You know I love you, Internet. I do. But you’ve let me down. Your who-knows-how-many witty blog posts about the awfulness of Caillou, both the show and the boy himself, biased me against the little bald fellow. Some of you out there have violent, angry hatred for him.
I shouldn’t have paid attention to you.
My children had never requested Caillou, and I thought that if the show was so terrible, I had lucked out. But one day, as we scrolled through Netflix, they asked to watch it. I hesitated, but I clicked on that bulbous bald head, and that’s how we all got introduced to Caillou and his happy little Canadian family.
There is only one season of the show on Netflix, and I haven’t seen every episode, (because good lord, why would I do that?) but I really don’t get where all the fiery hatred is coming from. I mean, it’s not my favorite of the shows my children watch. That honor goes to the classic Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. But Caillou is fine. We need to cut the guy some slack. Here’s why:
1. Caillou’s Mom
Caillou’s mom seems like a pretty regular mom, with a pretty regular muffin top. She hides it well, underneath an absurd, fluffy-collared, Dr.Seuss-looking sweater-thing, but it’s there. Ain’t no shame in a muffin top, Caillou’s Mom. I’ve seen you do yoga. You eat vegetables. You’re doing great. It’s kind of weird that you and your husband have the exact same hairstyle, but if that’s what you’re into, then you two just do your thing.
I’m not entirely sure what Caillou’s mom does, but I’ve seen her working at the kitchen table with her laptop, so I suspect she’s a writer. Rock on, sister. Let me know if you snag a fantastic agent.
2. The Cast’s Wardrobe
While good style certainly adds spice to life, life would be a whole lot easier if we all just had a uniform to put on every day. Caillou and his various associates have embraced this idea.
Caillou wears the same, serial-killer-esque, buttoned-all-the-way-to-the-top polo, paired with red shoes of indeterminate, Pilgrim-y style, every day. It wouldn’t be my choice for my child’s go-to outfit, but the point is that it’s simple.
His mom wears the aforementioned thneed, and his dad wears an uber-dorky kelly green sweatshirt.
His preschool teacher wears a jumpsuit with about 57 pockets.
My favorite characters in the wardrobe department though, are two of Caillou’s classmates. I think their names are Leo and Xavier, but I get them mixed up. I get them mixed up because they both wear overalls that are basically the pants from the Ants in the Pants game:
Just put your legs in a bucket! Getting dressed has never been easier!
3. The Octogenarian Narrator
I’ll admit that it took me a while to warm up to ol’ Granny narrating the show. But I like it now. It’s like a beloved elderly librarian is reading me a story. And letting me eat cookies. It’s kind of peaceful, you know?
4. Caillou Hates Onions
He’s a smart little guy. Onions, unless fully carmelized or deep-fried in rings, are not food. In fact, I think they might be poisonous.
5. The Prevalence of Pizza
There are at least a half dozen episodes that have something to do with pizza. I have no idea why, but mmm, pizza.
6. Caillou’s Incredibly Squeaky Voice
I get why some parents find Caillou’s voice annoying. But the thing is that my two-year-old has the squeakiest, most high-pitched voice I think I’ve ever heard in a human being. She’s not always whining (although sometimes she definitely is); it’s just her voice. So it’s reassuring to me that she’s not the only one.
7. Caillou’s Relationship with His Little Sister
Caillou is four. So are my twins. His little sister is two. So is my youngest daughter. He has a fairly realistic relationship with his little sister Rosie, and sometimes he’s really sweet and helpful with her. I think it’s nice.
8. The Poor Kid’s Name is Caillou
Life is going to be difficult enough for a hairless, ginormous-headed child with the name “Caillou,” which is apparently French for “smooth little pebble” or something. Like, you could say, “What’s all that stuff in your pocket, mon ami?” And your friend could answer, “Oh, it’s just a bunch of caillous. I keep a collection of caillous in a jar on my nightstand.” And that’s the poor child’s name.
So let’s give him a break. He is only four, after all.