Posts Tagged ‘ monsters ’

Why I Hate My Toddler’s Favorite TV Show

Monday, October 29th, 2012

You know what pisses me off? Television for my kids. Okay, I’ll admit it. Fia hasn’t learned to spell or read only from us. We read books every night, but what has really taught her is Sesame Street and Super Why. Both PBS shows (please don’t take away Big Bird if–god forbid–you get elected Romney).

But what these shows, particularly Super Why, has also taught her is to fear–of the dark, of shadows, of monsters. These are things she never even contemplated before. She has always slept in a pitch-black room, with one small nightlight. But ever since an episode of Super Why where the little girl was scared in the night, Fia has insisted we keep her closet light on and her door slightly open. The latter has meant she can hear Emmett cry and subsequently she wakes up. But that’s not nearly as frustrating as watching her become afraid.

Her recent fascination with shadows is at times fun and playful (and annoying when you decide on a stupid whim to have her sleep in bed with you), but other times it’s steeped in fear. “Mama, look at that shadow!” she’ll whine. “It’s S-C-A-R-Y!”

Spiders are another one. In the past she loved to look at them. Now she screams, “Mama, a spider!” and runs the other way. Even spider webs, which used to fascinate, have her freaked.

I don’t want to totally bash TV because I am fully aware of the tradeoff. She has learned a ton from it. But producers, do you have to frighten in your themes? Learning is fun for them. Being scared isn’t.

If we never taught our children to fear the dark or spiders, would they grow up not afraid? Or is this something that eventually happens by being a member of society anyway? In other words, am I kidding myself to think I could have avoided her arachnophobia if she hadn’t seen those episodes? I’m not sure. I know she never learned the word “mine” and toy-grabbing until she hung out with kids who did that. But how did those kids learn? Was it just inherent in their personalities and thus this is just part of life? Or did they learn it from someone who learned it from something, and so on?

Of course when it’s appropriate, she’ll learn stranger danger (we should probably start on that soon), the basics of safety and eventually the staggering problems of the world. But during the tender age of toddlerhood I could stand her being left in the dark a bit longer. Without a light on.

 

Afraid of Dark Picture via Shutterstock

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Elmo, Babysitters and BlogHer

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

A World Sans Elmo

A WORLD SANS ELMO

I barely put my foot down in San Diego today for the BlogHer Conference when my husband called me. He sounded so serious.

“I think we need a new babysitter.”

My heart tightened. “Is everything okay?”

“Yes, but you have something to blog about with sitters again.”

Oh dear lord, not the Sitter Chronicles again, I thought.

“What happened?” I said almost frantic.

“She lost Elmo.”

The world screeched to a stop. I felt dizzy. Saw bright lights. My brain turned fuzzy.

“OH NO!!!!!!!!” I screamed.

“Yep,” he says, “It’s true.”

This is a substitute sitter who we’ve only used once before. My regular sitter had to cancel at the last minute and with me going out of town; I had to scramble to find a replacement. I emailed her a list of stuff to be aware of last night, and one was Fia flinging her shoes off while she’s in the stroller. I’d hate to loose an expensive pair of stride rites. (I left this morning before she came and was completely freaked out about not being there in person to drill everything into her. Namely, no texting while strolling, stay on top of Fia at all times, don’t let her have pacifier during the day…you know the usual control freak issues of moms–or at least this one.)

But because she was so focused on Fia flinging her shoes, she didn’t notice the little red monster being hurled out on the street. She retraced her steps, but was too late. Elmo was gone. G-O-N-E.

I blame Phil. He should have told her not to take her monsters out of the house. This is what happens when mama leaves town. Things go south. Elmo becomes homeless.

As I type, Phil and Fia are on the way to the toy store to buy a replacement Elmo before bedtime (didn’t happen, see picture). Hopefully this is the biggest thing I will worry about while I’m out here for 3 days.  I’d really like to enjoy this conference of entrepreneurial women, maybe learn a thing or two, and sleep in!! So please sitters/husband/and Wayne Sanchez–I’ll even include you–Take care of my baby. And her accoutrements. In the words of our annoying, talking Sesame Street book, “See You Sooooon.”

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