I may be new at this mommy thing, but I’ve been watching and loving cartoons for a long, long time. I haven’t been in the kid cartoon circuit since my niece and nephew were little (they are now both in high school), so it’s quite possible I am in the minority of parents who actually looked forward to having an excuse to make some new animated TV friends.
[P.S. if you’re going to tell me that babies shouldn’t look at screens until they’re x-old/tv is burning up her brain/Satan created cartoons, save your typing breath as La Mommy ain’t reading it.]
Baby M already has some favorites. It’s pretty cool to see her little face light up when she hears her TV buddies like Dora the Explorer and the Canadian pooches of the PAW Patrol (“We’re on a roll!”). She, like many babies, especially enjoys the musical portions and will turn and look at the TV (even though it’s not on) whenever I start singing one of the TV songs (but not when I sing a non-TV song).
Genius, I know! But I digress.
I particularly love cartoons that have underlying, positive messages for kids—things like how to include others in playtime, how to pass the time while waiting, how to handle being frustrated/angry, etc.
Alas, going to the potty isn’t something I ever wanted to see animated.
And yet I have.
And you can too!
Look, I love Daniel Tiger, I really do. And so does M. For those not in the know, Daniel is essentially Mr. Rogers (yes, THAT Mr. Rogers) reincarnated into a feisty little tiger. He wears a red hoodie and little red sneakers, which he takes off at the end of each episode, tossing them from hand to hand à la Fred, all while singing a familiar neighborly song. He has a raspy voice that does raspy *way* better than Peppa Pig (don’t get me started), loves his Mommy and Daddy and Trolley, and keeps M’s attention, which makes him a winner in my cartoon playbook.
But sorry y’all—I really don’t want to see him pee.
I mean, for one, Daniel doesn’t wear pants. Awwwkward when it’s time for him to hop on the pot. I can already see my smart aleck kid (I’m guessing) asking where Daniel hides his pee-pee. I mean, dude, can’t we delay the “tiger penis” discussion until at least her first trip to the zoo?
Hopping on the pot, by the way, is what both boys and girls do for Number One in Daniel’s world. Which is totally cool, in case you’re wondering. Yes, I looked that up because I have never potty-trained a boy, and as it turns out many recommend boys start out sitting down to pee. Fascinating, eh?
But now let’s look more closely at Daniel’s song regarding zee pott-ay (channeling Daniel’s French grandfather, Grandpere Tiger, right there–I sh*t you not).
When you have to go potty
And go right away
Flush and wash and be on your way.
Anyone notice something missing there? Show of hands please? Don’t go shy on me now!
That’s right, folks. No wipe.
To be fair, in the cartoon, Prince Wednesday, the first character to wee on camera, does wipe (making me wonder if he really did only do Number One hmmm…), but every Emptying of the Bladder (royal or not) thereafter is sans toilet paper.
Moreover, said action is noticeably absent in the potty ditty, as you can well see.
I can’t possibly be the only mom freaked out by The Great Urination of Daniel, can I?
Well, my research for this post (yes, I researched the Daniel Tiger potty episode—glamorous life, this) turned up one mom, Sarah of OMG There’s Three, who found the tinkling tiger quite helpful in potty-training one of her triplets. She even made and shared a Daniel Tiger potty chart (which you can download too!), showing her irrefutable talent for turning lemon-colored liquid into . . . ahem. Right.
Anyhoo, just like that, I found myself rethinking my position on the whizzing kitty.
Well color me converted because I’m now going with the idea that if someday that cartoon helps M understand that when she has to go potty, she should stop and go right away, etc., perhaps the image of Daniel and his friends peeing all at the same time in a line of color-coordinated stalls in Daniel’s make-believe world ain’t so bad after all.
I will, however, adjust the lyrics of the song to include wiping, because ew.
Now just try to get that earworm of a potty song out of your head. I dare you.