She's all I ever wanted in a cartoon. She's educational, she's bilingual, and she can keep Lydia in one spot for nearly half an hour.
I've been on the hunt for such an animated friend for some time. All I ask is to be able to take a shower in the morning without worrying about what Lydia might be climbing on, tearing up, pouring out, disassembling, or setting on fire. This need became more urgent when school started and my most trustworthy babysitters were no longer available in the morning. I mean, Josh does a pretty good job of keeping an eye on Lydia, but he's only four. He has his limits. One morning back in August, I left him in charge with Mickey Mouse on to help out. As soon as I was out of the shower I went robed and towel-headed to check on things and found Josh contentedly laying on the floor in front of the tv, and Lydia nowhere to be found.
"Josh, where's Lydia?"
"What? Uh... [scanning the bonus room] ...I don't know."
I tried Mickey. I tried the Uniqua and Pablo. I tried Max and Emme, Elmo, Max and Ruby, Curious George, Leo and Annie, and even Diego. But all of these fine choices in children's programing were just not cutting it. Lydia would sit and watch for five minutes or so, but no longer. (That's just long enough to give you a false sense of security.)
Finally, a couple of weeks ago, we gave Dora a shot and hit gold. I can shower (and shave) without worry or anxiety. Dora can hold down the fort from "D-d-d-d-dora" to "Thanks for helping!" No problem. Lydia is enamored the entire time and too busy shouting, "Backpack!" to consider all the potential forms of mischief. Gracias.
In honor of my favorite cartoon friend, enjoy this clip of my favorite comic buddy. The Dora bit doesn't start until about 7:30, but if you've got the whole 9 minutes to spare they would be well spent listening to his other antics as well.