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July 27, 2006

Comments

erin

I met a writer for Little Einsteins at a wedding. I had some specific requests, like getting a better singer for Annie and making those damn kids start to clap to the actual beat and I'm sure he was happy to extricate himself and return to his group of friends. Overall he was charming and funny and gave a really interesting rundown on the process involved with creating one of those episodes. It's incredibly involved and takes months and months.

Like Anni, my son was inspired by television to an act of musical performance, only in our case it was Little Einsteins serving as catalyst. He taught himself to play, by ear, Ode to Joy on the piano (just the melody) which was featured in one of the episodes. Now he's begging me for piano lessons. This may be an aberration, and more a symptom of his personality than the show, but is did assuage my guilt slightly at our recent overuse of television.

So, not disagreeing with you about the overly-engineered nature of the Little Einsteins, but we won't be deleting it from our TIVO anytime soon, I don't think. Particularly as all my efforts to get my kids to watch Sesame Street meet with failure again and again.

Kris H.

LOVE the video! The tune is freakishly familiar, but I can't place it. Maybe if I play it a few more times (yes...I watched it more than once...she is just too cute!), it will come to me.

corndog

Thanks for the link! I hope "wildly ambitious" doesn't mean I have no chance of actually finishing it, like it normally does.

I love Anni's opera phase. I recognized the song was from Carmen, but tellingly, I heard it as Gilligan's "To Be or Not To Be" from their musical version of Hamlet. The only culture around our house is in the refrigerator, in tubes of Gogurt.

natalie

I have no idea what that song was, but the "lead in" written by you in no way prepared me for the pant-wetting experience. She is sooooo adorable. I stopped the video, got my husdand, and we watched it together. For some reason, he doesn't understand my blog addiction, but he sure did laugh, almost as hard as I did, at Anni's precious opera audition.

Hannah

The song is called "Die Liebe vom Zigeuner stammt" in the German version of Carmen, by the way..."Love comes from the gipsies" - talking about cheesy lyric-adaptions/"translations"... I'm sure the disney one is funnier ;)

Have only watched half the video, as my modem is so slow downloading it, but agree with Natalie: I hadn't expected it to be so hilarious...yes, true drama. Fab job of Anni.

(Carmen was the very opera I used to listen to as a child at my grandparents - in the German translation, of course - and sang it, too. Unfortunately, never got much farer than Carmen with operas, though Mozarts "The magic flute" was a huge success amongst us kids, too, after it was played in a kid's version at the local theatre.

I entertained my parents again and again with the Queen-of-the-night's most dramatic song ("ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-haa"): Think it might be just the thing for Anni, too! And please video-tape her again if she should take to it...

Bettie Bookish

>>Oh, Clarabelle Cow, it's like you've got a psychic line to all my teen-aged romantic disasters.<<

I literally snorted tea and had a laughing/choking fit on this line. Had I died, it would have been worth it.

Speaking of engineered children's television, read Malcolm Gladwell's chapter in "The Tipping Point" on "Sesame Street" and "Blue's Clues." He makes it sound as though each episode is the equivalent of a hefty early childhood development dissertation. And children who watch Blue's Clues test better on standardized blah, blah, blah.

That said, if Mickey can encourage Anni to sing Carmen, it can't be a bad thing.

moreena

Erin,
Yes, I don't doubt that the people who write those things are incredibly smart people who care deeply about the intellectual development of children. And I do throw up my hands when Annika keeps asking to watch Scooby-Doo yet again, knowing that she's not likely to start discussing Van Gogh or Beethoven after listening to Shaggy for 20 minutes. In fact, she's recently started prefacing her sentences with the word, "Like." So there's Shaggy for you. Honestly, if my kid picked out Ode to Joy on the piano after hearing it on television, I'd be playing those shows every chance I got. When they were sleeping, even, just to make sure.

And, yes, the tune was from Carmen. Also a childhood fave of mine (and also the Magic Flute, Hannah).

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Falling Down, November 2004

  • Balloon in hand, my 4-year-old
    twirled across the kitchen floor,
    singing nonsense words
    in her own key.
    "It's my gift!" she declared
    to the world at large, which
    was really only me,
    sitting at the table. Enough
    twirling, and she lost
    her balance, tumbling
    to the floor in a theatrical
    slapstick of elbows and knees.

    She lay on her back
    for a few seconds,
    staring
    at the textured ceiling
    with the mysterious
    spaghetti sauce stain.
    Suddenly she
    began
    flapping her arms and legs
    there on the floor, as if to swish
    the imaginary snow
    into a snow angel.

    "Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

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