While general media knowledge has plunged, there are also some areas that I never did follow for demographic reasons. One of those is the burgeoning entertainment industry for kids. I know that starting from quite a few years ago, children's animation in the US went through some sort of a revival with all sorts of shows coming to the forefront which could be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike. I figure that they must be a lot like Tiny Toons or Animaniacs, which I wanted when I was younger. There has also been an explosion in the amount of programming geared toward younger children. I've at least heard of Blue's Clues and Dora the Explorer, but I was completely unaware of Nihao Kai-lan until Maddie came along.
Nihao Kailan is a cartoon on Nick Jr and is most easily described as the Chinese version of Dora. It not only teaches little kids the power of sharing, caring, and the benefits of having animal friends who can talk, it also teaches Chinese. It's probably not a surprise that Maddie absolutely loves the show, especially since she already knows quite a few of the Chinese words they're using after all. I've personally only watched around 10 minutes of the show in total and it's my personal opinion Kai-lan probably has a case of undiagnosed ADHD and should probably be medicated. What do I know though? I'm hardly the target audience.
Anyway, despite the fact that Maddie absolutely loves Nihao Kai-lan, Connie and Jeff haven't bought her much paraphernalia. I wrongly assumed their house would be filled with ridiculous amounts of Kai-lan merchandising and only asked about it because I was thinking of picking up Maddie a Kai-lan backpack for when she starts preschool and wanted to make sure she didn't already have one. Connie's reasoning is that kids' tastes change so unpredictably that it's pointless to buy her anything that's themed when she could end up losing interest the next week or month or year. That seems like a pretty cold and calculating train of thought, even for me, and so I decided to buck the trend.
Since we'll be going down to Disney World in another month or so, I found something online I think Maddie will really like.
Spiffy eh? This way she'll have her own little rolly suitcase just like all of the adults and it looks pretty cute to boot. It's small enough for her to handle with the case itself only 14" long and I figure she can pack a couple items like cookies or whatever she wants in it.
The item should be arriving in a few days and I'm looking forward to it. I figure that as long as the quality isn't ridiculously poor, this might be one of the better things I've ever spent <$40 on.