The Trouble With Curious George

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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23 Responses

  1. Doctor Jay says:

    I have two children. Both are grown now. The younger one had very delayed speech, following her father. I am quite articulate now.

    She was very good at the “point and grunt” method. She would point and grunt, and her sister would say, “XY wants a cookie”. XY would nod in agreement – because she understood language just fine, she just didn’t want to talk.

    At some point, the older sister decided to take a little advantage. “XY wants a cookie, and she wants me to have a cookie, too”. Younger sister looks surprised a moment, then nods.

    Anyway, she is very articulate now. I wouldn’t get overly concerned. Let her get a little frustrated with you for not understanding “Curious George” speak, and help her learn to soothe herself from these frustrations, because that’s a valuable skill. I wish I’d done more like that when mine were little.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      Doctor Jay makes a great point with regards to her frustration. It is a fine line though. If you sense that her being unable to be understood is a “can’t” thing on her part, you certainly don’t want to hold her accountable for it. If it is a “won’t” thing, than, yes, hold her accountable. “Oh, I don’t know what you mean when you say that. I’ll be happy to help you when you can explain it more clearly.” The trouble is figuring out which is which. Given how much time you spend with her and how tuned in you are, I imagine you have her pretty well figured out.Report

  2. Glyph says:

    Agreed on the problems with the books and the superiority of the show (which is also quite nicely-animated, and the various movies and specials have catchy songs too). But you didn’t touch on the biggest problem of all – no-tailed George is clearly a chimp or ape of some kind, not a monkey.

    (This was actually a running gag in a sort-of-parody children’s book called Furious George.)

    RE: Chuy and his taco debacle – there is an AVClub commenter named ‘Chalupacabra’, which I find hilarious.Report

  3. North says:

    Am I the only one who thinks monkeys make the sound ook-ook-ook?
    The Librarian of the Unseen University would like a word.Report

  4. nevermoor says:

    I can confirm CG is the crack cocaine of our daughter’s life. Highly addictive, the solution to all three-year-old meltdowns, and therefore hard to keep from abusing.Report

  5. Kazzy says:

    Mayo was speech delayed AND love Curious George AND was very perceptive. He quickly adopted George’s “language”, especially the tonal nature of it. It took me a while to figure out where he was getting it from but it definitely happened. I don’t know if this exacerbated his delays or gave him some early forays into verbal communication but it was indeed a “thing”.

    Thankfully, speech therapy provided through early intervention (your tax dollars at work!) has been hugely beneficial and he has moved on to watching mostly sports. Not sports movies. Live sports. And high light shows. BEST KID EVER!Report

  6. Tod Kelly says:

    I knew that if I just waiting long enough, I would eventually find a good reason to link to this.Report

  7. Chris says:

    My son didn’t watch much Curious George, if any (though we did read the books), but he did adopt the grunting you describe. He was very speech delayed, and I suppose he just learned that grunting and pointing got and oriented adults’ attention. I imaging George can reinforce the behavior, though.Report

  8. LeeEsq says:

    Curious George was created by refugees from Nazi Germany. Therefore, it is good.Report

  9. dhex says:

    curious george is a complete a-hole and the only lesson is “so long as everything ends up ok, it doesn’t matter how much strife this numbnut monkey or his negligent jackass handler cause”.

    octonauts is where it’s at.Report

  10. The problem with the TV shows is that, of course, George can’t speak. Nonetheless, he is able to communicate with ooh-ooh-ahh-ahh and gestures.

    What’s that, George? Timmy fell down a well?Report

  11. Richard Hershberger says:

    If you think the later books are problematic, take a look at the original, in which George is captured in the wild and shipped off to a zoo.

    Oh, and the others are right about the speech thing. Different kids develop different skills at different rates. One might have excellent speech skills, but terrible motor skills. Another will be the other way around. Mine did well in those respects, but I was starting to worry if they would be potty trained when they went to college. But it all evens out in the long run. This is, of course, for kids with no outre developmental issues. If you think that might be an issue, then this is needs to be treated as a specialized medical question.Report