My theory on Dora the Explorer

3 Jan

I have watched a lot of Nick Jr. in my adulthood.  Maybe too much.  Case in point – I’ve been watching Blue’s Clues for 15 years (but just the Steve version, no one really ever cared for Joe, not even Maura.)

While I love Steve and Blue and their crazy cast of characters, there were other Nick Jr. shows that made me want to take an ice pick to my ear.  Like Dora.  Dora the Explorer, with her “Say it LOUDER” and the stupid repetitive songs that someone actually got paid to write (think about it – someone got paid to write “I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the MAP!” – nauseating, isn’t it?)  But I put up with it because it did guarantee me 22 minutes of peace, and then Maura actually did start answering Dora’s questions, so I was stuck.

For years, I’d watch her and her monkey traipse about jungles, managing to avoid the anacondas that might eat a small girl and her monkey, or quicksand that would muffle her very loud voice as it swallowed her whole.  At one point, I decided that even Dora’s own mother couldn’t stand her – why else would she allow her young daughter to go into the jungle full of danger?

But one day, while discussing Dora with a group of other special needs parents, the truth became clear to all of us.  Dora was a special needs child!  All the clues were there, if you only knew where to look.

Her giant head?  Caused by hydrocephalus.

The reason she talks loudly?  Why, she has a hearing problem of course, maybe even a speech problem where she can’t control the volume of her voice.

The fact that she can’t remember what Map just told her three time?  Classic ADHD.

Boots the Monkey?  Is her service animal, to help guide her.

The bracelet she wears?  Why, it’s a medical alert bracelet of course!

So next time you’re watching Dora, don’t be too harsh on her.  She’s a special girl who can’t help being the way she is 😉

Dedicated to my sweet friend Claudia, who upon hearing my theory, insisted I share it with the world!


35 Responses to “My theory on Dora the Explorer”

  1. Autism Daddy January 3, 2012 at 11:01 am #


  2. Teresa (Embracing the Spectrum) January 3, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Very interesting. Sent by ^above.

  3. Alzbeta January 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    I kind of love it :).

  4. Mara January 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Just came across your blog. You are hilarious, love it!!!

  5. katrina January 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Love that theory….have never actually seen/read?? Dora the Explorer but have a vague understanding of who she is….but now I have an urge to learn more lol

  6. Not a Perfect Mom January 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    I love this!

  7. fionajill January 5, 2012 at 2:53 am #

    Hmm I dunno.. I have special needs kids and no way are they as annoying as Dora.

    • phoebz4 January 5, 2012 at 5:08 am #

      You make a very valid point there – my special needs child isn’t as annoying as Dora either (though she can be as loud! lol!)

  8. Maddox January 5, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Wow!!!!!!!! I never even thought about it but you do have a point.

  9. Cherisa January 5, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    I never quiet thought of it that way. And only a Mother that has been forced to watch that MUCH catooning would understand,( like myself). My son is 11 and CAN NOT get enough of Caillou on PBS.. I would LOVE to know what your point of view is on that one–LOL. Because you can only hear the words “I’m just a boy that’s four eachday I grow some more I enjoy learning I’m Caillou” Even the other day my daughter who is 13 said he has been 4 since I was 2.. Made me laugh.. Thank you for sharing the story it made my day:O) HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!

    • phoebz4 January 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

      I’ve avoided Caillou like the plague. Too much whining! LOL!

  10. anythingbutali January 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Thank you! I only watch the episodes of Blues Clues with Steve!!

  11. lifelibertyeducation January 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    I am sitting in the GPs office barely able to breath laughing my ass off. Thanks, I needed that!

  12. Em January 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    How funny! I love your theory about Dora!

  13. Jessica January 5, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    My husband and I are hysterical over here! Tears in my eyes…from laughing so hard!

  14. Elizabeth January 6, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Just a side note: Steve left the show to follow his music career, in collaboration with The Flaming Lips, which resulted in the critically acclaimed album “Songs for Dustmites”. Wait…you haven’t heard of it? 😉 (I probably shouldn’t share the fact that I OWNED the cd and someone STOLE it from my hotel room).

    • phoebz4 January 6, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      why yes, I did know a bit about Steve’s musical career – lol! But you trump me for having owned the cd!

      • Elizabeth January 6, 2012 at 10:52 am #

        LOL I’m amazed you even know about it! A lot of people actually thought he left for “college” HAHA! Reading this post, however, made me realize how much I miss the CD, so I just bought it from Amazon! It’s not the best music out there, but it’s quirky, and I like quirky!

