I’ve admitted on here before, but I’ll say it again- my kid watches TV. The amount varies from day to day and week to week. Honestly, he watches the most when my husband is out of town because, well, I need a break. But on a typical day, when we are both home, he might watch one or two 25 minute episodes of his current favorite, usually when I’m trying to wake myself up in the morning by making and consuming half a pot of coffee or when we’re making dinner.
I realize I owe a lot to his favorite programs. Not only do they keep him occupied while I wake myself from a zombie-like state or unload steak knives from the dishwasher, but they also teach him things. Really! I swear they do. For example, he learned to “waddle” like a penguin the other day thanks to Diego. Hilarious. That should really come in handy down the road.
That being said, the shows range on a scale of annoyance from “Eh.. this is a small price to pay for 25 minutes of peace” to “OMGSTFUSOANNOYING”.
He’s got about 5 shows in steady rotation these days, here’s how they rate on the annoyance scale from least to most annoying.
5. Caillou- Maybe it’s because this is the newest addition to the DVR, but I gotta say, I don’t mind the kid. He’s sweet, well mannered, and speaks softly. Kendall LOVES him. Plus, I love that once I turn the show off, I’m not bombarded by Caillou anywhere else. He’s not plastered on boxes of crackers at the store, he’s not an action figure, and he doesn’t have his own set of Tickle Hands.
4. Blues Clues- I’m not in love with the show and I don’t think Kendall is either, but it’s manageable and seems to interest him every now and then. He discovered it just before he fell in love with Caillou. What I can appreciate about it is the noise level – quiet. There’s lots of tiptoeing around, looking for “clues”, and it’s all very subdued. Nobody is encouraging my kid to scream. Additionally, I think since the show peaked a long time ago it seems much of the Blues Clues paraphernalia and branded products have disappeared from stores, so it’s pretty easy to escape once we turn it off.
3. Diego- Up until a few weeks ago when Caillou stole his throne, this was Kendall’s absolute favorite show… well, after he fell out of love with Dora, and after Dora kicked Elmo off the top. Diego’s on thin ice with me, though. He’s coming close to wearing out his welcome, and I really don’t appreciate his insistence that “Everybody SCREAM!” all the time. And Diego is one of those we can’t escape. He’s nearly everywhere. I actually almost bought a miniature toilet seat with his face all over it in a moment of weakness while lying to myself, thinking a cartoon rescuer could entice my kid to potty train.
2. Dora- I don’t think I really need to justify why I’m annoyed by Dora, as I’m sure many of you feel the same way. She’s demanding and bossy and always yelling, “Say it LOUDER!” Why must we make the children be loud?! And she’s everywhere. She’s on shirts and shoes and sheets. She’s in your bathtub, your toy box, your laundry, your car. Sure, she’s educational, and sure she’s provided hours of entertainment for my kid, but enough already. We need a break.
1. Honestly, it was a close tie between and Elmo and Dora, but I had to give the number one spot to the furry red monster that Kendall has been obsessed with for the last 6 months. I don’t know what it is about him, but it seems like every 16 month old is instinctively infatuated with Elmo. He’s loud, he sticks around way too long, and he’s taking over the world. The marketing monster has grown so big that they now think it necessary and appropriate to introduce us to Tickle Hands. I might be willing to bump him down to #2 if his Potty Time With Elmo book and corresponding Elmo “big boy undies” actually get my kid to use a toilet.
What’s funny is after making this list I’ve found that a show’s annoyance factor is based on a few things, and they all seem to coincide. The longer I’ve been subjected to it, the louder it is, the harder it is to escape it and not run into licensed products at every turn, the more likely I am to be all OMGSTFUSOANNOYING. Now, if that’s not valuable information for… well, somebody out there who’s in charge of making sure parents are not totally annoyed by their lucrative little TV show, I don’t know what is. Unless they don’t really care about the parents because we don’t really have a choice. It’s possible that’s the case. It’s possible they have a deeper understanding of the power of a toddler.
Kendall’s one week shy of 22 months, and now I can’t shake that one time Elmo sang the “Skin” song to the tune of Jingle Bells. “Skin, skin, skin, Skin, skin, skin, Skin, skin, skin, skin, skin!” <Creepy, no?