I used to dream about the way my parenting would look. I was totally fun but strict when I needed to be and my kids respected the boundaries I set for them. Afterall, I was looking out for their best interests. Oh, and I was really thin and the kids never had snot on their faces. Pre-kids and still fostering the dream, I was heard to declare,
"I don't believe in children watching too much television. My children won't watch TV until they're at least 5 years old."
Now, post-kids, you may be wondering how that's workin' out for me.
So let me tell you, in pictures….
That was LD. And with his arrival, the dream died a very complete death.
But then along came Zee. It occurred to me recently that I couldn't tell you what his favourite show is on TV. Because he never watched any.
Ah, you might think, look at The Little Mumma! She's gotten her act together. Using this second chance to put some of her original parenting ideals into practise.
Proud mumma moment, right?
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
I'm here to tell you that the kid who doesn't like watching TV is the ultimate ball and chain. Exaggerating, am I? Well, you go ask Saucy. Her little fella was a serial TV avoider, displaying absolutely zero affinity for the moving picture. This meant he was looking for entertainment elsewhere. Namely, from his mother, Saucy. ALL. DAY. LONG. Ball and chain, dear readers, ball and chain. I don't have to tell you how Saucy feels about her second child's preference for watching The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for twelve hours straight. And if that child is now her favourite, you can hardly blame Saucy.
So my advice to my dreaming pre-kids-self regarding television addiction in infants is it's never too soon to start. You have to nurture this addiction in order for it to reach its maximum potential. Consistency is key and for this, I suggest leaving the television on all day long and repeatedly placing the disinterested child back in front of it. And of course, when your child fails to move from their position in front of the box for half hour stints or more, reward, reward, reward! You'll know you have succeeded when your child watches an entire movie and then requests for you to play it again. And start early otherwise you just might find your kid won't watch any TV at all. And then, my lovely self, you'll be fucked.
So it seemed I had dropped the ball with Zee. If there was no favourite show then there was nothing to stick him in front of so that I might do anything not involving him for more than 30 seconds. Lord knows I didn't have kids so that I could interact with them all day. Jeee-ZUS!
But then, a breakthrough.
The Zig has started to develop a love affair with the teev. I still don't know if I can pinpoint a favourite program yet but that's okay. Maybe it's better if he watches everything – you know, for variety.
And lastly, in photo, my idea of heaven. I don't know where exactly my cockles are located but consider them sufficiently warmed by this happy snap.
Ohhhhhh honey, you are friggin hilarious!!!!! I sound a bit like you pre-kids, now when the health centre nurse asks at a check up how much tv the kids watch, I out out lie tell her “oh, maybe an hour give or take?” Classic stuff as always my dear xo
HA!! An hour! I could barely take a piss if that was the extent of tv watching my kids did….
Soooooo true Angie…… you a funny girl. My bub is much more selective than her big brother but god bless Play School (except Georgie Parker – that woman’s ‘singing’ gets on my nerves).
ahahahaha I also had big dreams of how my parenting would look……….Love your work Ang….sooo hilarious!
Yes Angie, Thank god for the idiot box….when my twins were little they had a total fascination for animals, animals of all sorts and ofcourse me with a total brain waive went to the local video store(yes VCR)and hired any documentaries I could find with animals in them. (there were 2 only) If I sat the twins down in front of the TV with these videos playing they wouldn’t say boo…..for hours (well until their little bellies told them differently anyhow)I had to time it right.
The local video store soon got sick of me continally hiring these same two videos — I needed my own copies!! — sneaky. Then I got driven totally mad by the music that accompanied each animal as the program moved on to the next one — the twins ended up knowing the name of the animal coming next just by the change in the music.
All the same it was a godsend and surely did those little tackers well as they were very well educated on all sorts of animals at a very your age. 🙂
Haha, yep, the songs do tend to stick in the head! I imagine with twins that whatever works is what you do! Thanks for reading, Carmen 🙂
Love that you linked up to this older post so I could read it. We avoided TV for 2 years with C, but now we’re in the classic struggle of too much vs. sanity. Mostly we choose sanity 😉
Some weeks are slow so it’s nice to redirect people to a time when I was feeling more “writey.”
Writey is totally a word.
I love that you read it!
If it weren’t for tv and wine my mind would have run for the hills years ago.