Sesame Street Blog

Sesame Family Robinson – From making Muppets to Raising Moppets

Mission Accomplished

Blog Image: Potty Time

Two thumbs up. The event is over. Bye-Bye Diapers. Even at night, we’ve stopped using them except at a hotel or such. There is the occasional accident if they’ve had a lot of fluids and no final potty stop, but it’s a good way to remember to change the sheets.

For all of you Mom and Dad readers who have sent letters and asked questions, here are a few thoughts from our de-diapering experience: I worried about it too much. I went to a Parents of Multiples event and there was a packed room full of parents who were also worried about it. So, if you’re stressed, you are not alone!  I could have lowered my stress a lot by listening to the advice of my pediatrician. “They all learn to do it at their own pace.” It couldn’t have been truer for Lyra and Ripley, who approached the task from opposite directions.

Lyra would refuse to have an accident, asking all the time for her diaper to be put back on, especially for doing a poo-poo. Finally, she became brave enough to try the potty, and when there was success, she always pooed on the pot because she got some great prizes. (Bribery worked!)

Ripley was the opposite. She just couldn’t be bothered remembering that she didn’t have a diaper on and had accident after accident after accident. We had paper towels and spray in every room. We often put her on the pot every few hours to practice or just sit her on it when she was watching TV. She would poo in her underpants, so we put her back into her diaper again for a few weeks then tried again. It took a while, but she would finally say she had to pee and we would run to the bathroom. It also helped that she craved a pee-pee or poo prize as well. First, she’d ask for the diaper to poo, and finally she surprised herself doing it in the pot. A few more days and it all clicked (and she got a big Rapunzel doll prize).

So suddenly, it was over. The girls were only in underpants all day. Once in a while, Lyra got nostalgic and asked for a diaper, but it has been months. Once we got very serious about potty training, which was about two months before their third birthday, it took about two months for Lyra and four for Ripley.

Other things that helped: We’d make a game to visit toilets all over town. Restaurants, malls, friend’s homes. When we felt they should probably need to go, we found an entertaining way to search for a potty and play with the water, the dryers, the many funny ways toilets flush.

To all those still in the midst of the accidents, etc.: It seems from all the parents I’ve chatted to about it, as long as you approach it with love and step back when they aren’t ready, you stumble through and get there. Each kid does it his/her own way. I have one friend who got her daughter to use the pot because she loved washing her hands afterward in pretty smelling soaps.

But for us, it’s a done deal. Now on to getting rid of the binky at night!

Drawing with Telly

Curriculum: Art with Daddy

The girls really understand that their father plays Telly (and other characters) on Sesame Street. When we watch the show, if Telly or Snuffy comes on, we shout “There’s Daddy!” Still, when Marty put on Telly to draw with the girls, they never looked down to address him. They talked to Telly. The magic of the Muppets right before our eyes:

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Grandpa

Curriculum of the Day:  Family 

My Dad has been living near us in an assisted living facility for the past three years. It’s not always been very easy for him or the entire family. He had a massive stroke at 63 and has been disabled ever since. When my Mom died, he stayed in their house for another year because he wanted to prove he could (with much assistance by a home health aid). But he was lonely and the situation was growing untenable. So, despite the real estate crash, we were able to sell his home and move him close to us. The benefits have been great. I feel he’s safer there and gets more care. He sees the girls almost every week and we participate in all their holiday events. Lyra and Ripley really know their Grandpa and enjoy going to his place to eat in the big dining room and run around. My Dad isn’t a big talker, but I feel he really appreciates all our visits and seeing the girls grow. Let’s remember this week that it is Father’s Day on Sunday, and Grandfather’s Day, too.  

 

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Letters, Letters, Letters

Letter of the day: All of them

Lyra and Ripley are starting to really get interested in letters. Particularly their own. One of our new car games is looking out the window for their letter. “There’s R for Ripley.” “There’s L for Lyra.” We also watch for “P” for Patricia, “M” for Mommy or Marty, and “A” for Annie. Often they will see an “H” and say “A” for Annie, which gives us a good learning moment. We also bought an alphabet wall hanging with pockets to hold different stuffed objects that start with the letter. This too, has become a game, where they take turns sticking their little goose or elephant into the correct slot. If they’re unsure, we sing the alphabet song until we hit the right letter. I believe doing this has helped them connect the actual concept of letters to the alphabet song. It used to be just another song. Now, they understand they are saying the letters. We never intended to push the girls to learn their letters. We’ve been discussing in Sesame Street curriculum seminars lately how it’s more important to prepare them for school socially with listening skills and sitting skills. But, they seem to be gravitating toward learning their letters as well, so we’re enjoying the process. It also gives us something to do in the car.

 

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Handyman: Recording Session

 Most of the music we perform on Sesame is pre-recorded; to get the songs just right and of a quality to transfer directly to CDs if needed. (The dialog is, of course, all performed live).  Paul Rudolph is our vocal Music Director (and incidentally married to Leslie Cararra, Abby Cadabby).  He is very patient with us...especially when I had this idea to shoot a HandyMan film in his recording booth.  Silliness aside though; this is basically how we do it.

 

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Like your family we have twins, boy/girl, that turned three last month. I saw your blog entry for January and it looks like we have something in common, potty training twins. Like one of your girls, my son WILL NOT pee in the potty but his sister was doing well until she caught on to "Bubbie" not trying. I was just letting things run their course but our local pre-schools/mommy day out programs require the children to be potty trained and this mommy needs a day out. Bribery isn't working. Have you had any success?

Sommer

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How often is the telly puppet renewed or replaced?

Katherine Sydney, Australia

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I read in 40 Years of Life on the Street about an incident involving Snuffy's puppet where a sombrero caused the wood frame to collapse on you and Bryant Young. Did they rebuild the puppet after that or did they just make a new one?

Edward

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I just wanted to say thanks for the blog. My daughter Kylie (who just turned two yesterday) loves to ask if we are going to see "the babies." Thank you so much to you and Marty for bringing the joy of Sesame Street into our lives every day.

Kendal and Kylie Montreal, Canada

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I've noticed that there are fewer Muppets and people in an episode now than there were twenty years ago. Does everyone show up on the set for filming days or only certain ones? Who decides who gets to play the Anything Muppets? There are some voices I hear more than others.

Glenda

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