FauxPolitik

Monday, August 18, 2003

Videos and Toddlers: This has evolved somewhat from where I started, but that certainly won't stop me from chiming in. I watched a good amount of t.v. growing up. I also read a lot - I read very fast; this probably means I comprehend less, but there you have it. On your average book, I can put away 100 pages in an hour. Still, I like to watch the tube, even today. My children watch some videos and some t.v. One video I swore my children would neer watch was anything from the "Barney" series. I presumed it to be vapid and too p.c. Well, come to my house some time and you'll see a veritable library of Barney. Two things in its defense: 1) tons of songs, and my oldest loves to sing - she has memorized hundreds of songs. I'm not saying she's the next Maria Calas, but in my mind, anything that has her exercising her brain and mouth at the same time can't be bad. She also makes up a lot of songs, thereby showing that she's not just aping the er, dinosaur. 2) that series of videos is short on p.c. messages, and more about learning about places and things. For instance, there is a song about what to do if you get lost in the woods: a) stay where you are; b) blow your whistle; and c) hug a tree (okay, there are a few p.c. messages). Still, she can recite to me what to do if she gets lost in the woods - hell, it's probably better than what I would have told her to do (start a fire - heh).

Moving on, there are some thing you have to keep them from, but her love of singing means that if it's got songs, she'll watch. Recently, she started to groove on the tape of the original Peter Pan television movie with Mary Martin. So, the point is that it's really about the quality. But it's also about recognizing that our kids don't have to be the center of everything we do - or more accurately, that we don't have to agonize over everything they do or don't do. No one would deny that they are probably the most important part of our lives, but the fact is that sometimes it is they who have to bend to what we want to do. Why do we have to give up all of our free time to their activities? Here's a rake, kid, now don't bother me.

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