having so much fun, off in his own little universe; who cares what anyone else thinks? For a little kid who could never get away with that kind of stuff, it was all pretty liberating to see characters who weren't perfect, and who weren't effectively lobotomized by the end of each show.

Posted by: laura33 | November 13, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I have read that the folks at Sesame Street decided they needed Snuffy to become part of the show because they did not want to send a message about the grown-ups not believing what Big Bird said to them at a time when there were apparently larger issues going on with trying to get children to be open about things like abuse. They didn't want kids to think that grown-ups would not believe them when they said something true (as Big Bird was truthful about his friend Snuffy).

I watched SS all the time growing up and I remember so many of the songs and things (Ladybug picnic, anyone?). I have 3 kids ages 2 to 8 and while I think that now that there are more options for kids on TV, SS is starting to attract a younger audience, my 2 year old loves the show -- especially Elmo's World -- and if she is watching, my 5 year old and my 8 year old are often sucked in.

I appreciate the topical song re-writes and the skits spoofing things like Mad Men. My kids recognize songs they hear on the radio with new SS lyrics and enjoy that. The Youtube site is pretty amazing with both the old and the new clips. I recommend it!

Posted by: ACMD | November 13, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I would also advise you to follow the "don't sweat it" mantra, but that may be because our daughter has no interest in television whatsoever. Trust me, I've tried (in moments of weakness when mommy was sick as a dog or she was inconsolable)... it may sound terrible, but I don't think that TV is all bad. In the end, she couldn't care less that Sprout is on. I'm sure that will change one day (she's only 14 months) but I know of other babies her age that are enthralled by the television. She just doesn't care, fortunately or unfortunately...

My husband and I watch our fair share of shows (the Office, Modern Family, LOST, etc...) and I know she'll watch TV and I'm okay with it. I watched my fair share as a child but was also a HUGE reader... and I hope I can instill that love in DD, as well.

Posted by: youngnovamama | November 13, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

...I should also point out that, while pregnant, I was adamant about enforcing a "no television" rule because my cousin's son watches Diego and Dora 24/7. Once she was born, that changed a little... as will a lot of things you planned on! :)

Posted by: youngnovamama | November 13, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Specifically, Snuffy had to become real to the other characters during the late 80's panic over organized ritual satanic sexual abuse (McMartin Preschool etc.) They also changed the words in a song about monsters.

Elmo was the worst thing that ever happened to the show. He's whiny, hyperactive, and for a long time I wondered if they were trying to create a gender indeterminate character. You have to listen to a lot of dialogue to hear "he" because everyone says "Elmo is going to eat Elmo's lunch" etc. Weird.

Best bits: Ernie and Bert and the cowboy hat...Ernie broke the sugar bowl, put the sugar in the flowerpot, whatever, and Bert ends up having to wear a pan on his head. That and any of Kermit the Frog reporting the mixed up fairy tales.

Anyone remember the bizarre Sesame Street movie "Follow That Bird," where they try to send the apparently orphan Big Bird to live with a foster family in the suburbs?

Posted by: di89 | November 13, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking more about best/worst parenting advice. Carolyn Hax wrote in a recent chat or column something along the lines that the difference between a good parent and bad parent is being caught up in your own bs. That seems about right to me, so I guess the corresponding advice would be to remember it's not all about you.

I feel like there is so much emphasis these days on what kind of parent - and espcially what kind of mom - you'll be: AP mom? Urban cool mom? The Idle Parent? Working, SAH? Breast or bottle? There's so much focus on how parenting reflects on the parent as a person. When really, it's not about who you are, but about how you can best give love to another being.

Posted by: LizaBean | November 13, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Elmo was actually created to appeal to younger kids. The original SS was aimed at 3-5 year olds. Elmo is targeted at the 18-36 month group. THe main reason for his annoying, high pitched voice. Babies and little kids respond more/better to higher pitch. As adults, we naturally raise our pitch when talking to infants. That's actually the reason that most anything aimed at really young kids hurts their parents' ears.

Posted by: JHBVA | November 13, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

It's more fun to comiserate and reassure Sunflower today! Glance through the books, then set them aside or toss them. Your instincts and your friends will serve you far better and it's YOUR child. Do be concerned about signing up for daycare, infant to teacher ratios are the most stringent, so they're the hardest slots to get. And list with more than one center, they don't always have a slot when they say they will (yes, got caught in that one, good thing it landed us in a much better situation than we'd originally planned). As for TV, most babies aren't interested in it until they're plunked down in front of it for hours on end. Besides, reading is a lot more fun.

Posted by: StrollerMomma | November 13, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Best parenting advise I got was from my SIL. Listen politely to everyone who gives advice, and just say, "Thank you, I'll think about that," in response.

When you have some time, you can think about what they said. If it sounds reasonable, sensible, workable, (whatever your criteria) give it a try and see if it works with your kid. If it works, great! If it doesn't work, just forget it, because every kid is different.

After you've thought about the advice, if it seems stupid, or nuts, or not your style, or not applicable to your kid, then forget about it.

Nobody else will know your child like you will. There are plenty of experts who know a whole lot about children, and normal development, "ages and stages", generalities. But your kid isn't a generality, s/he is one very specific individual, and no one else will spend as much time or pay as much attention as you. When it's your kid, you are *the* expert.

Posted by: SueMc | November 13, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Mazarin, I LOVED that skit where the Martians freak out hearing the phone ring, then imitate it.

ACMD, Ladybug Picnic is another favorite of mine as well!

Also Calypso Pig, the Mad Painter, that poor chef counting the pies then falling down the stairs, Disco Pinball, Me and My Llama (going to the dentist-now, the sight of a llama being walked down a street in NYC is gonna stop traffic, even today!), the kids having the "Lost Dog" flyers printed on the old-style printing press, Alligator King, and the pinball going down that ramp that looks like a giant Erector set, to name a few of my favorites!

Needless to say, I ENJOYED the Sesame Street Old School DVDs. I introduced the kids to them, and both of them prefer the SSOS to the newer version! Older daughter also loves the Ladybug Picnic and Alligator King, to name a few sketches!

Posted by: dragondancer1814 | November 14, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

TV is yet another thing I don't get worked up about. TV isn't bad for kids. Lack of interaction is bad for kids. If you don't want them to watch, that's cool, but don't freak out and feel guilty if it turns out it's a needed break.

Best advice: You are not your parenting philosophy. Don't feel the need to pigeon-hole yourself. Do what works for you and be flexible when something doesn't work out.

Worst advice: Anything that is intended to make you feel guilty or wrong. Some things are black and white and undeniable by the research (kids need to be in car seats, and it's best for them to be rear-facing to the limits of the seat). These things are few and far between. Most everything else is gray. Use your brain to do what's best for your family in these circumstances.

Posted by: atb2 | November 16, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

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