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OK…folks…I have a bone to pick. Although this isn’t my soapbox per se, since I did most of the custom programming, I think I deserve a few linear inches of venting space.

About what, you ask? You, AYMB’s supposedly loyal readers.

See, while you noodle your way through Mental Mondays, feast your eyes on Foodie Fridays, and indulge all things in between, there is one thing you seem to have overlooked: The Yip Yips petition. What gives?

I grew up on Sesame Street, but cannot for the life of me remember the Yip Yips. It seems that Sesame Street ran Yip Yips segments only intermittently and only for a couple select years. Thanks to the intersection of YouTube and copyright infringement, however, I discovered the Yip Yips belatedly in between train-crossing segments on YouTube (search for “five engine train,” “SP4999” or “Minto Brown” to find clips whose conclusions will cause violent tantrums in most male toddlers).

These little alien dudes rock.

Toddlers eat up the Yip Yips because they make funny sounds; parents love them because they’re super clever and, at bottom, educational. Leave it to Sesame Street to bridge that generation gap better than almost any other show. But, alas, the Yip Yips went the way of Dynasty, only without any of the “Who shot JR?” fanfare.

At launch, Aimee took it upon herself to draw readers’ attention back to the daily Yip Yips deprivation that Sesame Street works on kids today. She wrote this article embedding the above fun video clip, started this petition, commissioned me to hack-up a sidebar button encouraging folks to read/watch the former and sign their name to the latter, and even reached out to this Facebook user and this Facebook group, which, together, boast almost 8,000 members.

Only 27 33 people have signed the petition so far. What gives? While AYMB ain’t TMZ, it certainly has magnitudes more readers than that single score of signatories.

So, for the love of God, people. For the children. For the future. For all things holy. Sign the petition, would you?

Please consider signing THIS PETITION asking Sesame Street to bring back the Yip Yips!

Please forward, retweet, beg, borrow, steal, cajole…whatever it takes. Future generations will thank you.

P.S. What do you think of the new Mental Monday and Foodie Friday header “buttons”?

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Baby Einstein: Genius Guaranteed! (or your money back)

The Key for Harvard? Yeah. Right.

The Key for Harvard? Yeah. Right.

Pardon me for being blunt, but if you’re someone who actually thinks your kid is going to become a brainiac from watching videos of funny puppets, drooling babies, and flying toys, well, then you’re clearly no Einstein yourself.

Just sayin’.

For those not in the know, I’m talking about the refund offered by Disney for the Baby Einstein videos. That’s right. Disney will refund your money if you’re not happy with the product or, in other words, your kid is not any “smarter” from watching their DVD’s.  Baby Einstein is calling it the “DVD Upgrade/Moneyback Guarantee” and they will refund up to 4 Baby Einstein DVD’s purchased between June 5, 2004 and September 4, 2009. The offer is good through March 4, 2010.

I have at least 4 of those DVD’s and I will not be returning any of them.

My kid just turned two years old and he no longer watches Baby Einstein, but he used to watch it a few times a week (among other videos) starting from around 8 months. Despite the fact that those videos drove me crazy, we watched them because my kid loved them. Why wouldn’t he? Crazy graphics, flying objects, catchy music, cute drooling babies, talking puppets…it might make you want to hurl something at the TV but it’s very fun for little ones, to say the least. But is it also educational? Will it make him grow up to cure cancer or create world peace? Is he a future Doogie Howser or Bill Gates? Highly unlikely. Should he actually grow up to be a genius, (which is *ahem* very likely), I doubt I’ll be framing those Baby Einstein DVD’s right next to his Nobel Peace Prize and diplomas from Harvard. But, in all seriousness, here’s what I really value from Baby Einstein and other baby/toddler-oriented videos – they are pure entertainment. (continues…)

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Where’s the remote?


If you’re a parent, then you already know about the one thing that is universal among all infants and toddlers:

The remote control obsession.

Just like phones, the remote control is fascinating to small children. Perhaps the fascination only applies to American children as some prelude to countless hours of future TV watching. Whatever it is, I don’t know one kid that doesn’t want to start flipping through the channels practically straight from the womb.

When my then-infant started fighting me over the remote (hello, Real Housewives is on…sorry that it conflicts with Yo Yo Gabba) I knew that I needed a plan. I had seen giant remote controls in stores before, but always laughed them off as a genius idea for people with vision problems or a gag gift. I quickly realized that they’re even more brilliant than that. Giant remote controls are one of the best toys for small children.

Now, I know what you might be thinking: Um, don’t you prefer wooden, BPA-free, and all-together non-toxic toys?

Yes. However, enjoyable TV watching without fighting a child over the remote control calls for an exception. Two things to remember: don’t put batteries in the damn thing and make sure the kid doesn’t chew on it. Problem solved.

Back to your regularly scheduled program…

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