New study- This is why your show annoys me

I’ve admitted on here before, but I’ll say it again- my kid watches TV. The amount varies from day to day and week to week. Honestly, he watches the most when my husband is out of town because, well, I need a break. But on a typical day, when we are both home, he might watch one or two 25 minute episodes of his current favorite, usually when I’m trying to wake myself up in the morning by making and consuming half a pot of coffee or when we’re making dinner.

I realize I owe a lot to his favorite programs. Not only do they keep him occupied while I wake myself from a zombie-like state or unload steak knives from the dishwasher, but they also teach him things. Really! I swear they do. For example, he learned to “waddle” like a penguin the other day thanks to Diego. Hilarious. That should really come in handy down the road.

That being said, the shows range on a scale of annoyance from “Eh.. this is a small price to pay for 25 minutes of peace” to “OMGSTFUSOANNOYING”.

He’s got about 5 shows in steady rotation these days, here’s how they rate on the annoyance scale from least to most annoying.

5. Caillou- Maybe it’s because this is the newest addition to the DVR, but I gotta say, I don’t mind the kid. He’s sweet, well mannered, and speaks softly. ┬áKendall LOVES him. Plus, I love that once I turn the show off, I’m not bombarded by Caillou anywhere else. He’s not plastered on boxes of crackers at the store, he’s not an action figure, and he doesn’t have his own set of Tickle Hands.

4. Blues Clues- I’m not in love with the show and I don’t think Kendall is either, but it’s manageable and seems to interest him every now and then. He discovered it just before he fell in love with Caillou. What I can appreciate about it is the noise level – quiet. There’s lots of tiptoeing around, looking for “clues”, and it’s all very subdued. Nobody is encouraging my kid to scream. Additionally, I think since the show peaked a long time ago it seems much of the Blues Clues paraphernalia and branded products have disappeared from stores, so it’s pretty easy to escape once we turn it off.

3. Diego- Up until a few weeks ago when Caillou stole his throne, this was Kendall’s absolute favorite show… well, after he fell out of love with Dora, and after Dora kicked Elmo off the top. Diego’s on thin ice with me, though. He’s coming close to wearing out his welcome, and I really don’t appreciate his insistence that “Everybody SCREAM!” all the time. And Diego is one of those we can’t escape. He’s nearly everywhere. I actually almost bought a miniature toilet seat with his face all over it in a moment of weakness while lying to myself, thinking a cartoon rescuer could entice my kid to potty train.

2. Dora- I don’t think I really need to justify why I’m annoyed by Dora, as I’m sure many of you feel the same way. She’s demanding and bossy and always yelling, “Say it LOUDER!” Why must we make the children be loud?! And she’s everywhere. She’s on shirts and shoes and sheets. She’s in your bathtub, your toy box, your laundry, your car. Sure, she’s educational, and sure she’s provided hours of entertainment for my kid, but enough already. We need a break.

1. Honestly, it was a close tie between and Elmo and Dora, but I had to give the number one spot to the furry red monster that Kendall has been obsessed with for the last 6 months. I don’t know what it is about him, but it seems like every 16 month old is instinctively infatuated with Elmo. He’s loud, he sticks around way too long, and he’s taking over the world. The marketing monster has grown so big that they now think it necessary and appropriate to introduce us to Tickle Hands. I might be willing to bump him down to #2 if his Potty Time With Elmo book and corresponding Elmo “big boy undies” actually get my kid to use a toilet.

What’s funny is after making this list I’ve found that a show’s annoyance factor is based on a few things, and they all seem to coincide. The longer I’ve been subjected to it, the louder it is, the harder it is to escape it and not run into licensed products at every turn, the more likely I am to be all OMGSTFUSOANNOYING. Now, if that’s not valuable information for… well, somebody out there who’s in charge of making sure parents are not totally annoyed by their lucrative little TV show, I don’t know what is. Unless they don’t really care about the parents because we don’t really have a choice. It’s possible that’s the case. It’s possible they have a deeper understanding of the power of a toddler.

Kendall’s one week shy of 22 months, and now I can’t shake that one time Elmo sang the “Skin” song to the tune of Jingle Bells. “Skin, skin, skin, Skin, skin, skin, Skin, skin, skin, skin, skin!” <Creepy, no?

