I guess if Dora the Explorer had been around when I was a youngster, I would have been fascinated with her, too. You know, the cool little tomboy girl who speaks English and Spanish and runs around with a little monkey friend named Boots. Her clothes don’t match and her shirt is too small, but she’s too cool to care. She uses her map and her backpack, and of course her star pocket, and always finds some way to save the day, singing and dancing before, during, and after. I can see why she’s such a cool cat to the kiddos.
First, my niece Carolyn was all about anything Dora, then Charla went through her own little Dora phase as well. Charla’s Dora phase, however, quickly gave way to the Disney princesses- a phase that she is still thriving in as we speak, though even that phase is quickly giving way to Barbie. I can only imagine that the Bratz dolls are next…and how am I supposed to stop that freight train? I didn’t even introduce her to Barbie! But, alas, this post is supposed to be about Julianne.
Julianne has never paid much attention to tv, which can cause a real issue when you’re trying to make dinner and the kid is pulling everything out of the cabinets or crying because she wants to be held. Just 5 minutes of Baby Einstein would allow me to put the casserole in the oven, but nothing doing. I was lucky back at 18 months to get Julianne to watch one solid minute of anything, much less five. Things are beginning to change, however, with Julianne’s interests and attention span. She has discovered Dora.
It’s so funny to watch your kids develop this complete adoration of a fictional character. I used to always think that parents were cultivating this obsession with the characters, but now I know that it’s really just something you can’t control once it starts. Sure, we used to point at the tv when Charla was watching Dora, and say, “Look, Julianne, it’s Doooorrrraaa!” but that was just a feeble attempt to get her interested in something on tv, so that we could wash dishes or do a load of laundry. By the way, we also pointed at Big Bird and Clifford, and other characters who shall remain nameless. It doesn’t matter. The point is, the only character that Julianne has any interest in at all, is Dora.
She has Dora bath toys, (thanks to Aunt Beth), a Dora sippy cup (thanks to the Easter bunny), a Dora beach towel (because Mom’s a sucker), several Dora dolls, Dora videos that were passed down from Charla, and a Dora nightgown. The nightgown cracks me up because Julianne refuses to sleep in anything but the nightgown. Even if she’s wearing footy pajamas, like last night because it’s so FREAKIN’ cold in APRIL, she wants to wear the Dora nightgown over them. Also, she points at Dora on her nightgown and says “Dora stuck.” I’m guessing she thinks Dora is “stuck” in the silkscreen on her nightgown, which of course she is, and come on now, that’s just funny.
At any rate, I’ve decided to go ahead and keep the snowball effect happening by having a Dora birthday party for Julianne’s 2nd birthday. I mean, it’s not about what we think is cool, right? It’s about what the kid wants. I guarantee Julianne wouldn’t have her birthday any other way.