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Posts Tagged ‘Caillou’

This week I was introduced to a Canadian Toddler, Caillou (pronounced kye-you), via a board book – Caillou Bad Dreams. Caillou does not have hair and Chouette Publishing says:

Caillou stands for all children. He doesn’t have curly blond hair, a carrot-top, brown hair, glasses, or ethnic features, because he represents all children. We wanted to make Caillou universal so every child could identify with him. And they do! Caillou’s baldness may make him different, but we hope it’s helping children understand that being different isn’t just okay, it’s normal.

In this book, Caillou wakes up scared and crying one night because he has a bad dream. He calls for his mother who rushes to comfort him. She cuddles and rocks Caillou and when he is feeling better, she tucks him in and returns to her bed. After this episode, Caillou wakes up every night and his mommy rocks him to sleep every time he wakes up crying. Except when one night, daddy comes. Daddy, however, does not rock Caillou like mommy does. Instead, he asks Caillou to rock his tired teddy bear to sleep and goes back to his own bed. Caillou cries a bit , but soon feels comforted by teddy’s cozy hug that reminds him of mommy. He soon feels better and falls asleep. The assumption is that he stops having bad dreams.

Mommy is sweet, but daddy is smart, isn’t he? An adult version of Caillou, might look into how mommy and daddy react when they hear their son calling out for them (or for mommy) in the middle of the night.

But tonight, mommy was very tired. She hadn’t slept for four nights in a row. She looked at daddy sleeping beside her, shook him gently and said, “Maybe you should try comforting him today. I had a long day at work. I am really tired.” Daddy was tired too. He said, “But Caillou asked for his mommy.” Nevertheless, he got up and shuffled slowly next door.

Or maybe Caillou’s mother was angrier and grumpier. Or maybe not.

This time, Caillou’s daddy jumped out of the bed. “Wait”, he said to mommy who was getting ready to go comfort Caillou. “Today, I’ll handle it”. “But”, mommy said, “he asked for me.”. “He is getting into this habit and knows you will go to him every night if he cries for you. You didn’t let me go yesterday, but today I’m going to take care of this.” Daddy took determined steps towards Caillou’s room.

My 2 year old loves Caillou Bad Dreams. But no amount of coaxing can make him sleep in his own bed with teddy. Maybe it’s time daddy worked his magic.

Update: Caillou has been quite a happy discovery for me and my son. He has enjoyed watching Caillou take a road trip, pick strawberries and apples, and celebrate his birthday. I am still not sure I understand his baldness though, because everyone else in his family is white and has a mop of red-brown hair, so his ethnicity is quite obvious.

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