Thursday, November 09, 2006

Does this make me a bad parent?

I'm not one of those people who necessarily has a problem with babies watching TV. From my days as a nanny, I know that it some circumstances, the kids can get something out of it and that the parent can get a much-needed break (nothin' like seeing a kid watch Barney, enthralled, then slowly start dancing along with the music until finally she's on her feet and rocking out).

However, I never really wanted to let my kid watch television. Of course, this was ridiculous, because I personally watch waaay too much television, and naturally the Cheeto would be exposed through me. I should have known there would be trouble when, at seven weeks, I caught her giggling at The Family Guy, long before I thought she could even see the screen.

Anyway, I had done a decent job of keeping Cheeto away from the boob tube for her first 8 months or so. The complete set of Baby Einstein DVDs that my well-meaning but clueless mom sent remain, for the most part, in their wrappers (she watched one once when she was sick and otherwise inconsolable). But then, on day, on a fluke, I put on the Backyardigans while I was trying to get something done, and it was all over. She flipped for those weird computer-generated animals. So much does she love Pablo, Tyrone and the gang that now she recognizes them when she sees the dolls in the store. And now? Well, as I type, she's lying on her back, chewing her shirt, kicking her legs, and singing along (in her own weird baby syntax) as the gang searches for the perfect wave (who knew penguins surfed?)

I think I might have goofed here. I don't honestly mind that there's a show she likes (my issues with the characters aside, which is a topic for a whole 'nother post), and I am at least holding the line at one show, which she doesn't see every day or anything. But it disturbs me a lot that she's only eleven months old, and she's already caught by the merchandising. It's going to be pretty hard to stick to my "no licensed characters" rule if she goes apeshit when she sees Tyrone in the store. I'm screwed if she ever discovers those annoying Disney princesses.

Damn. This parenting thing is going to turn out to be actual work, isn't it?

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