Before I had kids Elmo scared the crap out of me. I realize this fear may strike you as irrational – and I will admit it is largely rooted in a traumatic experience I once had with an Elmo doll – but it isn’t totally out of left field. Take a look at Elmo… I mean really look… then tell me his fiery coat of devil’s fur and dead, beady eyes aren’t scary. Lucky for me Madeline never showed much interest in Elmo. Unfortunately, things are different this time around. Elmo-fever has infiltrated the Spohr household.

The weird thing about Annie’s sudden interest in Elmo is that we don’t even know where the heck it came from. We hadn’t bought Annie an Elmo doll or showed her any Elmo videos. Elmo, largely because of my dislike of him, was a persona non grata around these parts.  Despite this, a few weeks ago Annie started to yell “Elmo!” (actually, it sounds more like “Elbow!”) whenever she sees the creepy red critter.

It doesn’t matter if she sees him on television or a box of baby food at the store, her reaction is always to point and cry out, “Elmo!”

Annie even noticed there is a drawing of Elmo on the front of her diapers, and now points between her legs and enthusiastically cries out “Elmo!” This, as you can imagine, makes doctor’s appointments very awkward.

After a couple weeks of this Heather and I threw up our hands and gave in to Annie’s Elmo fixation. We bought her an Elmo doll to cuddle with, and even played her “Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland” on Netflix once or twice (or few hundred times).

Annie and "elbow"

And you know what? Seeing Annie’s face light up at the sight of Elmo has changed my opinion of the little guy. I might even go so far as to say that he’s kind of cute, you know, when he’s not looking fiendishly evil.