Wednesday, 30 May 2012

“Watch TV?”

“Baby Ba-goo-ga”

J-man and I had a couple of weeks off with various illnesses, and during that time TV and CDs saved my life. As a daycare baby, he’s used to a very active environment, so he was literally climbing the walls, and sick to boot. But...if you can hold off on TV, do, and if you can’t, just see how fast it changes your life.

Children’s programming is designed to hook kids immediately, and then they learn to recognize all the toys and crap that goes with it. I can’t even walk past a toy store without J-man rhyming off his favourites: dinosaurs, tools, Mickey...the list goes on.

The worst consequence of introducing TV is that J-man now says “Watch TV?” every time we come into the house. The next thing he says is “Tree hus” (Treehouse, which is a channel). He also says “Barney,” “Mickey Mus” (mouse), and “Hanny man” (Handy Manny — a Mr. Fix-It who has talking tools).

If I don’t give in, he will either just walk up to the television and turn it on himself, not that he can find the channel, unless it was the last thing we watched. The alternative is that he will point to the CD player and say “Baby Ba-goo-ga” (beluga), which generally gets me out of TV time, but only for that one song, and then he’s back to “Watch TV?” We distract him with a lot of music and ensure he doesn’t have TV time every day. But if I said he asks for it five times a day, I would not be exaggerating.

He claps when Chuggington comes on — a cartoon with talking trains (very similar to Thomas) — and loves Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures. Both are “shorts” on Treehouse On Demand, which means they are under ten minutes. If you have a TV addict who, like mine, is under two, these are slightly more tolerable then an entire program and just might give them the fix they need. The good news is J-man’s attention span is still short.

J-man is 18 months old, and Saturday morning cartoons is already a thing in my house —
I guess it’s the influence of an 11-year-old older brother. Next we will be dealing with video
games, which for the moment happen only in the basement and mostly out of sight. I’d like
to say J-man’s never seen one, but one day I had to fold laundry and asked his brother to let
J-man sit and watch him play for just a minute. Next thing I know, J-man had an unplugged
remote and was frantically pressing buttons. Predictably, that ended in tears.

-Sleepwalking Mama

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