Now that Hank is three, we let him watch TV. And when he was a toddler? We let him watch TV. And when he was a tiny baby who woke up at 3 a.m. and wouldn’t go back to sleep? We turned on the TV that’s supposed to distract cats with shiny things twisting in the wind. Worked like a charm.
I realize this makes us monsters in certain circles of liberal San Francisco parenting, but those people have more energy than me. Since TV can be awesome, I have not put it high on my list of things that might turn my child into a serial killer. I keep a close eye to make sure he’s kind to small animals, advise him strongly against smacking anyone, and let him watch Backyardigans when he says please.
The folks at The Hub asked me to write a post about the kids shows we like, and my brain went fuzzy with the possibilities. I decided to focus on the shows we’re all willing to watch together:
Yo Gabba Gabba
Hey look! Your Burner friends got together, called some Indie Bands, and made a kids show about music, dancing, and not throwing hard things at other people’s heads! Introducing childless friends to this show is one of the most awesome things about becoming a parent. We’re like, have you seen this? And then we show them the song about not biting your friends. We’ve noticed a dramatic decrease in biting at our cocktail parties.
This show features a trio of classroom pets in mini operas — they fly around the world saving other animals, singing to the tune of classical music compositions and other musical genres. The characters have actual personalities, the little girl duck in particular. She’s well meaning and witty, but stubborn, and a little self focused. In other words, instructional first-girlfriend material.
Try to criticize anything Jim Hensen did, it’s like spitting on the flag. Fraggle Rock was my favorite as a kid, I knew all the songs by heart, so I’ve tried to force it on my kid. As a result he’ll only watch a single episode over and over, the theme of which is that you should let your friends help you. Hank’s takeaway is the single hubristic song in that episode called, “I Can Do It on My Own!” And that refrain has become his rallying cry whenever we’re plugging something in, using knives in the kitchen, or juggling chainsaws.
Still, as long as he’ll cuddle me on the couch while we’re watching, I’ll take it.