I Ship Trains

By Laura

I knew we’d have Sesame Street in my house, because, well duh, but I didn’t know it would be a gateway drug to a corporate takeover. Before I go completely commercial I have some questions.

A little history: Sesame Street lead to Curious George which lead to Thomas the Train. I made the jump to Paw Patrol because a) it had puppies and b) it had a fireman.  I full on take responsibility for those ones, but I do not know how Mickey the Mouse and his friends all rushed the door without me noticing.*

*All of these characters are licensed. Someone else created them. We love them and enjoy them. We are not profiting off them and give full credit to their creators and attorneys for properly trademarking them. 🙂

My house with, and without, my approval now includes 2 licensed sets of pajamas, stuffed toys, a big a$$ pillow, little plastic-curse-when-you-step-on-one figures, a full train set, 1 cup, and every single cartoon-jr app on every single smart device we own.

Back to my questions:

1. I understand Mr. Disney couldn’t get 5 fingers right on Mickey so he went with 4 and that seems to have stuck. How? Is there no way to know figure out how to get that little pinky on the hand? I feel like these cartoons are frustrated- in part -because they cannot properly give you the bird.

2. It doesn’t seem fair: There is a paw pack, paw shoes, ATVs, helmets, a paw patroller, an air patroller, and so many gadgets and yet the dogs sleep outside.

3. I am uncomfortable with Goofy courting Clarabelle to the dance (she’s a cow and he’s a whatever) but then he sees a herd of cows and sweetly says, “Hello, Ladies”. Is he cheating on Clarabelle?!

4. How does George go to the zoo over and over and someone not think he’s escaped? No one questions a monkey visiting the monkey cage? I seem to remember real life instances where the gorilla didn’t make it because he escaped.


5. I do not like Ryder’s insistence that ghosts are not real when he clearly has multiple conversations and rescues with aliens. Why are aliens okay, but ghosts aren’t allowed in Barkingburg?

6. Thomas clearly has a crush on Ashima but they didn’t develop that story line because it’s not their core audience?! Their core audience?! My two-year old has the attention span of a gnat but I remember. I’m the one watching over and over and dammit I need to know how this turns out. I am the one watching this in my free time because someone keeps falling asleep before we get to the good part. Have you ever seen Pixar? There are loads of adult jokes because there are adults who are beaten down into watching these things. I need you to finish the shipping of Thomas and Ashima.

Now, for those of you still with me who are utterly confused, those are my questions relating to several children’s cartoon shows. If you are reading this and you got them totally, it’s because you’ve seen them and understood my dilemma.

I’ve been told by all these books and the internet not to use television as a babysitter. I don’t. I’m sitting there watching too. I’m seeing him learn his shapes, his colors, his directions, how to count ‘sheet’ with ‘Goopy’, how to be brave going over the bridge or through the tunnel (and actually we applied these last two at the park thank you very much).

If you want me, as the adult with the credit card, (sigh) to keep buying into these shows, then I need some resolutions here. Don’t think this list is capped though. Once you answer these few questions, I’ll talk to you about suspending my reality enough to watch something more mature like the Lion Guard or how the Toy Story movies hit me in the feels every time….

[Editor’s Note: RIP Harambe]

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