Moms Talk Q&A: Does Caillou The Cartoon Have Alopecia?
Sometimes parents watch a lot of cartoons because of their kids - and a lot of the time leave episodes asking deeper questions than their child.
Illness and the recent rash of rain joined forces to prompt a spike in television-watching in our house last week. Which is to say we watched somewhere between one and 17 hours a day.
He of the double ear infections controlled much of the programming.
Which is to say I’ve put out a contract on Caillou’s head. (The show narrator is next—just as soon as Whitey Bulger is free.)
And speaking of Caillou’s head, while watching my 84th episode in four days, I was seized with a burning need to know, once and for all, why that Canadian 4-year-old is bald.
Does he have alopecia? Progenia? Cancer? A particularly persistent strain of lice?
I’m pretty sure none of the above has been addressed in any storyline. Yet his younger sister, the 2-year-old Rosie, has quite the luxurious head of hair.
Determined to get to the bottom of it, I took to the library. Which is to say: Google.
Per usual, it did not disappoint.
No, the word “caillou” is not French for “baldy” (despite much online insistence to that effect). In fact, it means “pebble” or “stone” (there’s a joke in there somewhere).
His smooth skull situation is instead the result of Caillou having been based on a much younger child who was the protagonist of a series of children’s books that inspired the television show.
To keep the look of the popular character consistent, the creators made him bald as a baby. Insists a PBS spokesperson on the networks website: “The fact that he is bald does not seem to bother preschoolers in the least.”
Well, it bothers their parents. This is a recurring topic of conversation and consternation among parents I know. (And, yes, I realize there’s a joke in there, too.)
Right along with: Where are Max and Ruby’s parents? And what is up with the Man in the Yellow Hat and yellow (and, for Pete’s sake, is he dating Professor Wiseman, or not)? And why can Goofy talk, but Pluto can’t? And what about the pants less Donald Duck—who nonetheless wraps a towel around his waist after showering? WHAT IS THE DEAL?