Alert to all parents: Do not try to come between a toddler and his "Sesame Street" needs.
That's what TODAY's Dylan Dreyer learned recently, in any case. When presented with the choice of seeing a particular furry muppet or his own mother on TV, Calvin, 1, had no problem stating his preference.
In an Instagram video posted by Dylan's husband Brian Fichera Monday, we see little Calvin at home, sitting on the sofa with his milk bottle. What's on TV? Mommy, doing her job in the Orange Room on TODAY.
But he's not entirely happy about it.
"What do you want to watch?" Brian asks off-camera.
Instantly, Calvin replies, "Elmo!"
Dylan was clearly downcast by how easily her son's loyalties were taken. "Beaten out by Elmo!" she sighed on the show Tuesday. "And I didn't get to see him all day Monday so I thought he'd be happy to see me on TV."
"The video that breaks my heart," she added.
Maybe Calvin doesn't quite understand that it's Mommy on TV. Certainly his parents have tried to introduce him to the behind-the-scenes nature of the show, once bringing him on for the weather forecast and another time assuring him mommy will be safe during hurricane coverage.
But it seems like toddlers don't always get that people don't live in the TV, as Al Roker noted.
"When (daughter) Courtney was 2 years old, we pre-taped our Christmas show," he recalled. "I walked out of the room (at home) and I was on when I came back in. Blew her mind. She was crying for about 10 minutes. Two daddies, not good."
So maybe it's best to just let Elmo do the TV talking for now!