Every once in awhile some really strange happens that catches me off guard. My daughter who I’ve mentioned previously is autistic. She doesn’t talk much, but this is getting a lot better. I suddenly noticed her saying phrases that weren’t English and of all things sounded Dutch. It turns out that she was indeed speaking Dutch. How did this happen? I can blame it all on Sesame Street.
Sesame Street is shown all around the world in just about every country if not every country. Add to this an iPad and YouTube and there is where it all started. She’s going to be 5 at the end of the month and took to the iPad quicker than a pair of senior citizens I was hired to teach them how to use one. Since she loves Sesame Street and understand how YouTube works she finds lots of videos to watch. the odd part is that when she selects a video it shows suggested videos to watch. She watches a bit in English and there might be a suggested version of it in Spanish or Dutch as the case may be.
I don’t mind her speaking Spanish because, well that is a language I can at least understand. Dutch is one of those languages that I don’t even know how to say anything that would get my face slapped in [there are 12 other languages that I know how to get my face slapped in, but that’s another story.]
I understand how a young child’s mind is very malleable and it is very easy for them to learn new languages. I get a kick when she walks in the room and says hola or wants me to do something and says vuelve conmigo. That I can understand, but when she starts singing the Teletubbies theme in Dutch it becomes a little creepy. She even gets the lispy S at the end of teletubbiesh.
Since she has creeped me out quite a bit with this I felt it only fitting to torment my beloved readers with the Teletubbies intro in Dutch. Enjoy and be horrified.
I have from an early age had an ear for voices. I could listen to many voices and then imitate them. When our daughter was born she like many kids loved Sesame Street and I started to pick up a few of the voices. Cookie Monster was my first that I got pretty well, but Elmo, Ernie and Grover are my best. Kermit, I mastered years ago and usually used that voice with rather inappropriate phrases that Kermit or the FCC wouldn’t allow.
Now having a daughter who is autistic you have to find a few ways to motivate her that are different than other kids. She has a hard time getting up in the mornings because she goes to sleep at 7:30pm and is out like a log until 7am. We are blessed in many ways by this.
When we go up in the morning and put on her music that’s one way to get her attention, but if daddy suddenly starts singing along in the same voice she immediately starts to get up and jump around. Sometimes my wife will yell down to me that our daughter needs XXX insert the Sesame Street character of your choice that I can imitate. I get kind of a chuckle out of this and come up and start singing.
Now, thankfully, I don’t look like any of the muppets and the funny part was when I saw the guy who does the voice of Elmo. He’s a big old hulk of a black man. You wouldn’t expect the Elmo voice to come out of his mouth and when he did the voice it was just so weird it was really funny. I did have a chance back in the 70’s when I was working at the California Academy of Sciences during a Laserium show, were pretty much everyone was on some form of illegal substance, to introduce the show using an Animal puppet from Dr. Teeth and the Electric Band. In case you forget Animal was the drummer. I got some good laughs from that one.
I already do voiceover work so maybe doing character voices for cartoons might be an option for me. I’ll have to check that out this year, but for right now, singing rubber ducky or Elmo’s song for daughter gives me enough of a treat.