Thursday, January 8, 2009

Welcome to the Dark Side

Well, we did it. We have given Finn regular access to the television, the source of all the world's evils, or something like that.

Up until now, Finn as a conscious being has seen very little TV. Yes, I did sustain myself and the many long hours of breastfeeding during my maternity leave by parking myself in front of the TV, but Finn was pretty oblivious then. Once we moved to our current house, the TV went down into the basement, while most of our days were spent up in the main living area with all of Finn's toys, the kitchen, etc. In addition to getting M. and I out of the habit of ALWAYS having the TV on, it had the extra bonus of making sure Finn was exposed to no adult programming and commercials because OMG, they might give my baby ADHD! And yes, I write that sarcastically, but only for show because there is a part of me that thinks it's true.

Finn's now 2, seems to be developing on track, seems pretty bright... so we didn't see a lot of harm in starting to introduce him to some of the children's programming and movies that are appropriate for his age now. But most importantly (and selfishly), the main motivation for bringing a TV into our living room now is the impending arrival of Finn's brother or sister. Seriously, there is still an imprint of my rear end on the arm chair where I did most of my daytime nursing of Finn. We spent hours and hours of every day in that chair. How the hell am I going to nurse another baby AND entertain Finn, when my ass will be firmly planted in a chair for much of the day? My answer - the TV. Yes, I guess I will become one of "those" moms that uses the TV as a babysitter.

Thanks to my parents, we are now the proud/reluctant owners of a new 26" LCD TV that fits nicely in an alcove of our living room. Finn has taken very quickly to the TV, demanding it be turned on as soon as we get home from work, or as soon as we wake up on the weekends. I'm hoping it's just a temporary obsession due to the novelty, and the demands will taper off a bit (I mean, come on, what about all those new Christmas toys that are sitting, unloved, not getting attention? When is it their turn?). We don't have a cable box for the TV yet, so I've already grown weary of the "Bob the Builder White Christmas," "Elmo's World Wild Wild West," and "Cars" DVDs that we own (although the Cars movie is quite cute, actually). OMG, does Elmo have an annoying laugh or what?!?!

So far, though, Finn is not proving to be much of an independent TV watcher. I was hoping to at least get some peace and quiet (read: no constant demands to pick up a heavy 2-yr-old) when cooking dinner. Nope, Finn wants to watch TV, and he wants to watch it on my lap. I think it's partially because he still scares pretty easily - he doesn't like being alone in the living room (though the kitchen has a pass through that lets him see me while I'm cooking), and sometimes he gets scared by what he sees on the TV (for example, he is scared by the tractors and the thresher/harvester-thingy in Cars. Hell, I'M scared by the thresher, I don't blame him on that one).

So for now, the TV is less of a "babysitter," and more of a way for me to sneak in some good cuddle time while Finn sits on my lap. Dinner is no less of a challenge than before - in fact, since I try to just keep the TV off while I'm cooking (easier than trying to juggle cooking and keeping Finn company in front of it), it's just brought me more complaints from my demanding neo-TV addict. We'll see whether it ends up serving the intended purpose once the baby is born or not.


  1. It's nice to hear of another toddler who asks right away to watch the tv. Our kid watches about 1/2 hour a day. She watches "her" shows, which, these days, are shows from Playhouse Disney, primarily Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and My Friends Tigger and Pooh. They're both problem-solving shows and are pretty harmless, at least to us. Plus, in the morning, when I want to take a shower and get dressed for work, it gives me about 25 minutes of time.

  2. Once he becomes more independent (read when the baby is born and you don't have time to coddle him) you will be thankful for that pass-through to keep and eye on him! Given that we live in a colonial all of our rooms are very separate and I'm already thinking about how it's going to work when our daughter is mobile. At least I have about a year!

  3. I'm one of those moms *grin* I love TV myself, so it seemed silly to deprive my kids of it. LOL (I know, sad...)

    Actually, it's been a life-saver. I can plop the twins in front of it when I need to tend to Logan, or lunch, or something else and I'm fairly certain that they'll be entertained for the duration of the show. (Doesn't ALWAYS happen, but mostly they don't try to kill each other at this time).

    Cars is definitely a staple - we've probably seen it over 300 times now (no joke). And Frank is ALWAYS scary! :)