There is no cow but “Cow”…
You try to make sure your kid is exposed to good cultural influences at home...
Before he was even born, The Man Cub had been to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Merle Haggard concerts in utero. All his lullaby discs are personally-crafted selections of the most mellow tunes by Bob, Bruce, Merle, Johnny Cash, Mickey Newbury, Sinead O’Connor, Bob Marley and the like… we don’t let him see violence on the TV (Daddy watches a lot of TV with the office door closed these days) and we don’t have any Barney videos. We have TiVo for Sesame Street and “The Muppet Movie” sitting right on top of the TV for god’s sake… In spite (or maybe because of) all that, The Man Cub has recently made his first serious entertainment commitment.
And the winner is: Cow!
That’s what he calls some damned barnyard-themed (thus “Cow”) ‘Baby Einstein’ DVD somebody gave us at some point. This fucking video is like crack to the boy. He’ll jump up in the middle of Sesame Street or playing with blocks or reading books or whatever the hell it is he fills up his day with and run into the room, urgently inquiring “COW?” If you don’t move quick enough, he follows it up with a much more insistent “COW!” If you’re really slow, you get the worked-up, worried “COW?!?!”
The Missus just popped her head in to discuss the trouble she had getting the boy to bed tonight. “We had some intense negotiations regarding Cow,” she said. Apparently he kept looking at her repeating “Cow…?” with various expressions of confusion, as if not understanding how Money (his word for The Missus, not mine!) could have suddenly got so thick-headed. “Cow,” he explained patiently, as if to an infant. No, she said, let’s play with blocks. He covered the bag of blocks with his hands and fixed her with a penetrating gaze. “Cow!” he reiterated emphatically. No, let’s put your pajamas on. “Cow!!!” Much twisting and thrashing ensued, punctuated by heartfelt pleas of “Co-o-o-ow!” And so it went.
I’m sorry I missed his performance. It had to have been superior to anything on the Baby Einstein video in question.
Yes, the allure of Cow is already beginning to wear thin on The Missus and me, and I’m afraid we have a lot more viewings yet to come anyhow. His beloved “Cow” consists of half-assed sock puppetry, stock wildlife footage and cardboard cutouts with monosyllabic voice-overs; strictly South Park-level production values… It’s crazy. We have dozens of hours of high-quality Sesame Street on the TiVo and kiddie CDs and DVDs as far as the eye can see; we have baby toy drifts as high as our ankles, a back yard to explore and an old dog to torture and all he wants to do anymore is watch “Cow.”
And goddamn does he want to watch “Cow.” Even more than his previous television favorite, Sesame Street, which at this point might as well be a big stinky televised turd to him. Even more than life itself, there is Cow first, then there is everything else after that. Everything he loves, everything he hates, everything he’s never even considered now places a distant second to “Cow.”
I see more of myself in him every day. Some day, “Cow” will become booze, or gambling or wicked women or religious zealotry (“I talk to Jesus every day just to piss off my parents…”) or some such ill-advised pursuit that will supercede all others in his life for stretches at a time, only to be replaced when the next compulsive behavior comes along… come to think of it, we should probably encourage him to stick with Cow as long as he likes it and we can stand it.
That clock, however, is ticking...