Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is pretty progressive when it comes to the families in the community. There are single parents (Henrietta Pussycat, mom to Katerina) interracial families (Miss Elaina, daughter of Lady Elaine Fairchilde and Music Man Stan), children with disabilities (Chrissie, Prince Wednesday's cousin) and non-parental guardians (Uncle X, who cares for O the Owl). But besides the fact that the males in the family don't wear pants, the Tigers, the stars of the cartoon, are fairly traditional. Working dad Daniel Striped Tiger clocks in and out at the Clock Factory, while Mom Tiger, the eternally calm matriarch, stays at home. In the upcoming season, though, Mom Tiger will be rejoining the workforce.
In an interview with TheAtlantic.com, creator, head writer and executive producer Angela Santomero, a working mom, herself, revealed that Mom Tiger will be trading in her signature tunic for work gear when she starts a new job.
"She’s a builder. She builds things, and she helps fix things all around the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, so we can visually see what she does," Santomero explained. "As a preschooler, it’s so cool to see Mom fix something, or build something, and you can see it before and after. She has overalls, with tools and a tool belt, things like that. It’s very cute."
We're beyond excited to see how Daniel reacts to his mother's big news. We're sure Mom and Dad Tiger will be prepared with wise words should Daniel need help with the major transition. Most of all, though, we're looking forward to watching our kids watch Daniel be proud of his mom's work.
Oh, and if you've ever wondered why the guys are pantsless, Santomero cleared that up in the interview too.
"We really wanted to create that signature red sweater and sneakers, which of course is a nod to Fred [Rogers, of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood]. And then because Dad Tiger’s based on the original Daniel Striped Tiger, it made sense to us to emulate that same look."
As for Mom's style: "We didn’t want her to be necessarily in a dress, just because we wanted to show her active and real, and not necessarily in pearls all the time or whatever. And so this was the kind of outfit we landed on."
We think she'll rock the overalls too.