Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mikayla Teevee

I wanted to be a perfect parent.

I also wanted to be a supermodel astrophysicist who saved the world and cured cancer and the common cold, all while looking really hot and piloting my own personal jet.

So yeah, it's not happening. I make mistakes, a lot. I fail, keep trying, and still I don't live up to my own expectations. And that's OK.

Until recently, Rowan didn't watch TV. At all. We read a lot, listened to music, and played. But just a few weeks ago, she started noticing when it was on. And after a particularly frustrating morning, I turned to the preschool channels for help.

And all of a sudden, she's watching. Climbing on top of her little kitchen to get closer to the screen. Dancing along with the Dancey Dance bunch. And absolutely mesmerized by Dora (which I do not get.) Snuggling in my lap and munching on Ritz peanut butter sandwich crackers and glazing over like a true couch potato. (I do enjoy the snuggly part. And the crackers.)

Dr. B came home from work early one night, and caught a few minutes of Yo Gabba Gabba! He was hooked. He spent the next 2 days obsessively researching the "cool" shows for her to watch, and the annoying ones to avoid. He wants to be modern and hip and for her never to play princess or Barbie or watch Barney. I'd love to agree with him, and am avoiding these things as much as possible, but I know they are inevitable.

Dooo-dit. Doooo- dit. Dooo-dit. Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun...

So anyway, I've been slowly exposing her to a few shows, seeing what she likes and what she doesn't. OK. I lied. Seeing what I like and what I don't, and what she responds to off that list. Doing it quickly before she's old enough to ask for Barney herself. ("What? Barney who? Barney Rubble? OK! Flintstone time!") We are lucky to have the KIDS channel that has listings and shows what's on 4 of the channels at a time to make it easy to pick. Plus, we have found Sesame Street free OnDemand, so I use that when I need it. I try not to have it on all day long, but it does have a place in our day.

That being said, here are a few of my choices, and the ones I avoid. And I'm waiting for the rerelease of the Electric Company.

The Watchy-Watch Bunch

1. Yo Gabba Gabba! (Free iron-ons downloadable here.)
2. Sesame Street
3. the Backyardigans
4. Bob the Builder (not Joe the Plumber. I have always liked Bob, maybe because he's positive and he fixes stuff rather than throw it out and buy new. He's very green, our Bob.)
5. Roary the Racecar
6. Sunny Side Up (AM talk for tots! I love Chica the Chicken.)
7. Max and Ruby
8. Blue's Clues (eh. Easy to ignore.)
9. Little Bill
10. Jack's Big Music Show
11. Maggie and the Ferocious Beast (I should hate this, but I don't. I like that the beast is called "Ferocious" and he's a total wuss.)

The Turn Offy Off Bunch

1. Barney and Friends (it's mostly the friends I have a problem with.)
2. Fifi and the Flowertots (this makes me want to yak.)
3. Dragon Tales
4. Thomas and Friends (that's the tank engine)
5. Dora the Explorer (and all her spin-offs)
6. Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends
7. Lazytown (Creepy. Scary. Gives me nightmares.)
8. Reba. (I know that's not a kids show, but one second of it burns my eyeballs. If it comes on, Dr. B and I scream and leap for the remote. Just had to share.)

Then there are about a hundred I don't have an opinion on yet. (And the watchy watches may turn into Offy offs any day now.)

So, what about you?


Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean. My son had no interest in TV until after he was two, so it was pretty easy for me to be a "no TV" mom, even though I would sometimes put it on if I needed to take a shower or something and he would just ignore the TV and have fun dumping out the recycling or something. Now he's 3 and likes his shows and I have to be an enforcer. Everything in moderation, I guess.
I don't know all of the shows on your lists, but another good one is Little Einsteins on Disney. They feature a different artist and classical composer on each show and it is not super annoying. As far as Dora, I don't see the attraction either, but it is undeniable. I have never heard of a toddler that doesn't like Dora!

Kel said...

I find it so much easier to turn on the TV for the kids as the weather turns. It seems we are spending more time inside and at some point they are going to want me to turn a show on.
My girls love Curious George (the monkey show as they call it) which I can handle. They also love Mickey Mouse clubhouse and Miss Spider's sunny patch kids. I can hadle both of those as well but they are not my favorite. I just get so frusterated how that spider mom is always so dang calm and perfect!! All while having, I don't know, 7 kids!! Right!

cindy w said...

I agree with you on most of the ones you dislike. The puppets on LazyTown are easily scarier than anything I've ever seen in a horror movie.

My little one and I also like the Wonder Pets - she calls them "wuh-tuh ped!" And a few shows on Playhouse Disney are fun: Johnny & the Sprites (my favorite, it's done by people who do a lot of Broadway so the music is actually pretty good), Charlie & Lola (love their accents), and My Friends Tigger & Pooh (hands-down my little one's favorite show).

Anonymous said...

Grandkids seem to go through stages....Loved Dora when they were 2 or so.....boys loved Thomas and Bob the Builder was big hit at 3. Ruby and Max yes! and Sesame. Then the older boys went through the "CARS" movie the two older boys love "Star Wars"...Jake will be Darth Vadar for Halloween. Two younger boys are into Elmo.. Took all five to the Elmo loves music Live this past summer and they all loved it....even Becca. Kristi is avoiding all the High School Musical stuff....too old for her(7) Surprising how many little girls are allowed to watch...also Hannah Montana. I gave her DVDs for Xmas last yr of all the old Little House on the Prairie episodes....she loves them. But she also loves the books and is into any kind of book....she is so proud that in first grade she was reading "chapter books" I am proud of her too...was reading at 6th grade level by end of first grade......hope she keeps lovin books....

Madeline said...

Do you get In the Night Garden over there? It's the only show that has Lil mesmorised from beginning to end. It's a bit surreal but I quite like it.

Anonymous said...

Ahh..we all wish to be the "perfect parent" Unfortunately it is unattainable. We can still dream though

Nomad said...

Sorry, this is off-topic, but I am trying to add you to my google reader feed, but the moment I add your url, it changes to something called botolone.blogspot, and the name changes to panna templates! Any idea, what's up??!!

La Rêveuse said...

I'm not sure, but that's who wrote my basic template. Her link/info is at the very bottom of my page. Perhaps somehow it's focusing on that link instead? I don't use google, I use bloglines. Can you type it in by hand? Sorry I can't help more!

Nomad said...

Hmm. There is a bug in this- that's what they call it, right?
It doesn't matter, I will open the bookmark just like I used to. I am using a feed for the first time, so I am not really used to it.

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