Ich bin Caillou

Currently over here, we are obsessed with Caillou, perhaps the most annoying program on children’s television to date.

Or, I should say, the most annoying program whose content is actually really strong and therefore we are allowed to watch it. Check out Lalaloopsy if you want annoying TV with no redeemable qualities.

Caillou, for the uninitiated, is a show about a little Canadian boy who whines his way through common trials and trevails of the middle class preschooler.

When the on-demand queue of Caillou has been exhausted, or when we are sitting on the potty for an extended engagement, we turn to YouTube for more Caillou.

As children these days are born knowing how to use Apple products, my 2 1/2 year old daughter can navigate and select her own shows once I do the initial search and set-up.

What is consistently interesting to me is that she does not discriminate on the language of her cartoons. Today, she watched an entire episode of Caillou in German. She knew what was happening in the episode as well. I have observed this on more than one occasion-as long as her characters are bopping around, she is satisfied.

I’m wondering how I can encourage this and continue to develop this indiscriminate part of her brain, as well as the ability to assess context and content outside of spoken language. In Europe, radio and TV are available in many languages most of the time. Here, we have a Spanish Channel, and not much else. Are YouTube cartoons a golden opportunity? Perhaps.

All I know is that Caillou’s whiny voice transcends all linguistic boundaries.


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