Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One Dog Two Dog Red Dog Blue Dog

Those of you who know me ( I love when I act like there are actually people who DON'T know me reading my blog), know that I am not a fan of anything 'character' or 'licensed' if you will when it comes to baby. This means no Winnie the Pooh nurseries, no Dora swim suits, no Elmo overalls and no Sponge Bob lunch box. Maybe it stems from seeing one too many healthy (uh-hum) women at Wal-mart flaunting Tinkerbell shirts a size or so too small as to show off the tasteful tweety bird tattoo peeking out from under them and man handling an unkempt toddler clad in a pair of dirty sweatpants and a seriously stained Barney T-shirt as they make their way back to a smoking 'Paw' figure who is showing off his suped up Chevy with the Yosemite Sam decals clinging to the back windshield.

Maybe that's where it stems from, maybe.

Wherever it stems from, I get anxiety when I'm presented with character themed items. I even forbade them at my baby shower. Now, I have made an exception or two. Like an authentic Disney Store or Theme Park item that's made of quality materials and is more of a souvenir than a bargain purchase. For example, a nice vintage Mickey Mouse print on a modern cut t-shirt or a sweet little generic princess gown (not to be confused with a scratchy poorly made replica of an actual disney princess gown) that makes my daughter feel like royalty. And, as my daughter gets older and has favorite shows and cartoons, I'll allow her to choose interactive toys and books based on these shows. I'm not going to deprive her because of my own hang ups.

Hang ups, which are not, after all, even the point of this post. The point of this post is a story of growth. In me. As a mother. As a person.

When Liliana was about 1 she picked up a little blue stuffed dog at a Carter's store. It became her favorite toy. She carried it everywhere. And everywhere, people would comment on the dog, saying, "Oh, you have Blue from Blue's Clues". Now, yes, this dog was blue. But, no, it was not THE Blue. And I made sure everyone knew. "Oh, this dog? No, he kind of looks like him, but we got him at the Carter's store". And everyone usually wondered why I was ruining the fun by refusing to let the dog be the Blue's Clues dog (the horror!!).

Well, a year or so went by and she moved on to other toys and had her favorites. Until about 2 weeks ago when Nana brought her a get well soon gift. A red dog. Made by Ty. Not made by the folks who market Clifford the Big Red Dog. BUT, as soon as she laid eyes on the dog, she called him Clifford. And, as soon as ANYONE lays eyes on the dog, they call him Clifford. And, while it is so very obvious that his snout is wider than Clifford's, his tail is shorter, and he's an entirely different breed, I too call him. . .Clifford. Why? Because my daughter loves Clifford and loves her Clifford stuffed dog and who am I to take that joy from her by revealing that it is a Clifford impostor?

Just don't expect me to send her to school with a Yo Gabba Gabba back pack. Its not happening.