My children recently discovered Diego, the spinoff cartoon to Dora The Explorer.
While Dora makes me want to bash my head into the closest brick wall, Diego is less painful. The music is better, the pacing is faster, and the voices are less whiney. I suspect that once the studio made mucho dinero off Dora, they could afford decent writers and musicians for Diego.
Kiddo#3 says, “Why does Diego rescue animals?”
I said, “It’s his schtick.”
Commence explanations of what exactly is a schtick. I couldn’t come up with anything better than “that thing someone always does.” Which means my response translates, in all its brilliance, to “Diego rescues animals because he rescues animals.” This is why I went to college.
Kiddo#3 has taken to wearing his backpack everywhere. He calls it Rescue Pack, after the backpack Diego wears.
There was an episode with dinosaurs in which Dora and Diego appeared together. When Dora does her schtick, it’s slow. paced. like. usual. When Diego is featured, it’s faster.
We all watched it together, and the kids had a great time. When The Map showed up, Kiddo#2 exclaimed, “Oh, he’s a whiiiiiiiiiner!” I said, “Whiner McWhineypants,” and she cracked up laughing. Now she says Whiner McWhineypants all the time.
At dinner afterward, Kiddo#1 said, in a Diego-voice, “Rescue Pack? Are you okay?” And then, in a more somber voice than he usually uses, he answered, “Well, Diego, I’m fine, but are YOU okay? You’re talking to a backpack.”
All the kids busted up laughing. Me too. Kiddo#1 continued, “You might want to check yourself into a hospital or something…”
I said, “But Rescue Pack,” using a voice like Kiddo#1’s Diego-voice, “you’re answering me, so there’s got to be something to this!”
Kiddo#1 said, “It’s just not normal to talk to your luggage.”
At which point Kiddo#3 stopped laughing and started screaming because that’s Rescue Pack you’re talking about!
“Shut your mouth!”
“I was only talking about Rescue Pack!”
“We can dig it!”
Go, Diego! Go! And take Dora with you.