One of the best parts of my vacation was spending time with my (almost) three-year-old niece, whose favorite TV show is Dora the Explorer. Anything can be fun when done with an (almost) three-year-old, but unfortunately, DtE isn’t one of those kids shows that’s made for adults to enjoy as well. In order to sit through it, you pretty much have to be a toddler or really, really dumb. Like Blue’s Clues, which could spend thirty minutes explaining how to find two socks that match, it’s educational programming for the severely uneducated, although as Drew noted, it would have a bit more educational credibility if its title actually rhymed.

Still, the cool thing about Dora is that she’s bilingual and, like most kids her age, she doesn’t always know the difference between English and Spanish words, so she uses them interchangeably and will sometimes mix them up within a single sentence.

Dora appears to be Latina, so her command of Spanish didn’t surprise me. What I didn’t expect was that my niece would be able to comprehend as much as she did. At one point, Dora asked the home viewers “Donde esta the bridge?” (In addition to needing constant help from the audience, Dora appears to be blind as well, as the bridge was no more than three feet away from her.) But to my amazement, my tiny niece with her still-developing brain extended a finger toward the cartoon bridge in the corner of the screen to provide Dora some assistance.

It was a revelatory moment for me. Suddenly, I’d found a new way to exploit her cuteness for my own amusement.

“Donde esta the bridge?” I repeated. And she pointed again. Awwwwww…

So I started looking around the room. “Donde esta Mommy?” Point.

“Donde esta the piano?” Point.

“Donde esta Chicken Dance Elmo?” Point.

“Donde esta your little sister?”

“Donde esta Uncle Jerry’s suitcase?”

“Donde esta the remote?”

You’ll notice that she stopped pointing halfway through. By then she was just staring at me blankly, wondering why I needed every single thing in the room pointed out to me. Suddenly, I was the uneducated one, and she didn’t find it cute, just sad and confusing. So I stopped, and we went back to helping Dora find the damn bridge so she could go across it and pick one-two-three-four-five… five flowers on the other side.

“Seriously, donde esta the remote?”

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