Sunday, March 06, 2011

A Confession

Forgive me Father for I have sinned, a crime of parenting so heinous that it can barely be spoken of. I confess, we have a TV in our house and that we turn it on and that sometimes, yes, sometimes our son watches it. I pray this is not one of the seven deadly parenting sins but I can’t help it – the flesh is weak. I do know that children should not watch TV before they are 2, which my son just turned, and even then their TV viewing should be curbed. Yes, may heaven strike me down; my toddler has been known to watch TV. I have now doomed him to mediocre SATs and a state school before he is even out of diapers. How could I allow this? Have I not read the studies and done the research into all that it takes to raise a competent adult. Apparently not. I was too busy watching TV.

It all started innocently enough with the Minnesota Twins and being trapped at home most of that first summer together: a social pariah due to a raging case of prematurity. And infants, as you may recall, are not that interactive. Of their three main purposes in life, one is messy, one is demanding and the other is rather boring. So we parents watched the MN Twins play and dreamt of being at a ballgame with a crowd of people (and a beer?). And as his head control got better and he started hanging out in his exersaucer more often his eyes were drawn to the bright green expanse of the unnatural Metrodome floor. They would flick quickly away much like my parental guilt. He was really too young to notice.

Little did I know that baseball was a gateway drug to bigger and badder shows. “But look how he response to the voices” I said of the Sing-Off, or American Idol. “Look he laughed as the contestants fell in WipeOut! He has a great sense of comedic timing!”

As I realized the error in my ways we resorted to kid’s programming hoping to at least add some learning to the table. Imagine my horror when instead of wholesome Muppets singing about numbers a whole new host of horrors attacked my senses – inane pop singing at the hands of the Fresh Beat Band, sex-toy shaped monsters prancing about talking about “parties in their tummies,” whiny bald-headed boys with theme songs so catchy that it runs through your head at 3am as you toss and turn to escape, animals spelled out of letters who should just build the word M-O-N-E-Y and get some better digs. They were enough to send my previous derision of Barney packing. Oh you purple dinosaur, I’ve missed your creepy “I love yous.”

We slowly found a balance however, some shows that we as parents could stand. Sid the Science Kid is tolerable with a great teacher-to-student preschool ratio. I imagine I would have applied for that preschool on the day of Edward’s conception however, not to mention the added animation fees. Wonder Pets save the day and the music at least harkens to real music too – if I have to hum along then at least that doesn’t make me want to slit my wrists. And Sesame Street still exists of course with an increased Grover presence balancing out the Elmo bias just enough to stand.

Still, even in my confession I admit as a part of my penance that we are trying to cut back, at least until baseball season, just 25 days away.

7 comments:

Emma said...

Cute post! This weekend, I saw that Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was on PBS. I can't believe they still air those old episodes. The one that we saw looked like it was from the early '80s, but Linnea didn't mind. We are big fans of "Super Why," and we are definitely looking forward to baseball season!

DaisyGal said...

no need to confess ANYTHING to me, my kids know that song to LAW & ORDER..LOL
plus they are ADDICTED to NickJr, Sprout and Disney movies, um....I am trying to rid myself of the guilt!!!! ;)

fritzfacts said...

Oh man, my confession would be just the same, only throw in Power Rangers and anything that has to do with music videos. Sigh.

But baseball is coming!! I can't freaking wait...

Rebecca said...

LOL...I hear ya, friend...I hear ya...:-)

Soupy said...

hey, add another one to the mix (kid) and you're in deeper doo doo (at least I AM!) HA! It helps me cook dinner and it helps me get ready in the morning for work! Guilt? Yes, but they ARE learning ......so that's how I balance it! :)

Kat said...

I just feel like we might have a COPS junkie in the making on our hands. Sista, we carry this burden with you.

The 3rd graders of room 107 said...

Hi, Liz, just came across this post. I have been relying on the TV too much so the kids and I tried to give it up in advance of "Screen-Free Week" later in April. I wrote about it here: http://blogs.twincities.com/dailyjuggle/2011/03/screen-free-week.html