As I wrote many times before we are not watching much TV here. But occasionally Anna gets to see recorded Diego or Dora. Why does she watch them and not anything else? Well, I happen to like the theme of capable children in the nature and the fact that they speak two languages. I can see that the shows are very repetitive and cheaply produced, but my toddler thrives on knowing what to expect. Anna is very sensitive to conflict and misbehavior, and even Swiper is a little scary to her, but she really enjoys the parts of the story when Dora and Diego ask audience questions. She is jumping up an down on the couch and shouts the answers at the top of her voice. Somehow watching TV always encourages more pretend play than reading books despite my attempts to stretch the books into pretend play and other activities. After watching a particularly inane episode of Dora that involved catching Dora’s twin siblings who were trapped in runaway stroller (imagine that!), Anna wanted to go for a walk and proceeded to run around the block for about 30 minutes pretending to be Dora. The neighborhood houses became farms, the bushes became animals and the rocks were used to “feed the animals”. She also insisted on “crawling under the branches” like Diego did in the episode – that’s what she is doing in this picture. We also replayed all the Spanish phrases from the episode in Russian. Heck, if children can supposedly learn some Spanish from Dora and Diego, surely Anna can learn some Russian this way too. I am still waiting for her to repeat any Russian word or phrase except babushka and dedushka (grandma and grandpa), but I hope that our visit to New Jersey will move things along.