The Top 10 Reasons that TV is a good thing for S.Rube:
1) Permits me to play on the computer
2) Increases her ability to focus for long periods on one thing
3) Learns more than I could possibly ever teach her otherwise
4) Knows how to speak Spanish (and is learning Mandarin with Ni-Hao, Kai-Lin)
5) Recognizes and knows more about wild almost-extinct animals that require saving than I do, and could follow a map through the muddy swamp, the candy forest and the swinging bridge, while protecting her treasure from a pesky monkey any day of the week!
6) Permits me to get some stuff done around the house without having to entertain at the same time
7) Improves her creative play ability
8) Allows T.Rube the freedom to touch or even pick up a toy
9)Excellent bargaining tool for me - "If you stay in your bed all night, you can watch a show in the morning." Works like a charm!
and 10) Permits me to play on the computer.
(ooops, did I say "play" on the computer?
I meant "work". yes, work. )
For a long time, she's been able to verbalize "Mommy, I don't like that show." She definitely has her favourites. and those that she hates.
We have a channel called Treehouse here that is for the younger kids and then they transition to YTV as they get older. S.Rube has been (dare I say) addicted to Treehouse since she was quite young. For the first half of her life, her favourite shows didn't involve animation, helium or adults wearing outfits that they really truly shouldn't be. They involved spinning wheels, asking for letters, switching numbers around, buying vowels, putting a hole in one (or two), and, on the rare occasion, having to speak your answer in the form of a question.
Sometime closer to two, she started watching Treehouse and becoming eerily interested.
Her favourites are: Toopy and Binoo, Max and Ruby, Little Bear, Dora, Diego, Miss Spider's Sunny Patch and Backyardigans.
There are some she doesn't mind and will watch, if she has to: Franklin, Babar, Comfy Couch.
And then there are those that she hates: Mighty Machines, Thomas, Tipi Tales (what the fuck is this show??? seriously. We need to get some better Aboriginal Canadian content, I'll tell you that much. It sucks. Does ANY kid watch it??), Daniel Cook, Emily Yeung, the Wiggles (toot toot, chugga chugga big red car, we travel near and we travel far...AWAY) and 4-Square (ticky, ticky, ticky ticky tee tee ta, I got rhythm, gonna share it with ya. ugh ugh and ugh)
Now, though, suddenly this week, she doesn't like shows because they are TOO YOUNG FOR HER!! There are baby shows on Treehouse that she has outgrown!! WHAT!!?!??!
I came home the other day and B.Rube had YTV on. Because there was a baby show on Treehouse that she didn't want to watch!
It was fine that she just didn't like some shows. I can handle that. I strongly encourage her to develop her likes and dislikes, and to recognize and verbalize them. But, essentially what is happening here is that she doesn't like them because she is growing up. And that isn't fine.
I need her to watch Treehouse forever. and be happy doing it.
Today, there was a 'baby show' that came on - some new one - " The Bobbleheads" or something like that - a bunch of big oversized men in oversized sweaty costumes dressed like some form of oversized amoeba or paramecium... something blob-like and spineless. (T.Rube was actually highly interested, but can't talk yet, so she gets the short end of the stick all the time. Her vote rarely counts.)
S.Rube said her usual bit, "mommy, I don't like that show." and I commented that it did seem a bit young for her. Then, she asked me to check the other channels. (!!??!?!?)
I put YTV West on and it was SpongeBob Squarepants. S.Rube pointed out that "the show had a cheese in it." I tried to explain that it was actually a sponge (hence the name.. Spongebob), even going to get my loofa, but she insisted he was a piece of cheese. She didn't like it.
I checked YTV East and it was a show called 'Fairly Odd Parents.' hmmmmmmmmmm
I noted that the characters on the show were quite anxious and seemed to be in quite a quandry or emergency-type situation. There was no calmness to it, no reasoning - lots of shrieking and some name-calling. In fact, after observation this week, a friend of mine pointed out that all of the shows on that channel seemed to produce a high level of anxiousness and were crisis-driven.
My poor baby is growing up. This is what she is transitioning to - the chaos and urgency of childhood and early adolesence. It saddened me. Just as I was about to prevent it and pull the menu up, leaving that channel behind, S.Rube said, "No, I want to just watch Treehouse. I don't like that show."
I reached over and pulled her into my arms and kissed her little face, snotty nose and all.
"You're still my baby."