Believe it or not, I am disappointed that I can’t get Man to watch television.
I thought I would be one of those mothers who shunned TV, who—as recommended—would not let her child watch until the age of two. I spent years studying to be a Speech Language Pathologist and one thing was continually emblazoned into my brain: language development came from reading books, interactive one-on-one and group play, and doing puzzles and other hands-on activities. It did NOT come from television; television was, in fact, the anti-Christ!
But I’m desperate! All I need is 30 minutes to prepare dinner or cleanse myself. Television seems to work for other kids; why can’t it work for mine, Goddamn it?? I dutifully DVR recommended shows and turn them on first thing in the morning. Man sits for about 23 seconds and I idiotically get my hopes up; will today be the day that he sits still?? But alas, he gets up. Why would he sit quietly when he could use the time to climb and destroy? I do a quick sniff of the pits, rub on another layer of deodorant, hope that I can make something presentable out of my hair, and go about another day dirty and possibly a little bit smelly.
I jealously listen to other moms… “Cody loves The Fresh Beat Band;” “Molly lives for Yo Gabba Gabba;” “You should try Thomas the Train, boys love trains!!” It makes me want to steal their remote controls and see how they would like it without a break all day! Ironically, the only pleasure Man does get from the TV is stealing the remote, using it as blunt object to hit things with, and finally throwing it in the garbage. Consequently, this also makes it impossible for me to watch my shows on television as well. Clearly he is under the belief that if he is not going to watch, neither is mommy!! Sometimes he likes to change the channel and then hide the remote. Have you ever been forced to watch three straight hours of local high school sports? Induced labor was less painful than girls’ Middle School basketball.
I often discuss it with other mothers. I complain and say things like “Why can’t my kid just sit and watch TV!!??” Then I actually hear what comes out of my mouth and I have to laugh. I can’t believe I am actually trying to force my kid to zone out and watch some mind-numbing kids’ show. Have you ever actually watched these shows?? I know it has been said before, but honestly these people must be on drugs… either that or they get paid a fortune to act like asses. Don’t you wonder how the singers and dancers on these shows ever get laid? (Well, except for that Yo Gabba Gabba guy…he definitely gets all the chicks.)
Sometimes my husband and I sit and watch the shows ourselves—you know, in order to review the best television watching opportunities for Man. One day I came downstairs to find Man with his hands in the toilet while my husband sat mesmerized by Classical Baby. As he heard me approach he called out, “Honey, you have to come here and see this, its sooooo good!” I entered the room to see starfish and clams bouncing around the screen to Beethoven, my husband wide eyed with a half smile cracked on his lips. “Really honey, this is more interesting than football?”
But back to my original point: I’m desperate for Man to sit still and I was hoping that TV would provide me with some sort of respite. Fortunately February sweeps are around the corner: Maybe Man will learn to like the new Ashton Kutscher character on Two and a Half Men. God knows no one else does.