While I was away at Alt Summit last month, Levi learned a new word — Elmo. Although we occasionally watched “Sesame Street” together, he had never shown a preference towards the furry red monster. However, my mom reported that while she was babysitting, Levi was obsessed with reading his Elmo’s World lift-the-flap books and watching Elmo on TV.
During Levi’s most recent hunger strike (he refuses to eat when he’s teething), I let him watch “Elmo’s World” on Netflix after a long, drawn-out dinner. JB was working late, and I was so exhausted from solo-parenting a cranky toddler that I couldn’t even muster up the energy to give Levi a bath or go through our normal bedtime routine.
When the “Sesame Street” segment ended, I carried Levi upstairs, changed him into his jammies, and told him it was time to go night-night. Uncharacteristically, he began throwing a fit at his bedroom door, trying to get out. As he cried, Levi performed the sign language gesture for hungry, so I picked him up and brought him back downstairs.
Standing in front of the refrigerator, Levi then asked for milk. When I handed him his sippy cup, he promptly marched with it into the living room, reached for the remote on the arm of the sofa, and turned on the TV.
“Eh-mo! Eh-mo!” he cried, waving the remote control in my direction.
I almost laughed when I realized what had just happened: Levi played me. He knew how desperate I was for him to eat, so he fake hunger to indulge in his Elmo obsession.
That little stinker.
PS: Sometimes I hear Levi saying Elmo’s name in his sleep! Isn’t that too funny?
PPS: I don’t like to buy Levi too many licensed toys (see above), but sometimes Elmo products are unavoidable — especially when you have a 19 month old.