  15. mommy-rytar January 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Another one that baffles me to this day is Max and Ruby. Why is it that they are always left to fend for themselves? Sure Grandma comes by from time to time but the fact that Ruby is left to deal with her mischievias little brother for days on end just escapes me. Clearly Max suffers from perhaps ADHD and lacks the ability to form multiple word sentences. Maybe it’s about learning acceptance and that not all families are created the same; some kids have parents and others have a big sister:)

    • phoebz4 January 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

      Oh, I’ve blocked out Max and Ruby. Ruby and her power trips. Max, with that evil little gleam of no good in his eye. Though half the time, I’m rooting for Max, lol! I don’t think Max is ADHD – he’s very focused. But he does have a speech delay…probably because Ruby won’t let him get a word in edgewise.

      Yep. I’ve watched too much Nick Jr.

    • Arabelle October 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

      Max has autisum. Not ADHD. Autisum is a little like adhd. Where your distracted, But yet you rarely speak.

  16. Kelly January 6, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    I laughed hysterically reading your post about Dora and subsequently these comments about Caillou, and Max and Ruby as well. My 3 year old is addicted to all three of those along with Curious George. Yes, Calliou is too whiny. And why is he bald?

  17. Jerrica January 6, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    I love it Phobe!!! My husband said I was giggling like a school girl.

  18. Amanda January 7, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    My severely autistic daughter has latched on to Dora for some reason, and has learned so much! She’s 5 and has maybe 20 words and phrases in her vocabulary, but quite a few of them she has learned from watching Dora! She even attempts a Spanish words and tells us “bomino” (vamonos) when she wants us to come on and do something. My daughter, who can’t even say her own name or string together a sentence can now say, “Thanks for helping” because she picked it up from Dora. It may not be the most clever show, but it’s made positive changes for us!

    • phoebz4 January 7, 2012 at 6:57 am #

      Maura learned how to count to ten in Spanish because of Dora, lol! It was the funniest thing, especially as she couldn’t count to 10 in English. She learned this while doing AVB therapy, where she got to pick out a video to watch a couple minutes of the program here and there…since the therapy center was inadvertently geared to boys, it was 10,000 Thomas the Tank Engine videos and two Dora videos. So Maura kept choosing Dora, usually the same one, and learned how to count to 10 in Spanish.

      Which is why I put up with Dora for so long, lol!

  19. parkgang January 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Watching my two and half old grand-daughter while her mom is at work, I have learned to love Barney, Dora and Blue’s Clues. I watch them and will interact as much as I can with the program, this Christmas she lock into the Polar Express which I must have wore a hole in that DVD, she now sings all the songs and entertains any one who will stop, even in the middle of a store. I will miss these days she is my eighth grandchild and I got a feeling that will be it for a while in the grand baby department, Thank You for your post, I think I follow your blogs for a while ,I hope you don’t mind an old pop-pop reading your material. I believe your Maura is very blessed to have you as a Mom and I wish only the best

  20. Siobhan Wolf January 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    OMG, I don’t know why I never saw this before. Thank you for pointing it out! I will surely have much more tolerance with Dora than ever before. (My kiddos have outgrown her, but my friend’s granddaughter hasn’t so…) Love it!

  21. gryphonboy January 8, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    I am ashamed to admit it, but I have called Dora ‘retarded’ in the perjurative sense. I am not proud of this fact.

  22. agilitynut January 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    that’s just funny. 🙂 Dora was a fave around my place for a while too…and the songs kinda got to me after a while as well…

  23. Heather Collins January 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    This made me chuckle a little bit. I am so glad my 5 year old boy is starting to grow out of the Dora phase. Never thought of her this way…but can totally see it that way now. 🙂

  24. ntouch2cher January 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    That makes total sense!!

  25. Marci January 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    AWESOME. I read this while watching the little girl herself. My 3 boys are addicted to her and Diego and have learned many words from her due to the CONSTANT repetitive nature of the show. Your theory makes TOTAL sense to me.

  26. Jackie Brown (@_Jackie_Brown_) January 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    That is truly a great and amazingly smart theory! I never noticed all those signs and from now on I will watch Dora with my toddler with out hesitation or irritation 🙂

  27. NyNy February 1, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Omg this made me laugh! Haha XD


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    […] You’re tired and maybe a bit socially awkward, and definitely hopped up on the caffeine of your choice. You’re not quite fit for human consumption, and you toy between realizing you’re in desperate need of getting out into more normal company and knowing you probably shouldn’t be allowed in polite company because you might talk about poop or your theory about Dora the Explorer. […]

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