Thursday, October 20, 2011

ROOST: Sometimes I feel like Nick Jr. is patronizing me.

I'm not even going to call this a confession. It's just a fact: We watch a lot of TV around here.

I know the two-hour rule, but I don't really care. It's not like we veg out on the couch with a trough of soda and cake. Sometimes we pay attention, sometimes it's just background noise -- but it's usually on. Let's just say I owe a huge debt of carbon-footprint karma.

I know this is supposedly causing some combination of obesity, ADD, diabetes, and brain rot. But I grew up watching Sesame Street, Mister Rogers, and Wheel of Fortune...and Cheers, Married with Children, Newhart, Tracey Ullman, 90210, and ABC's entire TGIF lineup. I watched a lot of TV. Scientifically speaking, I should have grown into a big blob of stupidity, but I actually was smart. The kind of smart that makes you uncool.

So, as someone who feels super-unapologetic about my own TV viewing, I always feel like Nick is pinching my cheeks and saying "there, there" when I hear their show intros. You know the ones: "Blah-blah encourages social development, multilingualism, good hygiene practices, and a thorough grasp of chaos theory." Really? Because I thought it was a show about singing animals.

What's not to love?
A few examples:

THE SPIN: Yo Gabba Gabba encourages preschoolers to move their bodies for healthy physical development; to make music to express themselves; and to share and care by supporting social and emotional development.
THE REALITY: Yo Gabba Gabba has Biz Markie and robots. Cherish this half-hour.

THE SPIN: Max and Ruby encourages preschoolers to explore family dynamics and the diversity of the world around them; and to share and care by nurturing social and emotional development.
THE REALITY: Max and Ruby explores what would happen if your parents disappeared and you were inexplicably left in the care of your naggy seven-year-old sister.

THE SPIN: The Fresh Beat Band encourages preschoolers to make music in many different ways; to move their bodies and dance; and to share and care by nurturing social and emotional development.
THE REALITY: Why do they giggle so much? They giggle at everything. It's like they just got back from the dentist.

THE SPIN: Ni-Hao Kai-Lan encourages preschoolers to explore Chinese culture and language; and to share and care by supporting social and emotional development.
THE REALITY: Kai-Lan's friends are a diverse mix of crybabies, whiny crybabies, and short-tempered crybabies. And you'll learn words like "mooncake," which is useless in any language.

Honestly, I don't expect TV to teach my kids social skills, their alphabet, or new languages. Those things are supposed to be my job. I don't want to leave them on the couch and pretend it's preschool. I just want to sit down with my boys now and then, and watch some singing animals.


  1. I'm sharing this NOW!

  2. I want to roast Ruby on a spit and eat her for dinner.

  3. She's a vegetarian so you know she's serious.

  4. OMG....Dh and I always call Rintoo a whiney b***h because all he does is cry about everything. (Wait, is it Rintoo? Or that other one?) Doesn't matter. This is SO TRUE.

    (I'm equally unapologetic about our TV watching around here, and yet I always get high-fives for the fact that we own every VeggieTales DVD ever made. I didn't necessarily buy them for the underlying moral lessons - my kid just has an obsession with singing vegetables and we're going with it!)

  5. Haha...Rintoo is a whiny brat and Tolee is a whiny crybaby! I don't know who's worse! (Hubby votes Rintoo.)

  6. Veggie Tales is high quality stuff