October 25, 2011

Bad parenting, now in HD

Dear Child Protective Services,

I am writing because I fear that by now you might have heard the rumor that I let my seven(!)-month-old child watch television. And I wanted to say a few things in my defense.

First of all, I want to say that mostly Lulu just listens to TV. She is addicted to the stupid Toddler Tunes music channel and will not do tummy time without it blaring in the background. Though I tried my hardest to encourage a preference for the classical and world music channels, my child wants RAFFI, which means that I have "The More We Get Together" running through my head 21 hours a day (English AND FRENCH. Le plus nous nous blow our brains out, ensemble, ensemble...)

And yes, while Lulu's eyes light up at the sound of Michael C. Hall's voice ("Dada!"), as the result of an intense Dexter marathon that spanned her first few months on the planet, I can safely say that she has never seen his face. Because I keep her carefully angled away from the television at all times. I figure that it must be the picture that warps the brain cells, right? Otherwise the internet would tell me to keep her away from the radio, too. (This is my logic). With her back to the TV, she should be quite safe, unless there is some harm from the TV rays that I don't know about. I...don't really know how a TV works and just realized that it may involve electromagnetism, which I know can be dangerous from a sci-fi book I read once. (I promise immediately remedy my lack of knowledge on this subject by reading Wikipedia and perusing copious messages posted to online web forums.)

Of course, my genius plan has gotten a lot harder now that Lulu has learned to do this:

Can't yet roll both ways; can, however, do a full back bend to see the screen.

I thought about tying her down to limit her movement, but if I recall correctly, your lot sort of frowns on that. I suppose I could limit my TV intake, or even (gasp!) stop watching it altogether. But you don't really expect me to do that. I mean, you guys are notoriously hardcore, but I know you can't be THAT unreasonable.

In any case, I apologize for this lapse in judgment and I assure you that I will do all I can to stunt my child's crafty, preternatural, Nadia-Comaneciesque flexibility. And in the meantime, I promise to only watch television that is instructive on important topics. Like Project Runway (art and design) or the Real Housewives of New York (scheming).

Thank you for your continued understanding in the face of my many flaws.

Until next time,



  1. I just want to say that I have been watching TV all of my life. I can remember things that happened on Soap Operas that have since been canceled, and I can vaguely recall different lineups on TBS and WGN. I hated PBS and all of its offerings of Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and Captain Kangaroo. I somehow remember feeling them beneath me from an early time.

    I did not just veg out on children's programming. As before stated, I watched soap operas, games shows, reruns of old shows like Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, Bewitched, World News Tonight, and such. I did watch a lot of television - far more than any "experts" would ever recommend. I do not think that I am any less intelligent for it. Honestly, living where I did, and with my parents' lack of education (especially correct grammar), I think it did a world of good for me.

    Will Daisy be allowed to constantly watch TV? No. Will I be one of those parents who let their children control what we all watch? Hardly. She will get to watch it, and she will get to find what she likes. We'll find a happy middle ground somewhere.

  2. You are not alone. Up until Braden was about a year old, he didn't watch much tv. Then I got pregnant and tired and we did a 180. It was my only respite - and he LOVED it. Once Casey arrived, it also became my babysitter, and as a result, Braden has an unhealthy love and knowledge of all things Nick Jr. Since the TV is always on for his older brother, Casey now is enthralled by certain shows, and even has his favorites. Oh well. I guess I get it. I love TV too. Though I have started limiting Braden's Gabba viewings to three episodes a day.

  3. Joy's favorite tv show is Gilmore Girls (Mamma has them on DVD). Cartoons really kind of bore her. Lorelai and Rory and the rest? AWESOME.

    And we've watched figure skating from the beginning. Both girls watched the Winter Olympics with me - Grace was teething and nursing and we stayed up late to watch Evan Lysacek kick Evgeni Plushenko's rear (WOO-HOO). Joy watches Alissa Czisny and immediately goes for her skates.

    So yeah, we're big fans of some sorts of tv. Although I nearly did ban Gilmore Girls from the house when Joy started to develop a crush on Logan. Come on, kid. EVERYONE knows it's Rory and Jess!

  4. I'm hoping that Daisy inherits my love of documentaries on the History Channels and Military. I also plan to immerse her in plenty of Jane Austen movies, Masterpiece Theater, Anne of Green Gables, and of course Turner Classic Movies. She doesn't need to have her father's dislike of most B&W movies or movies where people have British Accents. Meanwhile, I also want her to know that Pure Country is not a great movie, despite what her father says.

  5. It's good to know I'm not alone. But dang, I thought I'd make it a little further along than I did, you know? Alas....