So, I was of the camp whose philosophy it is to not allow children under two to watch TV. That's what the AAP says. That's what all my books say. No TV includes no Baby Einstein videos, no Disney movies, and the like. I read the info. I even read some research on the subject while proofreading a shrink friend's paper. It can confuse and damage the way a baby learns. That's serious stuff.
And then one day, oh probably around Norah being 7 or 8 months of age, I felt like crap. I just wanted to sit with Norah on my lap and do nothing. That is tough when your baby just discovered crawling, and it's the greatest thing since, I don't know, rolling over. I dusted off a Baby Einstein video that we had never even unwrapped (a gift), and popped it in the DVD player.
Norah was memorized. It was about animals. She sat with me, captivated, for nearly the entire video. She giggled. She sat, mouth agape. It was... awesome.
And, like all things "bad," you start out with a little, and then it grows. Once you do something bad the first time, the second time is a hell of a lot easier. You can push that guilty little nagging down into your stomach. Here, watch this while Mommy makes lunch. Here, watch this while Mommy showers. Here, watch this while Mommy sits and does nothing for a while.
So, now it's Baby Einstein, Martha Speaks, Arthur, and Dexter's Laboratory (okay, that last one is really for Ryan and I). I even know the theme songs. I even sing them for Norah and she smiles, recognizing her TV friends. She goes to Grandma's and points to their TV. Now Grandma allows Sesame Street. And Norah can say "cookie," (well, "coo-coo"), and it's not for the snack; it's for the fuzzy blue monster.
Is it all over? Have I irreparably damaged my daughter? Will her attention span be short? Will she be dumb? Will she stop liking everything except the glowing devil box?
Okay, I'm not a monster; we don't have her sitting in front of the tube all the time. She still would much rather play with her tow truck or her Silly Town or read books than watch TV (thankfully). But we're obviously not such sticklers on TV anymore. Making dinner is a hell of a lot easier when someone is not hanging on your leg. Granted, I probably let her watch a little more than I should, but I am working on it. I don't want her to be a TV addict. She can wait until she's in her 30s for that. Lost, The Office, Project Runway, NCIS... sigh. I need to work on myself.