Posted by Fitz

Most of you don’t know this, but I seem to have a second daughter.  She’s sweet, she’s adventurous, and she is my Bean’s new best friend, providing countless hours of entertainment.  I haven’t actually met this girl in person yet, but all signs point to her being a very important member of our family.

She’s Dora.  As in, The Explorer.

The Bean never watched much TV – she just never seemed interested.  One particularly trying (for both of us), rainy day, however, we came across an episode with Dora and Boots and MAN – this girl was hooked.  Every morning brings a request of “Can I watch Dora please right now?” and each evening ends with a “More Dora, no bed!”  We have had to limit our Dora time to an episode in the morning and an episode at night, just out of sheer terror that the Bean would watch her 24/7 if we allowed it.

Dora is actually a pretty interesting little girl.  She’s not afraid of anything (last night, she climbed up onto a zipline and the Bean yelled, “Be caaaaaareful, Dora!”), she has great friends, and she’s even kind to Swiper the Fox (or, at least it seems like she is in the commercials for the Christmas Carol).  She is good to her Mommy and twin brother and sister, and she always wants to help.  All in all, I can think of many worse role models for my Bean at this tender age….I mean, Curious George gets into trouble all the time and disobeys the man in the yellow hat.  We don’t want that sort of behavior!

I always said that no child of mine would become obsessed with mainstream characters like Dora or Kai Lan or whoever else is en vogue at the time (and I still hope beyond hope that Miley Cyrus is tucked far, far away by the time my Bean is a pre-teen).  The question is, why was I resisting?  There’s a reason Dora is so popular, and it’s because kids like her.  This yields some entertainment, some quiet time for Mommy on occasion, and some great new songs to sing in the car on the way back from Mimi’s house.  I no longer see anything wrong with that, which just goes to show you: you can never make parenting rules for a stage that you haven’t experienced yet.  Being a mom is rolling with the punches and seeing where the next day is going to take you.  In my house, we’re likely to be headed to Crocodile Lake – and for the time being, that’s fine with us.