I know I’m supposed to be all crunchy and everything. I am. But, my kid… not so much. He is like the anti-crunch. Co-sleep, not for him. Nursing, he’s had enough. (Cloth) Diapers, we don’t need no stinkin’ diapers. And now, he watches TV.
Simmer down now. I know I have more control over this one than the others. Thing is… I don’t mind it so much. I suppose I should, but, I don’t. Now, he isn’t watching Spongebob and South Park and all other manner of mind killing animation. No, he’s watching Sesame Street. We might throw in a few minutes of Dinosaur Train if there is something I need to get done. Every now and then we might watch a little Cat in the Hat if Mama’s feeling really lazy (or needs to get a boobie or two crocheted). But, mostly it’s just Sesame Street. And, my 18 month old recognizes about 1/2 of the alphabet. And counts to 4. And knows several shapes. And a couple of colors. And all the animals, and their sounds. I do mean ALL the animals. And he plays memory match on the kindle, and makes matches. And holy cow he’s not even two yet, I don’t think Sesame Street is hurting his development At.All. (I’m not trying to be braggy, just trying to make the point that the TV he’s watching isn’t slowing him down or hampering his development.)
That said, the AAP has scared my husband into monitoring screen time to the minute. Because children under two who watch ANY TV are bound to develop ADHD and autism and will likely become serial killers. (That may be an exaggeration of the actual AAP statement… Here’s a little more balanced article sans sarcasm, lest ya’ll think I’m making this shit up and not really reading up on the subject!) Once again we have a little disagreement in issues parenting…
I’m not wanting to let Baby G just watch TV all day. But… sometimes I need to do laundry and cook dinner and every now and again I do like a shower. I suppose I could just lock the littles in living room and let them battle it out while I get shit done. Or, I could turn on their little shows and know that they won’t fight, might learn something and will be much more content while I have to do something away from them. Daddy is of the opinion that I should “just do what they used to do before TVs and PBS Kids.”
That got me to thinking, what DID “they” used to do? So, I asked my mom. Turns out she used to let us watch Sesame Street! My Gran is passed and my Mamaw is not really coherent anymore, so I couldn’t ask my Grandmothers. So, I asked my great aunts (and their friends apparently, also how cool is it that my great aunts are on Facebook & e-mail!). Know what I found out? Of the 7 women that gave me answers 4 of them had a mother or mother-in-law that lived with them when their kids were little (funnily enough, for my aunts it was their hub’s mom that lived with them, not their mom). Over half had “live in help.” Of the 3 that didn’t, 2 lived within walking distance of a relative that helped with the kids. All of them felt comfortable turning their kids loose outside. All of them admitted they wouldn’t do that today. Not just because of crime either, one specifically said there were too many cars around now. You know what else they told me? The big kids watch the little kids. Like “duh.”
So, let’s see here, I have no family within walking distance on whom to pawn the children. I have no live in help. My MIL is a batshit crazy hose beast that can’t come to my house at all and my mother works 60+ hours a week. And, I have no older children to watch the little ones and probably never will. So, doing what they used to do? No so much an option.
I now feel no guilt at all letting Elmo babysit for an hour a day so I can load the dishwasher, do some laundry, clean the breakfast mess and maybe one day manage to take a shower. If the AAP has an issue with that, they can feel free to suck it.