Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bad (drinking) mother of branded child

Yes, we let our toddler watch TV.

Specifically, he watches programs of our choosing, for a limited amount of time, either pre-taped, DVD or on the kids' TV channel Treehouse. He likes Mighty Machines, Thomas the Tank Engine, and similar programs. Thankfully he doesn't like Dora or Diego (I find Dora in particular very annoying).

We don't have any time limits or specific rules regarding TV. Yet. And yes, sometimes I allow him to watch more than I should, for various reasons most parents of toddler would immediately understand.

So imagine my surprise when this morning, upon seeing the treehouse icon, my not yet two year old actually says the word at the exact time he's looking at the word!

No...he can't read yet. I think this is clearly a case of brand recognition (GASP).

Fortunately he has not yet imitated the catchy little tune that they play between segments. You know..." you're watching".

I was astonished, shocked and surprised, and immediately turned the TV off. My brain feels bombarded. Is he branded now? Commercialized? RUINED?

Perhaps I'm exaggerating a tad. It would help if I could remember the author, or the book's title, about a topic related to this situation. (Elisabeth Schor? Juliette Schorr? The branded child???) I would love to re-read her research results. But I can't for the life of me recall it, nor are the various search engines very helpful in that regard.

The reality however is that TV is a part of our life. Although hubby and I don't watch much, we do tune in and sometimes even tolerate shows that could best be described as idiotic. I even admit that I taped, during various times throughout my adult life, soap operas or other similar shows. Yes, taped them, so as to speed through the commercials. And you'll find me occasionally watching sitcoms like King of Queens, or Seinfeld, or Frasier, or even the one with Charlie Sheen in it...what's it called again? Something about two men?

Benjamin loves his videos. He knows which one he likes to watch, and picks them out at the library himself. He can have a mini-meltdown if he's not allowed to tune in at the exact moment he wants to.

But I redirect him often, and offer to play with him. As a SAHM (for now) I recently re-discovered Lego, and I have to admit I'm having great fun creating little vehicles for him (if it's got wheels, he's interested in it). We also read books, paint, do crafts, shovel snow and do an assortment of other things. He even has his own chores.

What does this have to do with the drinking part in the title of this post you ask?

Well...visit some mom blogs today and you'll note that almost all of them, particularly those of our American friends south of the border, have seen a segment on the Today Show a few days ago with Meredith making some comment about drinking mommies. You'll have to tune in to the various rants yourself to find out about it if you haven't heard. Try Notes from the Trenches (she's got 7 kids), or Mom, Ma'am Me (the first one I saw on this topic) for some of those rather funny commentaries.

Which brings me back to the drinking.

I enjoy my glass(es) of wine with some (many) homecooked meals. Given today's revelation however, that my toddler is now officially brainwashed, I can't help but think that Meredith would cast judgement on me too.

I know one thing for sure. We're having at least one glass of red wine with our T-bone steak tonight.



Nancy said...

Thanks for visiting and for the link back to my blog.

I really do get fired up about the judgmental behavior that some moms exhibit (and that some non-moms also exhibit when it comes to the issue of raising children in society.) Parenting is not a science; every child is different, every parent is different, every household is different.

You certainly described my household in your post: my kids watch TV -- some days more than others -- and I do occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner when my kids are around. And I am sure you are like me: I believe most things in moderation are not harmful. I'm not much of an all-or-nothing, black-or-white person anyway. I like to think that makes us more balanced as moms and as humans. :-)

AS said...
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