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  1. Caillou is the most annoying to me. He’s always so whiny. Drives me batty. In fact my friend coined him “Crillou” LOL.

    We’re big on the yo gabba gabba in this house. Kennedy wakes up from her nap, and points to the TV and says “gabba!” (which sounds a lot like quack quack, but anyways…) She loves it, and dances and claps. And when Jack Black has to say goodbye, she cries. ­čÖé

    But she’s only picked 3 shows really. Yo Gabba Gabba, Sid the Science Kid and Martha Speaks.

  2. I dont have the tv on much. Still can’t decide if its good or bad, but I have turned it on to hopefully get a minute of peace. It doesn’t work. However she has stopped and looked at Elmo a couple of times, and I get up to go do something and am busted, and she’s over Elmo and wants mommy. Argh. I’ve turned on Dora to see what the fuss is all about and I don’t like it. For one thing, I can’t understand her Spanish. Even words I know what they are, it’s confusing. Did she say mela?fela? zela? What did she say? And the stupid ‘mouse click’ on everything. What is up with that? I didnt notice the say it louder, but you are right, they did say that and I’m glad she can’t talk yet. Dora will be getting a pass. Have you seen Dinosaur train? Might catch a boy’s attention. I don’t mind it, there’s no real interaction with the audience, just 15 minute shows that teach about dinos…

  3. Count your lucky stars he isn’t infatuated with The Wiggles like my 18 (almost 19) month old. I want to pull my hair out! Then Elmo came along and knocked out The Wiggles, who was then knocked off by Barney. However, coming in close 2nd for me on the most annoying scale is Thomas the Train. OMGSTFUSOMINDNUMBINGLYBORING!! I don’t get why he likes that show. Only reason Thomas isn’t 1st is because I’m usually not around when he see’s this program.

    • Ugh. I have a little brother who’s about 9.5 years younger than me and he LOVED Thomas and Barney. I can’t believe those shows are still around.

  4. oh and the yo gabba thing scared the crap out of me, so I turned it off. Kind of like Barney on super tripped out drugs. Not that I would know about that..

  5. And we are now getting into Yo Gabba Gabba. I really like the show, but for a while my son was afraid of DJ Lance. Haven’t figured out why, but at least now when I put it on he doesn’t run and hide when DJ Lance comes on the screen. :-/

  6. I love Yo Gabba Gabba, as does my 17-month-old. (I’d probably watch it even if I weren’t a mommy.) We also like Jack’s Big Music Show, and Sid the Science Kid.

    • You know, Maureen, after remembering that you guys like Jack’s Big Music Show, I got K a DVD for Christmas for the car ride. He was totally meh about it. Maybe I should bust it out again and see if he feels differently.

      Oh, and re: YGG – Scott is afraid/disgusted/confused by the one character that looks like a penis with a really bad STD – the red and bumpy one.

  7. I agree Caillou is the most annoying in our line-up. Then again, we don’t watch Dora or Diego or Blues Clues. Lots and lots of PBS: Word Girl, Super Why and Dinosaur Train mostly. I have a pretty deep love for Dinosaur Train around 6am.

  8. All I know is that by the grace of all things holy, Turtle is mildly horrified by Elmo. He can say “Elmo.” He can identify “Elmo.” Today he even picked up his friend’s Elmo by the neck. And promptly lost interest.

    Which is good because Mr. Noodle gives me the willies.

  9. 1. Max and Ruby can die in a fire. Seriously. I will pay someone cash effing money to take those two out. Actually Max can live, but has to promise never to come on television again. Ruby.Must.Die. Preferably painfully and loudly and someone needs to put it on youtube so I can watch it happen, over and over again. I’ll pay extra if they bring her to my house and do it in front of me and let me burn her tiny fluffy animated bunny bitch body.

    2. YGG probably does employ stoner writers. But who is better suited to think like a toddler…? That’s right. Stoners.

    • I just googled “Max and Ruby must die” just to see if there’s anyone out there who thinks like I do that they are the most F-ing annoying two characters out there. Your post made me laugh…out loud… Thank you! Nothing redeeming there. We LOVE YGG, Sid the Science Kid, Super Why and Dinosaur Train @ my house! (By “we” I mean mom and dad…)

  10. I openly oppose licensed character crap. However, A’s been introduced to Mickey and Elmo by family members. That said, the Elmo doll got her into the DVDs, that now afford me a little break here and there. AND, since I let her pick out her own Elmo panties, she’s been much more successful at keeping them dry! “Elmo, DRY! Zo-zo, DRY!”

