Sunday, September 7, 2014

Grevious offenses in children's programming

Before I had a baby, I swore up and down that my future children would not watch a ton of TV. I was downright judgemental about it. Couldn't believe there's actually an entire channel dedicated to BABIES. I mean, really, who puts their infant in front of the TV? Is staying at home really that hard that you have to rely on an animated rabbit to get through the day?

Um, YES. YES IT IS THAT HARD AND HE HAS A NAME. Harry. Harry the bunny. Don't talk trash on him, he's the reason I get to shower every day.
I love you, Harry the Bunny.

Suffice it to say, Claire watches a little TV every day. I know. Go ahead and scratch my name off the “Mother of the Year” ballot. I'll live. But don't think I'm not suffering here – yes, I'm getting a shower, but I'm also being subjected to TV that is geared to someone who poops their pants. Here are a few “highlights” of the BabyFirst channel -

First up we have Larry, the toucan. He teachers vocabulary. Get it? VocabuLARRY? Yeah. That part's not that bad. It's Larry's personality that's enough to push you over the edge. This entire show consists of unseen children introducing Larry to a new word and then Larry bouncing all over the screen, screaming the word like your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving. 
Off-screen children: “Look, Larry! A Shirt! Look at the shirt!”
Larry: “SHHHHIIIRRRRRTT!!! SSHHHHIRRRRRRRTT!!!!” X 10000
Children: “Look, Larry: many shirts!”
Larry: “MANNNNNNYY SHHHIIRRRRTTSSSS!!!! MANNNNNYYY SSHHHIIIRRRTTSS!!!” X 10000

Fortunately, this show's only about 3 minutes long. Unfortunately, they run it over and over again, all day long.

Next we have a show called “Tillie and Knock-Knock”. It's basically a lesson in how to get kidnapped. Tillie, who is a duck, hears someone knocking at her door. Without seeing who it is, she makes an educated guess (“Who could be at the door?” Person at door: “Moooooo” Tillie: “It sounds like a cow”).  Then here's where it turns bad. Instead of, say, looking through a peephole, Tillie just goes ahead and flings the door open. Someday, some duck pedophile is gonna catch wind of this idiot and go a-knockin', masquerading as a horse or something, and the show's going to be renamed “Tillie and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”.



And lastly, the “Notekins”. Overall, a good show. It's this group of 8 little people who teach basic music concepts: high, low, fast, slow, you get it. Each episode, they visit someone new: Mr. Banjo, Mrs. Cello, etc. I'm on board with all of that. It's their outfit that bothers me. See if you can figure out why:

Okay, if you're not an anal-retentive musician, this wouldn't bug you. It's their hats. See that “note” on the hat? Yeah, that's not a note. It's like a half note and an eighth note mushed together. Now, I realize that Claire isn't going to remember most of this, but the music teacher in me wants to chat with their music consultant. :)

All drunk toucans, stupid ducks, and incorrect music notation aside, I owe the BabyFirst channel a debt of gratitude. Thank you, BabyFirst, for lulling my child into a zombie-like state for half an hour so that I may shower, get dressed, and maybe even put on a little make up before she starts screaming again.

This week in Babytown

How old is Claire?: 21 weeks tomorrow! I can't believe she's 5 months old. On one hand, it feels like she's been with us forever. On the other hand, it's flying by!
Ugh, that fat roll above her knee is my FAVE

How Claire is eating: Like a champ, as usual. She's starting to take interest in what Russell and I are eating, so even though we're a month away from starting solids, I have a feeling she's going to be a big fan.

How Claire is sleeping: Well this is a whole different blog. Here's the short version: around 4 months, babies do this cool thing called “sleep regression”. It has to do with their sleep patterns changing and REM sleep vs. Non-REM sleep and blah blah blah. What matters is she stopped sleeping through the night at around 15 weeks. Back to “up every 2 hours”. With Russell back at work, this made me near homicidal. So, around 19 weeks, in an act of desperation, we decided to do the unthinkable: we let her “cry it out”. You may have heard it called “Ferberizing”. It gets a really bad rap. Basically, we go through her bedtime routine and then lay her down, drowsy but not asleep, and let her cry until she falls asleep on her own. We go in and check on her periodically. The first night, I tried it on my own because Russell “Go the F to sleep” McCurdy has a heart of coal and doesn't mind hearing an infant cry. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but I was feeling uneasy about the whole thing and wanted to try it on my own terms. So, I waited until he was at a Friday night football game, and I gave it a whirl. She cried for 3 minutes. I checked on her: patted her stomach, sang her a song. She calmed down and I left. She cried for 5 more minutes. Checked on her again. Cried for 8 more minutes and.....ASLEEP. WHOA. I deemed this a miracle from Jesus. To my surprise, she has put herself to sleep with very little crying (like, 20 minutes TOPS, interspersed with check-ins) every night since then. AND as an added bonus, she's starting sleeping through the night again. It's pretty much a miracle.


How much weight I've lost: A whopping 41 pounds, baby! I'm 7 pounds from my pre-baby weight and I better hustle because I've got 5 more weeks til I go back to work and none of my work pants fit currently... I doubt the students want to see me in running shorts and a t shirt, which is what I wear nearly every day.
this is why I hate selfies: GIANT HAND.

How Russell's doing: He's doing pretty well. His return to work has been a hard transition for all of us– fall is an especially busy season for marching band directors, so he's struggling to balance us with work. But on the plus side, he and Claire got to share their first UT game!
This is my parents fault.
See? Much happier in orange and white!

Milestones this week: Well, Claire rolled from tummy to back at 4 months exactly. I think she did it solely to avoid tummy time, which she hates. She loves to play with her rattle and her soft blocks, both of which can fit in her mouth (the ultimate goal for any toy). She enjoys being read to, especially "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".  She's weaned completely off the swaddle, which made me a little sad. Her hair keeps getting redder and her eyes are still blue. She's stopped screaming constantly in the car, which is awesome. And she's starting making that high pitched, girl squeal that all little girls make. Right now, it's adorable! Ask me again in a few months!