Many of you know that our daughter, Corley, has taken a great liking to a little brown monkey named George, Curious George. She loves that little guy. He’s been a great entertainment to her and brought her lots of love, laughter, and joy.
We thought it was so cute around Thanksgiving how she would point to the TV and make her monkey noise as her way of asking to watch Curious George. Shortly after we returned home from our Thanksgiving travels, her manner of request grew from the “ah ah ah” monkey noise to a “kurus dge” or “sss dge” of actually trying to say his name.
We’d usually catch one or two episodes in the morning when she’d wake up at 8. But soon, she was sleeping past 8 and we began to miss the live viewing, which meant we had to resort to the Amazon Prime streaming options. Thankfully (I think), Amazon has 8 seasons of Curious George.
We watched them through in about two weeks.
We were on reruns when the problem began.
You see, I got a cold. A cold that lingered for two weeks and stole all of my pregnant mama energy that was supposed to be reserved for dealing with a 1.5 year old lively little girl.
I just wanted to sleep. To rest. To get better.
So Curious George was put on the TV, where he stayed, and played. Over and over and over and over…
Corley was entertained and I was able to rest. What harm could there be?
Well, by the time I was finally getting over my cold and regaining my energy I started to notice a change in our sweet Corley. She was fussy.
“Oh, it’s just a phase.”
“It’s early terrible two’s.”
“She’s realizing another baby is coming.”
“Maybe she’s teething.”
Yeah, we gave every excuse we could think of. And they all made sense.
But then one afternoon, I stood in the kitchen, my toddler standing in front of me, her arms stretched out, eyes pinched tight, and this cry of frustration screeching from her mouth. It hit me.
I’ve seen this fit somewhere before…or better yet, I’ve heard it.
You guessed it.
“George throws fits???” you may ask. No, he doesn’t. But when George gets frustrated or freaks out that something has gone wrong, he cries in his monkey voice “AH!!!!”
Translation: frustrated screech of a toddler.
Corley was mimicking the behavior she had seen from her favorite monkey and we all know Corley is a great mimicker.
So, what did we do? A Curious George detox. We went cold turkey (monkey?).
Starting the next day there would be zero Curious George.
We didn’t know how it would go. Especially when she asked for him multiple times throughout the day. But the first day wasn’t bad. I don’t think she really missed him yet. The second day was a Sunday, so she had plenty to keep her occupied. The third day is when it hit her.
Her favorite monkey was gone.
She’d ask for George. I’d tell her no. She’d throw a fit. It was hard, but I held my ground. We read books. She played with her toys. I cleaned the kitchen. She played with hers. And even though it had it’s rough moments and there were times when I really wished that I could just put on one episode of George so I could have five minutes of quiet, I knew that more than anything I wanted my sweet Corley back.
On about the 4th or 5th day, Corley woke up, came into the living room, and we read a few books and played with her toys. And that night she went to bed. And a whole day passed and she didn’t once ask for Curious George.
We still get the occasional fit that is typical of a 20 month old, but they are no longer resembling a frustrated monkey.
We’ll reintroduce George to her again one day, but in the meantime we’re sticking with more educational shows and less cartoons in general. We’re less stressed. Corley’s less stressed. We learned our lesson the hard way. And we have our little monkey back.
Just a little less monkey-ish 😉