    So yeah. I’m already a sell out for the sake of 1)alone time and 2)dry undies. *sigh*

  11. The depths of my hatred for Caillou knows no bounds. I used to nanny my cousins 3 days a week and the TV was always on there (not my decision, although I certainly didn’t argue with it) and it seemed like Caillou was always on. And the kids LOVED it. And I wanted to hurl heavy things at the TV.

    That Caillou kid is a whiny little bitch. I’m sorry…can I swear here? But seriously, I appreciate the lack of products bombarding me in Target aisles and everything, but that doesn’t stop the fact that the kid basically encourages whining. I hate him.

    Arthur — now THERE’S a show I can get on board with. No annoying voices, no overly-whiny characters. SOLD!

  12. We do NOT watch that Dora crap. I DVR Yo Gabba Gabba for Avery because I actually enjoy watching it too. And Blue’s Clues is alright too. I love DJ Lance Rock. He lets me take a shower.

  13. I gotta say, I love Elmo and Sesame Street in general. It’s usually a little wry, and the proceeds from the merchandise go back in to the Sesame Street Workshop (the non-profit that produces it).

  14. Hmmmm, Landon doesn’t watch any of those shows. I guess I stick to the Disney channel and I can tell you that I want to punch Agent OSO in the face sometimes.

    Landon is obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and just recently started doing the “hot dog” dance AND he says new words that he learns from the show so I don’t mind it. He’s happy. I’m happy. And I really don’t care what other people think about letting an 18-month-old watch tv. It works for us. He’s not going to be scarred for life, ya know?

  15. My 12 month old seems to be completely drawn to “Waybuloo”. It’s almost as tripped out as “In the Night Garden” which I refuse to let him watch. He also likes Ni Hao Kai Lan, but that one is starting to grate on my nerves. She isn’t making me “super happy” anymore! haha

    We only ever have the TV on if I need to get something done in the den (the only room that has a tv, which is in the basement) So, it doesn’t really seem like he has a favourite just yet…

  16. My 17m old daughter is a big Elmo and Dora fan. Luckily for me we really do not watch tv so it is just books and toys. But the Elmo toys ALL TALK. And my daughter plays them over and over and over and over again. We have this Elmo Christmas stocking that sings jingle bells and there were days I heard it over 100 times. It made me crazy. Calliou I saw a few times when I worked as a nanny – almost ten years ago and I always thought he was kind of cute. Diego I have never seen. And Blue I may have seen once or twice but that’s it.

  17. I seriously love Yo Gabba Gabba (besides the fact they get the coolest people). I cannot stand that little crap rabbit Ruby from Max & Ruby. That is one of the most obnoxious shows ever in life. And Oogi is just that, oogi. The Upside Down Show isn’t much better.

    Ava’s been really getting into Sprout at bedtime which is good, because it’s kind of chill and more quiet than Nick Jr.

  18. Brady loves Elmo too (well all things Sesame Street really) but points out Elmo everywhere he sees him. Even on the ads in the paper – where he appears on Pampers diapers – really I swear. He spots him in places where it takes me 2-3 minutes to find him myself. But like you, he gives me time to wake up or make lunch or just catch up with the outside world on occasion!

  19. My daughter’s favorite show is Imagination Movers. I have to admit that my husband and I actually don’t mind it. The music isn’t too bad and my daughter loves dancing to it. I think her second favorite is Chuggington. Again, not too bad.

    I finally checked out Yo Gabba Gabba. I find it very disturbing. And of course, my daughter was mesmerized. My husband called the freakish red bumpy one “the one eyed monster”. Scary.

  20. Check out Charlie and Lola.Something about the British accents makes it more tolerable for me.And They Might Be Giants Kids Songs.Their “Science is Real” song kicks ass.

  21. This is why I don’t let Jasper watch kid shows LOL! I don’t insist that the TV always be off in the house (even though I’m planning on sending him to waldorf school where TV is off limits to kids) but it’s never on kids programming. If I really need a break sometimes I’ll put on Animal planet and hope there is some good doggie show or something to keep him occupied!

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