I’m Kally - long time watcher, first time caller. I have been following you and your explorations for nearly 6 years now, starting from way back when 8 was a toddler leading up to the frenzy of today when 2 holds the remote control in her grubby hand and chants your name until that catchy music starts and the adventures begin.
I have rented your DVDs, sung your songs, and used your show as a bribe countless times. I consider you a friend. Not a best friend – I would never dare to compete with Boots the Monkey. He is one loyal primate. But I like to think that we are friends in the sense that your existence allows me 24 minutes to make dinner. That’s 24 blissful minutes where 2 is so mesmerized that she forgets that we were in the middle of playing a year-long game of tug-on-mommy-and-ask-for-snacks. (Incidentally, Dora, perhaps you need a similar trick to get Boots to leave you alone for a few minutes. Sure loyalty is great, but there must be a time when you just want to whack that smiley simian with your equally smiley backpack. I won’t make you say it, but just know that we out here in the real world understand. If you need a women-who-love-monkeys-but-need-a-break support group, just ask Map; he always knows which way to go.)
But our friendship is not a one way street, Dora. In exchange for this 24 minutes of freedom I support you by buying a number of things which bear your football-shaped face.
I am actually thrilled to be buying Dora products. Strangely enough, your decidedly unisex show spins off some awfully pink and purple accessories. How my sons wanted the pink-ruffled Dora underwear and the purple Dora T-shirts. It’s hard to explain to small children that while of course they are allowed to have Dora crocs/backpacks/undergarments, they will likely be teased for being girly. Oh sweet, naïve Dora… Swiper the Fox is no match for the cruelty of the 3-year-old boy who subscribes to gender stereotypes.
But now that I have a daughter you and I help each other out. You give me time and I give you money. You scratch my backpack, I scratch yours.
And, as a friend and customer, I have been thinking that there might be a few more things you can do for me.
I would like your show to be longer. If I can whip up dinner in 24 minutes do you know what I could do in 32? Laundry! Make lunches! Start an ostrich farm! The possibilities are endless. Work your magic, Chica! Make it happen.
And on the subject of dinner, has it occurred to your marketing team to get your face on a bag of salad? My daughter made the Dora band-aids disappear in about 9 seconds (it was legit – she actually had a boo-boo on her toe. And her sock. And on the socks she wasn’t wearing). I would absolutely pay three times as much for Dora salad if it meant she would eat it.
Also, I would like you to lower your voice by about ¼ of an octave. The particular pitch and enthusiasm with which you speak is kind of irritating (not to me, sweetie, to the ostriches!). Just take it down a notch or quatro. You know, mas tranquilo.
And in that vein, I would like you to expand the selection of Spanish phrases you teach to my children. They have mastered alto and bajo. They can count to diez and greet people with a chipper ¡Hola! (It took me a really long time to figure out how to type the upside-down exclamation point. Please take a moment to appreciate my efforts.) But somehow they lack the words to express complex thoughts such as ‘oh, I see you are a bit frazzled from the ongoing demands of preparing children for bedtime. I am going to skip the meltdown over the fact that my pajamas have polka dots and not stripes. Can I please have some more of that Dora salad?’
Teach them that, Dora, and I will make sure you never have to worry about Swiper again. Seriously, I will knock that sneaky fox somewhere where even map won’t find him…
I have lots more to discuss with you Dora (Why do your parents let you wander about unsupervised? Why have you so few human friends? Why do you so rarely change your clothes?). But the ‘we did it’ song is starting to play signifying the end of my allotted 24 minutes. So I will leave you with a grateful ¡adios!