Social commentary and Mickey Mouse

One of Lego’s favorite TV shows is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I hate it. At first it was just annoyance at the garishness of the colors, the squeakiness of Mickey’s voice, the bizarreness of the plots, and the theme song that would get stuck in my head for days on end.

I have now watched enough episodes to hate it with a fiery passion. Here’s why:

1. The show has negative educational value. Sure, they kind of teach numbers, colors, shapes, sizes, etc. But they also teach, less directly, that Mars has very low gravity, that dogs eat bones, that you should eat a green apple if you have a stomachache, that you can float around inside a bubble (your bubble might get stuck on top of a cloud, but you can remedy this by putting three rubber duckies on top of your bubble, which will cause it to sink), and an astounding number of other stupid things. C’mon. Would it hurt you to actually teach kids how the world works instead of making up random stuff for no reason at all?

2. Minnie Mouse rubs the feminist in me the wrong way. She giggles like a bimbo, always wears pink and heels, needs Mickey to save her in almost every episode, and is really only useful for things like making soup for a character who gets sick. Daisy Duck is better, at least.

3. Mickey Mouse promotes slavery. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. So, there are these “helping hands,” which look like Mickey’s gloves on sticks. These hands pop out of the floor, wall, ceiling, whatever, and do things for the characters, like opening doors, putting on clothing, and preparing meals. In one episode, the helping hand machine broke, so Mickey and friends had to fix it. Which is fine. If it’s a machine, it’s not weird. But when the machine first broke, there were friends at the door waiting to come in. Everyone stalled for a moment, not knowing what to do. Someone even said, “What do we do? Do we open the door ourselves?!” Um, yeah. It’s not hard. And then Mickey kept talking about the hands as “our friends.” No. Friends do not make their friends do all the work while they play. And at the end, Mickey said, “You helping hands are as important as any of us at the clubhouse!” No. If they were, you wouldn’t have to assure them of it. And sane creatures do not make friends with machines. The only thing I can conclude is that the helping hands are sentient and thus essentially slaves. Creepy.

4. Mickey’s clubhouse looks like him—in pieces. What sort of sadistic person builds his house to look like his head and torso, with a hand-shaped hot-air balloon, a foot-shaped car, a leg for an entrance, and a pool that looks like the other foot? What kind of crazy person builds a house that looks like himself, even intact?

5. Mickey appears to be of normal intellect, but he is surrounded by idiots. Donald is jumpy, cowardly, stupid, and weak. As mentioned before, Minnie is a bimbo. Goofy’s a klutz and a goof. Daisy’s got a brain, at least, but Mickey’s still always running the show. I see none of the normal interaction I expect from a group of friends.

Every time I watch it, I want to yell at the screen. At least Lego’s interest in it seems to be waning a little. Here’s hoping he moves on to something better soon.

Duplo on the Go

Duplo’s officially crawling! He started creeping about six weeks ago or so but was never as fast at it as Lego was. It was obvious even from the start that his goal was to crawl on all fours. About a week ago, he took his first crawling “steps,” but he could only do a few at a time. On Sunday he crossed about half a room, yesterday he was doing that often, and today he’s more or less crawling all the time.

He’s also learning to point, which is really cute. He’s fascinated by tongues and will point to my mouth and try to find my tongue. If I stick my tongue out, he gets all excited and tries to grab it before I pull it back in.

Also, he’s decided that baby food and infant cereal are no longer for him. Because of Lego’s food aversions at this age and much older, I had no idea what to feed him. But I now have bananas, pears, salt-free canned peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and potatoes in the house, along with Cheerios. Duplo has also tried some of my oatmeal and pasta. So far he’s liked almost everything.

It seems like he’s made a whole bunch of leaps all at once. I can’t believe my baby is growing up so fast.

This and that

Duplo has started learning to pick things up with his thumb and forefinger (or sometimes thumb and middle finger). Now, any small object on the carpet goes in his mouth. We have found one of Lego’s stickers and some needles from our (fake) Christmas tree in his diaper. I have also fished numerous things out of his mouth, including rocks, potpourri pieces, tape, and nasty dried-out food he found in a corner of the kitchen. I guess it’s time to start vacuuming daily. Or at least every other day. The upside is that he loves Cheerios, so he’ll entertain himself by eating large quantities of them while we eat, instead of screaming if I don’t feed him his baby food before beginning my meal.

Also, somehow we have more or less managed to get both boys in bed by 8:00 on a regular basis. This is so vastly different from a few weeks ago that I can hardly believe it. It feels good, though, to have lots of quiet time before I need to go to bed myself. Turns out all I needed to do was stop letting Lego nap. I’m not sure why Duplo started going to bed earlier when Lego did, though.

And finally, I’m hungry. I had seconds of dinner, two cookies after dinner, and a bowl of ramen (because I realized I was still pretty hungry and contemplating a third cookie). I’m closer to full but not there yet. I really shouldn’t go get another cookie. . . .