Posted by: Hannah | 10/27/2011

Max and Ruby are from the devil

Short update to yesterday’s story.

Marie’s one-word declarative statements continued all afternoon. The low point came when we were all outside playing and she got it into her head that outside was STUPID and LAME and WINDY and what kind of horrible caregiver am I, anyway? So she followed me around pouting and yelling “Inside!” even though this child is completely capable of saying “I’m cold, I’d like to go inside now”. (Not, mind you, that it would have mattered. They needed fresh air desperately and it was a beautiful, blustery late-autumn day).

Anyway, yelling “inside!” wasn’t working, so she switched to “thirsty!” Over and over and over again. The first few times I just looked mildly puzzled and said “I don’t understand, Marie. Do you need something?” to which she would reply “thirsty!” and then stomp her foot.

Um, no. Uh-huh. I know you can talk. That crow won’t caw. So after a few repetitions, I just ignored her. We finished up outside and headed indoors… where she finally gave in and said “Can I have a drink please?” So of course I praised her nice manners and got her a drink.

At pick up time, her dad and I were chatting while she put on her shoes. Then on came the bossy-boots face and she yelled “Mama!” I immediately grabbed the teachable moment because I had wanted to talk to them anyway, to explain that I am not responding to her unless she uses appropriate words and manners. I ruffled her hair to get her attention and said “Marie, remember – if you want something, you need to ask nicely. One word is not using your manners.” Her dad looked taken aback and then said that she does it at home all the time, and they don’t like it (no word on whether or not they’d tried breaking her of the habit). And then he explained where it comes from.

She’s pretending to be Max.

Now, if you’ve never seen Max & Ruby, here’s the quick synopsis. They are talking bunnies, aged 7 (Ruby) and 3 (Max) who apparently have no parents. Every episode Max picks a word and that’s the only word he says. For the whole entire episode. It might be “fire truck”. Or “teddy”. Or who knows what. He’s actually pretty damned non-verbal for a three year old. And instead of imitating Ruby (which would be a better fit, she’s horribly bossy) Marie’s decided that imitating Max is the way to go.


The little on-the-doorstep discussion went well. Marie then asked her dad “please help me button my coat” which was frankly awesome; not only was it very nice ‘asking’ but it proved that I do know what I’m doing, which is always good.

But if I hadn’t thought before that not all children’s TV programming was not created equal, I certainly do now. Max & Ruby, you are on notice. You’re on the same list as that little bald bastard Caillou. Shows that will never be watched in this house, if I can help it.



  1. OH my god. If sounder proof was ever needed that Max and Ruby have GOT to go. Also, ‘that little bald bastard’…. awesomeness.

  2. Yes. My 2yo LOVES Max and Ruby. And my 5yo sometimes says one word, and he normally has the vocab and elocution of a 10yo. I think he is more taking after the “little kid” because the 2yo gets such a funny response from us. Blah. You are right, though.

  3. I will probably be alone here- but I let Claire watch Max and Ruby. She loves the show. That’s an understatement. Now I wouldn’t put up with it if she started walking around saying just one word demanding things.

    Calliou on the other hand. OMG why the hell would they make a show geared at toddlers that teaches them to whine?? As if I don’t hear enough whining around here…

    • Clarification – the boys used to watch Max & Ruby. In fact, we have a cat named Max and used to have a kitten named Ruby… which was a totally subconscious thing and we just hadn’t noticed we’d done it until it was too late. The fact that Ruby was as dumb as a bag of hammers and disappeared forever the first time she went outside was probably a coincidence. I never noticed it changed the boys’ behaviour (although Caillou did, MY WORD, did they whine and complain and generally act like heels after the one episode I let them watch). I guess the whole story is a cautionary tale, really – what undermines your training & teaching might not have the same effect on my kids, but it is so important that we take notice of what our kids are doing and where they are learning certain behaviours.

  4. Good job, Hannah, on standing your ground!

    @Lila — when my boys were younger they watched “Ruby & Max” all the time. Thankfully they never did impersonations of Max, but I do a very good (meaning accurately nasal) impression of Ruby. BTW, what is up w/ Baby Huffington’s mother who frequently leaves her infant in the care of 7 yo neighbour child? It’s very wrong.

    My boys never did get to watch Calliou or Barney b/c my sisters-in-law warned me they were awful shows. I was so glad that by the time Wonder Pets came around my boys were too old to be interested — lisping is NOT cute.

  5. Oooh, I hated Max and Ruby so much, for so many reasons, not the least of which is their lack of parents and the fact that Ruby babysits not only her brother, but creepy Baby Huffington.

    I loved when my kids were into the Backyardigans – although the music would stick in my head for days. They were also, for YEARS, into Mighty Machines, and that was pretty awesome as far as I was concerned. Nothing like footage of construction sites, etc., with voices added for high entertainment.

  6. Oh, I need to clarify. My 2yo loves Max and Ruby so much that we have about 25 episodes saved on the DVR.

    As for WonderPets, I agree with Nan. It makes me HOMICIDAL that a show aimed at preschoolers would have a character that lisps. For crying out loud. Also, dumb dumb dumb.

  7. Soooo glad we’re past most of that. We all loved making fun of Max and Ruby. :p

    I’m still in love with Toopy and Binoo myself. And Pingu. Pingu freaking RULES.



    I am so glad to have another reason to detest that disgusting show. I personally don’t know who’s worse – Max’s stubborn idiocy or Ruby’s bitchiness and complete lack of cooperation/empathy.

  9. DETEST Caillou. Shudder.

  10. […] sending domain) – “cheapkidssnowuggboots”. Not sure how the spambot connected a post complaining about how stupid Max & Ruby is to ugly, overpriced, trendy footware, but that is one of the mysteries of the […]

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