You know you have a problem when your 16 month old turns on the TV and brings you the remote. You know you have a serious problem when said toddler, whose vocabulary approximates 25 words, says Yo Gabba Gabba before going to sleep. R has become a couch potato, well at least a fingerling!
H didn't have this issue because I was more the TV police with him. No TV till 1 year, then 30 minutes of Sesame Street, which became the full hour at 18 months. Limiting viewing was just not possible with R. Probably from 7 months onward, when he could crawl towards the TV, he was watching whenever H was watching, which was more frequently because it was the only reward he cared about to get through potty training. R became a TV junkie, becoming even picky with his choice of shows by turning off the TV if he didn't like a certain Noggin program. So Stewart and I decided to pull the plug.
When I disconnected the cable box today, H had a meltdown. He would not stop crying and I was forced to take him to his room for a nap. The cable guy was coming to pick up the box and I made the mistake of letting H watch too much because I felt bad that it would soon be taken away. I really hope that this will help them to develop their imaginations, but more presently, not want to watch TV so much. I was sad for myself, but, thankfully, Monk is available on Hulu. And less TV = more time to blog. As for Stewart, he'll have to make friends with people whose TVs are available for USC games in HD.
This all raises the question, is TV bad? My MIL tells me all the time of some new study that proves that watching TV makes you retarded (her word not mine, I know it's not PC). But then my good friend--Yale undergrad, Columbia law school, University of Chicago business school-- counters with how she used to watch TV all the time as a kid. My mom tells me I started watching TV as a toddler in Korea during the hours while she would make dinner. I actually remember watching a regency movie with Korean subtitles while I lived in Korea. After watching it, I decided to become a princess when I grew up. I found out in time that the only real remaining monarchy was the House of Windsor. My love of all things British led me to college in New England and then Oxford for a study year abroad. I majored in history in college, concentrating on the British Empire. A single television program became an integral thread in the fabric of my life. Will I be depriving my kids of something that could impact them to the same degree by shutting off the boob tube? Will I relegate them to the fate of being the uncool kids with no concept of popular culture?
We'll see what happens over the next few months. Stay tuned...