One of Abby's favorite shows is The Wonder Pets. For those of you not hip to the toddler TV trends, The Wonder Pets are three preschool classroom pets--a duckling named Ming Ming, a turtle named Tuck, and a guinea pig named Linny--who rescue baby animals from various quandaries after the preschoolers have gone home for the day. There's lots of singing--it's sort of opera-ish, where they sing instead of talking (though not always) and the theme of the show is always teamwork--they always work together to save the baby animal, and always employ some outside-the-box solution which they used previously to put together the Fly Boat. It's a cute show, overall, despite the disturbing hints of gender identity issues Linny (supposedly a girl, but not quite) displays.
Anyway, I've been noticing lately how much Abby has picked up from this show. Anyone claiming kids aren't influenced by what they watch should just observe her for a week and see just how much--good and bad--she soaks up from this show. Some samples:
1. She's BIG into teamwork, which overall is a good thing, though not when you're trying to sweep or change the baby's diaper. She'll say, "I need some teamwork over here!" when she wants help, and while you're working together she'll make you sing the teamwork song from the show.
2. One of the episodes involved helping a baby rooster who didn't know how to crow loud enough to wake the farm. After they give him some suggestions, he says, "Okay! I'll cock-a-doodle do it!" This is now Abby's favorite thing to say.
3. Lately she's talked about "being in trouble." I was confused for the longest time about what she meant since we never refer to her as being in trouble and, as far as I could remember, none of the shows she watches have characters who get in trouble, either. But just the other day I remembered one of the lines to the theme song is "There's an animal in trouble somewhere!" I realized she always says it when she's stuck or unable to get something to work right--like today, when trying to get her shoe on. "Mama, I got my foot in this one, but I in trouble with this other shoe because it keeps closing!"
4. In one of the shows, Ming Ming and Tuck get in a fight and Ming Ming sings, "I'm not going to talk to you anymore!" Well, now every once in a while Abby sings the same thing, complete with dismissive head-toss. Oops.
5. The Wonder Pets always reward themselves with celery after a successful rescue. Now she eats celery. Woohoo!
6. Dozens and dozens of "Hey! Like on Wonder Pets!" that occur throughout the day--animals we see (like the cranes at the Wild Animal Park), instruments (there was a mouse in a saxophone once, then we saw a sax on Riverdance), etc. I'm stunned sometimes by the details she remembers. Just one more reminder to watch our p's and q's around her. She's soaking it ALL in.