November 25, 2009
There are times when you just have to put the baby down. No, no. I'm serious. If I held him all day (as all of us would love to do)... the laundry, the schoolwork, the cooking, and all of life as we know it would grind to a halt.
I know you are shaking your head in unbelief. "Who would put a baby that cute down in a walker? Are you kidding me? And in front of a television set?"
Sad, isn't it?
Life must go on - even with a cute baby in the house.
Being a mama that doesn't like television that much, I have to rely on videos we purchase, rent or get as gifts. We chose to prevent TV from rotting our brains a long time ago after noticing that almost all TV was trash anyway. I don't like having control over the agenda (and there's a lot of agenda-pushing these days - even on children's programming). Oh, I'll watch TV now and then. I have been known to sit through a Law and Order marathon when visiting the in-laws over holidays - to be sure... just so you know I'm not trying to make anyone feel guilty.
We're a 'prime-time'-challenged family. Don't ask me who is an American Idol because I will only stare at you and blink. I have never watched a full episode of Glee, or Lost, or Desperate Housewives. I can also finally admit that I've only seen one series of 24, too. I haven't even seen a day's worth of PBS programming since my ten year old was about 2. The brief year that we did pay for cable, we were sickened by the advertisements (too many companies catering to non-kid-and-family-friendly bents) and astonished by the amazing amount of unwatchable gobbledygook available to fritter our brains away on.
Our past experience with TV and Cable Programming is why I have some standards for my videos. I didn't say HIGH standards because I'm sure there's a stricter and more godly mom out there. Certainly there are more classy and polished homeschool families as well... some that might scoff at us for allowing our kids to see Lord of the Rings or collect Sponge Bob DVDs. I met a Christian homeschooling mom once that didn't allow her kids to watch Veggie Tales, either. Even the adults like them in our house - sorry, but we don't find being silly offensive even in a serious world. We aren't above enjoying some twaddle now and then, but it has to be clean twaddle.
Lately we pretty much watch any videos we have that will keep baby's attention long enough to afford us thirty or forty-five minutes of free time. Free time offers us the ability to use BOTH hands while eating a sandwich for lunch, enough time to get a subject completed for school, or enough time to rotate the laundry, cook dinner and/or do the dishes. He's almost too big for the swing and already too big for the bouncy seat, so the TV is our friend.
Brainy Baby is the latest edition to our kid-friendly DVDs (product was sent to us to review). We have one or two Baby Einstein shows, a slew of old PBS VHS tapes, and almost all of the Disney movies. There's quite a selection, but not many of the flicks we have will hold baby's attention for longer than five or ten minutes. I wondered if the Brainy Baby would be any different. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised that they were.
I even conducted a little scientific research of my own by observing what the differences in the movies that he likes the best are verses the ones he won't watch. It seems that Kohen (as an 8 month old baby) is interested most by other babies (especially faces), real animals, and talking or singing (things that Brainy Baby all contain plenty of). He's not so interested in animation, 2D objects (such as alphabets and shapes), or comics. He zones out watching adult movies with talking scenes as if he's really interested in them, but will fidget and balk at Sponge Bob. What he loves the best about his Brainy Baby shows are the baby faces and the talking and moving children and people. He'll literally sit through the whole show until they do the alphabet part. He adores the Laugh & Learn (for ages 1-3). We have the ABC's show, too, and look forward to growing in to it.
I love it that he's learning something besides how to flip a crabby patty (no offense, Sponge Bob lovers). And as much as I love Sesame Street, there's only so much of the "Honky Ducky Dinger Jamboree" that I can handle. We were thrilled to add these baby-friendly DVDs to our collection so Kohen can learn while being entertained. Selfishly, we're also glad that he likes them because it affords us hands-free moments in our daily routine that keep our house from complete chaos.
And that's a GOOD thing.