Before we became parents, I certainly was aware of this phenomenon called "Elm0". To be truthful, he did annoy me. But I shouldn't have been really annoyed by "him" as a character. I guess I was annoyed by the people bopping each other on the head trying to scramble for the various HOT Elm0 toy for that particular Christmas season.
Now home as a dad, I lurve him. First, I realize he's a character on a TV show. But, we've got lots-and-lots-and-lots of DVDs that show how important he is to our little girl.
And you know, he's not annoying to me and I like that he's always kinda and self-deprecating in his own way. And the fact that he has such personality that I call him a "him".
And now, I give you the menagerie of animals that make up [the Girl]'s life. Every morning and night, she has to wake up to and go to sleep with these guys. The cutest thing is to see a sleepy, groggy girl stumble out of her bedroom with an arm of these buddies clutched in her arms (where you can't see her head).
And thus, I present her friends and their various designations.
We first gave this guy as a surprise to [the Girl] as we were strapped into our seats for our flight to the Bahamas as the first grand adventure as a family on vacation. This absolutely boggled her mind (as she didn't realize she could actually HOLD Elm0 - she thought she could only watch him on TV).
However, we sat on the tarmac for 3 hours before even taking off. Much ensuing/screaming/screeching ensued. Welcome to the family Elm0!
Big Mouth Elm0:
This was the backup Elm0 in case we ever lost Old Elm0. [the Girl] would absolutely not go anywhere without Old Elm0. And a couple of times, we came very close to losing Old Elm0 as we were still learning the lessons of what to always check for when decamping from a particular location (we've lost a couple of sippy cups in the holders of grocery carts). Also, [the Girl] would NOT let us pry away Old Elm0 from her so we could wash him. We needed a substitute that we could pull the old switcheroo. It didn't work. The moment we swapped Big Mouth for Old, she noticed and asked where Old Elm0 was. We told her he was away taking a bath. So, we always kept Big Mouth and Old separate. i.e we never let [the Girl] have both at the same time.
Until one day Momma caved (it always happens that [Wifey] gives in first) and allowed [the Girl] to have both of them at the same time. The girl was in HEAVEN. And at that point, we were doomed and it went downhill pretty fast after that.
And then one of [Wifey]'s friends gave us a GIANT Elm0 for Christmas. [the Girl] liked it and she lugged it around with the other red friends. But, it wasn't a good quality doll. It's started "leaking" some stuffing from poor stitching. Here he is sitting next to the regular sized Elm0 for you to see his relative size. It was funny to see her lugging him up the stairs when he was slightly taller than her. Fortunately, he now is semi-forgotten and hidden away in the spare bedroom.
Grandma bought her another one in 2005 for Christmas, but we only received it this Christmas because grandma is a lazy, loafing, errrr....well enough of that.
This one caused her to have a hissy fit, nasty full-blown meltdown that resulted in a light spanking from me (one swat).
We were in a children's gift shop on vacation in Colorado when [Wifey] points this one out to me on the shelf. [Wifey] has a habit of pointing things out that should not be pointed out. Something along the lines of, "Hey Johnny, look on the shelf! That's an Elm0 we should avoid letting [the Girl] see." While she's doing this, [the Girl] is following the direction ofMommy's arm and..........Gee! She sees Mommie pointing at an Elm0! ([Wifey] is doing this all the time - inadvertently offering a choice she doesn't want [the Girl] to have).
We told [the Girl] we would buy it, but she'd only get it once we were on the plane home from our vacation. Of course, she agreed. Then, about 15 minutes after we bought it and walked out the store, she demanded to have her new Elm0 (not to mention she already had Old and Big Mouth with us on the trip).
I put my foot down and refused.
She threw hissy fits for the next 3-4 hours.
She refused to take off her clothes for bath.
She refused to take a bath.
She was being an absolute pill, shrieking and demanding her new Elm0.
I swatted her fanny (for the second time ever).
It wasn't pretty.
But in the end, she got New Elm0 only after we were strapped into our seats, sitting on the tarmac at the airport.
She likes this one because she relates it to the baby Elm0 on the recently released DVDs of the Sesame Street animals as babies. This was one of those, Momma breaks down and buys it for her girl because her girl wanted it, situations [Wifey]'s always getting into (obviously, I wasn't shopping with them).
This used to be called "Thomas Train Monkey". But now, it's just "Monkey". This was a Christmas gift from grandma. [the Girl] had the cheaply stitched "mouth" pulled away about 5 minutes after she got him. But, he's big and soft and she likes to hold him along with the others.
Tiny Elm0 and Snowball Elm0:
For some reason, I inadvertently left off Tiny Elm0, but he looks just like Snowball Elm0 below, except he doesn't have a Santa hat on and snowballs in his hands. Tiny was the result of another "Mommie breaks down"shopping experience. Snowball was part of a Christmas present from [the Girl]'s uncle.
These two are actually the worst to have. They get easily lost in seat cushions and other areas. And, there is a bit of a panic when we can't find one of them. Grrr.
Pink Poodle Dog:
A gift this last Chirstmas from one of [Wifey]'s best friends.
Thomas Tank Monkey:
That's his current name. However, I suspect his name will eventually evolve to Pink Monkey. He's the result of Momma shopping for multiple gifts at the dollar store for a friend of [the Girl]. Momma got 8 presents for [the Girl]'s friend. [the Girl] immediately latched onto to the monkey and refused to give it back. Okay, Momma lets [the Girl] have yet another stuffed animal. The birthday girl got 7 other gifts from [the Girl].
And of course, all of them have to be held at the same time when it's time to get up in the morning and it's time to go to sleep at night.