I did not know about Caillou before we had our daughters. Our oldest daughter discovered Caillou when she was almost two. At first, I thought Caillou was whiny and irritating. Then, I grew to love him because Caillou explains everything. Each episode walks little viewers through the minutia of life. Caillou and his parents explain the little idiosyncrasies of daily preschool wonderment far better than I can.
For those new to Caillou, he is a four-year old Canadian boy with a round, bald head (quite a puzzle, really!) who lives with his parents, little sister Rosie, and Gilbert the cat. Caillou embodies the concept of a well-adjusted child. He regularly sees his grandparents, gets plenty of attention from both parents, and happily attends preschool. As an aside, I was curious about his parents’ names and nearly died laughing when I read the google results. Doris and Boris. I am NOT kidding! How a Doris met and married a Boris is beyond me. But, I digress.
Both of our girls love watching Caillou and I am fine with it because one 30-minute show creates a sweet little oasis of calm in our house. Two little girls sitting slack-jawed on a sofa while Miss Martin explains a water slide is a bright moment in my otherwise frenetic day.
And that brings me to why I’m jealous of Caillou. To be more precise, I’m really jealous of Caillou’s mom. Here are my top reasons for envying Caillou and his family.
#1: They live in Canada. I bet Doris enjoyed a nice, long maternity leave with each child. Did Doris have to lug her breast pump to work or tearfully find trustworthy care for her 6-week old babies? I bet not! Good for her, but I’m still jealous.
#2: Their house is clean. Yes, I know it’s a cartoon, but I can’t help myself longing for their uncluttered hallways and clean floors. In one episode, Doris vacuums and Caillou plays outside so she can clean. In my family when I bring out the vacuum my oldest daughter runs in terror and my youngest tries to lay on top of it because she enjoys the sound and hum of the motor.
#3: Naps. Rosie naps. Caillou naps. And, sometimes Doris gets to nap. In one show, little Rosie and Caillou played quietly outside so Doris could snooze on the couch. I wish! Nap time is an iffy situation in our house.
#4: Doris and Boris are calm voices of reason and their kids listen! Each episode is a learning opportunity for Caillou and his parents calmly walk him through why he needs to share toys and the importance of forgiveness. They dole out appropriate lessons at the right times and little Caillou soaks up their wisdom like a little, bald sponge. He doesn’t repeat the same mistakes and he doesn’t sass.
#5: Caillou’s grandparents live nearby. If Doris needs a little break she just calls up Grandma or Grandpa and they happily watch the kids. And, do you ever see Caillou or Rosie crying, whining, biting, kicking, screaming or clinging to her leg when she drops them off? Nope. They bounce out of the car, wave goodbye and don’t begrudge their mom a little alone time. I bet she goes to a nearby café to sip an iced mocha and read a book.
#6: Boris is always happy and joking. To be honest, my husband isn’t that far off from Caillou’s dad and has nearly an unlimited supply of patience. But, sometimes our girls test his limits and he gets cranky. Not Boris. That guy is charming, playful, helpful, calm and never yells.
#7: Nothing is broken. My kids are the reason why we can’t have nice things. Caillou and Rosie are little angels who don’t lean their whole body weight on screen doors, rub toothpaste into the carpet, or drop the cable remote in the toilet. Our house is held together with tape and a wish. Caillou did accidentally break his mom’s coffee cup, but he sweetly made a new mug and promised to treat her things carefully from then on.
#8: Doris has never lost her cool, ordered herself into a time-out, cracked open a beer at 4:55 p.m. and waited on the front step for Boris to come home and breathe some sanity into the house.
Now you know just how dysfunctional I am. Are you jealous of Caillou? If so, please make me happy and share your stories!
I’ll leave you with the theme song lyrics so you can have the rollicking anthem in your head like I do in mine.
I’m just a kid who’s four
Each day I grow some more
I like exploring
Amy On The Prairie is a Midwestern work-at-home mommy of two, former world traveler, and comfort foodie. She blogs about cooking for her family and other things that float her boat, like crusading to bring Top Chef to Minneapolis.
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