In my early years we did not yet have the wonderful invention of color television. That was not in my household until I was nearly a teenager. Yes kiddies, that is a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
To piggyback onto that, television was still a new medium and most did not understand yet its powers. My early viewing as a young child was a relatively few cartoons such as Mighty Mouse and Underdog, a puppet show called Fireball XL-5 as well as a few locally produced shows. Advertising was only directed to those who had the money, the parents. It was not yet understood how well a screaming child could influence those dollars.
As I have now completed my first year as a grandfather and tour the children's departments at the stores with My Beloved, I have come to notice likely what every other parent of a young child knows: Elmo is everywhere!
Sesame Street did not exist when I was a very young child. Upon my wedded bliss, my daughter was well beyond the lure of a big yellow bird. Therefore, I have had little contact with the characters associated with this phenomenon. But, as I look around, that fuzzy little red guy is everywhere.
Ragin Cage as his earliest vocals would only scream in terror at 'Dancing Elmo'. He was petrified of the thing. We then as saviors would pluck Elmo out of sight thereby restoring harmony and balance to the universe. However as times change and children grow, Dancing Elmo has become his favorite. He makes a beeline to the toy bucket at one year old and dutifully plucks him out dragging Elmo about the room from pillar to post. (Not that we have pillars or posts in the family room mind you.) Elmo is on his shoes, on his picture books, another stuffed Elmo, a pacifier and God knows what else not to mention clothing, clothing, bibs and more clothing.
I shudder to think of what else I will be subjected to in the coming years in reaction to a toddlers whims. A grandfather's heart goes a long, long way, not so for his wallet.