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Meet Dora the Explorer's Mom

Courtesy of Valerie Walsh Valdes

We go behind the scenes with Valerie Walsh Valdes, co-creator and executive producer of Nickelodeon's megahit.

Morning

6:40 a.m.: Two-year-old Violet acts as my alarm clock. She's never late and doesn't need batteries. Somehow, Dad sleeps through her desperate calls for “Da-da!”

6:55 a.m.: Olive, my 4-year-old, joins us in the kitchen for breakfast. She shows her sister how to mix four different kinds of cereal together for the perfect blend. I sweep up.

7:30 a.m.: Storytime. Violet chooses a book with Diego, Dora's cousin. We've read it at least 15 times this week (I meant to hide it last night but forgot).

9 a.m.: In a Dora writing meeting with our New York team via video conference. I try to avoid passing along the story notes Olive gave me last night.

Afternoon

2 p.m.: I finally emerge from the meeting. I do yoga stretches in my office while fantasizing about watching Downton Abbey tonight.

4:30 p.m.: Pick up Olive from school. She begs me to tell her a story on the way home, so I try out a Dora storyline that I'm working on. Instant focus group!

5 p.m.: Violet greets me at door with the same Diego book in hand. Why didn't I hide it?

Evening

6:30 p.m.: The girls get to watch two TV shows before bedtime. One is a Dora episode from our first season more than ten years ago. As they laugh at the big bear, they probably don't even realize he's voiced by their dad.

9 p.m.: Violet is down, then Olive goes down. I'm almost down but get a second wind. My husband and I make popcorn and curl up on the sofa to watch Downton Abbey on DVR. Finally, some grown-up time.

11 p.m.: Time for bed. Wait, I forgot to hide that Diego book!

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