That darn bald kid

Even kindergarten kids know he sucks. And he's 4. Where is his hair?

The Younger is going through a cranky phase, which generally involves not wanting to wear any pants, and curating large collections of bric-a-brac before we take any trip to the outside.

And yesterday, I found him naked, wearing a souvenir shell lei, cavorting in our big cardboard box-puppet theater.  (There will be no photographs.)

But this is not how I want to spend my afternoons. It seems he and I are having a major difference of opinion on how to have a good time.

He also wants to watch endless amounts of “Caillou,” the saga of that 4-year-old Quebecois  cartoon bald kid, which The Elder vehemently protests these days.

“Caillou isn’t good for babies! He isn’t edu-ma-cational. He only teaches kids to whine!” he whines.

That whining, of course, is a skill the Elder honed three years ago when he was in his own 24-7 “Caillou” phase.

However, I should note that “Caillou” does always wear his pants.

It’s too bad the fake whiny kid doesn’t take them off, though, since his two-dimensional parents have often been good role models for me on how not to utterly lose it: “No, Caillou, we wear our pants when we get strapped into a car seat. … Good listening,” they would say.

So, how do they do it? How do they remain so calm when Caillou calls the cat “you bad cat,” wantonly breaks a cup, or talks to them, at all, in that irritating little Canadian voice?

Well, they’re frigging cartoons, that’s how.

And Canadian.—Jillian O’Connor