You Know Where Good Intentions Get You…

I took dinner to a new-mama friend on Friday night.  During my visit, the baby started fussing, and my friend sheepishly produced a pacifier.  “You see how long my no-pacifier rule lasted,” she admitted.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that this paci cave would likely be the first of many.  I had plenty of resolutions and plans that I came up with while I was pregnant with Abby.  Many of them are just lining the birdcage at this point.

Case in point: the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television for children under the age of two.  This seemed like a reasonable goal to me, until…

We drove to Colorado over Christmas break.  A friend loaned us a travel DVD player and some Baby Einstein videos, for which we became very thankful somewhere between Dalhart, Texas and Raton, New Mexico.

We returned the DVD player promptly, but got an extended loan on the videos.  Once they were an option in the TV cabinet, I found that I could not resist the temptation to pop one in occasionally during that those trying stretches of the late afternoon when the nap is over, Daddy is not home yet, and Mommy needs to start on dinner (or crash on the couch and “rest her eyes,” as the case may be). 

I felt a twinge of shame at a friend’s house when Abby picked up a CD off of the TV console and tried to insert it into the side of the flat-screen.  Maybe I’d been popping those videos into our iMac a little too frequently.  I immediately resolved to cut back on the Baby Einstein.

But Abby got sick last Friday night, and we’ve been cooped up in the house for the whole weekend.  I’d like to say that my SuperMom powers kicked in and I kept Abby entertained on the couch with animated readings of her favorite books and original puppet shows starring her stuffed animals. 

But I wasn’t feeling too hot myself, and so “Repeat Play” on Baby Bach it was.  And then I discovered the children’s section of Netflix on Demand.  Uh-oh.

So although I consoled myself by reasoning that Abby was learning Bible stories (classic Veggie Tales), or that I was developing her interest in and awareness of global cultures (the Babies documentary), the bottom line is that she’s watched that screen a lot for the past few days.

But I think the fever is waning, so we’re going to do better.  Starting tomorrow.

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7 responses to “You Know Where Good Intentions Get You…

  1. Yes, our doctor just told me only two hours a day of TV time for Ian. That was sobering. I thought we did pretty well, until I remembered that many days we do about an hour-and-a-half of cartoons in the morning and then typically a movie in the afternoon. But don’t be too hard on yourself. You may find that when new baby comes, Abby will inevitably watch more TV. And that’s OK.

  2. Well, I really think TV is much better than what they used to do. Loop a rope around them, or just use the hem of their dress and put it under the bedpost to keep them safe while they went to work. I remember mother telling me about this. I guess, you do what you have to do…

    • According to the Babies movie, that practice is still alive and well in Mongolia! I have to admit, I’ve been tempted by the tether idea when I need to get things done and Abby is underfoot.

  3. @ Paula – LOL~!

  4. Netflix on Demand is awesome for kids! Parents get to be picky about what to watch, and there are no commercials telling our kids what new annoying toy they need. Caleb’s tv-watching started with potty-training. I would show the little 5-minute segments of Thomas the Train while he went potty. He’s a huge tv addict (like his mama), so lately we’ve been giving him 3 tickets a day, and he can choose what three shows he watches in a day (no time limit to keep it simple). To further potty training, he earns the tickets for good potty behavior, and loses them for intentional “accidents.” That’s really cut into the tv watching! When he gets older, we’d like to start a bank system, where he can save his tickets and exchange them for a trip to the park or something, instead of using them for tv. We’ll see. So yeah, tv for kids is a slippery slope, but there are ways it can be used as a tool when Abby gets a little older.

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