Day 354: Cut The Bad Guy In Half

Now that Silas’ desire to watch Spiderman and Batman has exhausted, and occasionally out-witted, our utopian dream of limiting his exposure to violence, he and his friend have been talking in raspy voices about finding bad guys and “getting them dead.” Usually the method is cutting someone in half with a shovel or rubber sword; both startlingly gory ways to go.

I know they’re just pretending, but it’s still disturbing to hear a human who can’t yet wipe his ass or sleep by himself, boast of slicing his enemy in two. I watch the shows with him occasionally and have never seen such a medieval execution.  I must have been staring at my phone and missed the episodes of Spiderman directed by Quentin Tarantino.

They don’t know what “getting dead” really means; at least I hope not. We live in New Jersey, not Somalia (right, Danny?). Being dead just means you get a really big owie and don’t wake up for a long long time. Sometime around 17 or 18 years old, he’ll start considering the heaviness of an eternity of non-existence. The panic attacks will follow, then the drinking, and before he knows it, he’ll be me. For now, though, I wish he’d go back to watching Caillou, because as whiny as that balloon-headed crybaby is, at least he’s not thwarting evil with amazing feats of violence. Unless, of course, you consider his high-pitched voice to be a form of torture used to hypnotize parents into extending bedtime and making more cookies. I see this as a real possibility, but luckily, it’s hidden deeply enough to go unnoticed by younger viewers.

I’m alienating my child-free readers who live in a safe, calm, and quiet world where Caillou doesn’t exist. Imagine if Charlie Brown was bipolar instead of clinically depressed. If you’ve ever heard the ear shrapnel of a child whining, that’s how Caillou sounds even when he’s happy. As grating as he is, Caillou is innocent, and his emotional dilemmas relatable. Superheros in comics and cartoons are written for adults, but animated for children. I would prefer to teach my kid about the real bad guys like billionaire hedge fund managers, sweatshop operators, and pharmaceutical lobbyists.

Maybe for every episode of Batman, I’ll make him watch a Michael Moore documentary. He’s really just Caillou all grown-up.

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Debie M. says:

My 4 year old is just as fascinated by violent comic book heros. For Christmas he got a pretend tool set and promptly turned every tool into a weapon with which to kill the bad guys. If only he didn't consider his little sister one of the bad guys. The battle to prevent a battle has begun. That said, it's probably better than endless hours of Spongebob and even more hours of Bob the Builder's theme song.

Stacey says:

What is going on with those canadian kid's shows? I can't stand Caillou, Little Bear, Dino Dan or Franklin. Is that what my parents thought when I watched Degrassi (the original) or You Can't Do That on Television?

We're now into Phineas and Ferb. The episode we watched on Netflix the other night was about after school fighting and the Evander Holyfield character had a piece of his ear bitten off – now that's quality children's programming for adults.

Isabelle says:

Actual spit came out of my mouth laughing at 'balloon-headed crybaby'. Couldn't have said it better myself! Luckily my kids don't like him too much either. I am subjected to Ben 10 Ultimate Alien and endless episodes of Max and Ruby – who have no apparent parental figures at all….

Crickee says:

Oh, god…I hate Caillou with the passion of a thousand burning suns! Get dead, Creepo!

Kristin Johnson says:

Unfortunately when Caillou was taken off pbs it was sent to pbs kids sprout and its on all the time night and day. I once told my pediatrician how obsessed my son was with dinosaurs and how we had watched Jurassic Park more times than I cared to count. I quickly got a lecture on violence and gore. Look my son was 4 and loved it, it didn't give him nightmares and if anything he was more interested in the different types of dinos. It is funny how much has changed since we were young and what was acceptable as PG. I recently watched the original Footloose hoping to keep my tween from making me take her to the new one. They showed several naked mens butts and some of the language was bad. Not what we would except now from PG now it would have been more of a PG 13. The point is I didn't remember for whatever reason about the language or the butts at my single digit age when it came out….I remembered the music and of course the dancing or lack there of. My kids don't watch Dexter but as a family we watch all sorts of stuff, Caillou included, sigh, I would much rather watch Batman any day….as long as he doesn't sound too constipated.

Nicole says:

My daughter was channel surfing the other day while I was in the kitchen. And then I heard "the voice" and I yelled, "Turn that off! Now!" She asked what it was – and when I responded in a nasty tone "Caillou" she looked puzzled. I told her she used to try and watch it, but he was banned due to general whining and annoying behavior. She's 15 – I assume some day I'll get over it…

spyral says:

Ugh – Caillou. I have a 17 month old & we watched Caillou for a short period of time. I don't think it was even a month (& my little guy doesn't watch tv that much.) I would much rather listen to "There's a Party in my Tummy" and the Wonderpets "Teamwork" song on repeat for days than watch one more episode of that whiny, spoiled cry-baby.

Also, I've got to do it It's the Obligatory "I <3 U" Note: Found your site a month ago & read straight back to day 1. You are hilarious! I hope you keep blogging after day 365 :)

shannon says:

my son is 16 so i was stuck with barney and the original blues clues

Diane says:

Never heard of Caillou and watched the YouTube, "Caillou picks strawberries". Holly Moly!!!

The most annoying thing I have ever seen. If you can't say no to your kids for that program, you will never be able to say no to your kid for drugs.

My head was exploding during that one little clip. I can't imagine what you all go through.

Elena Savage says:

We actually forbade (forbid?) our son from watching Caillou and distracted his tears with Batman and Law and Order (the intro music to that one calmed him down and mesmerized him). We realized his whiny, pouty, demanding and fat-headed behavior was not terrible Twos but a slow morph into becoming Caillou. Within a week of no Caillou, he was our sweet funny son again who understood our love and cookies was a privilege, not a right…we even gave Caillou back after a month, just to test out theory. It was totally right. .I'm not sure what that says about us, that we can handle the violence and darkness more than the whiny- baby obviously -hair-challenged innocent….but he's 11 now, and for the most part, he doesn't have any issues…

Jenn says:

I wish Caillou would get dead.

Jason Good says:

Jenn, that nearly made me snort.

Beth says:

"Maybe for every episode of Batman, I’ll make him watch a Michael Moore documentary. He’s really just Caillou all grown-up." Hysterical….

Jen says:

"Ear shrapnel" – love it!