Remember that famous cliché, "everything changes once you become a parent"? I'll vouch for that! Ever since becoming a mom five years ago, I look at my surroundings and perceive them in a whole new light. It's kind of a low tech "let-me-hit-the-light-switch-in-mom-and-dad's-bedroom-on-and-off-repeatedly-at-5 a.m.-before-I-move-on-to-the-bedside-table-lamps" special effect type light. Yes, nothing is the same anymore. It even seems like most of my household items, formerly there to serve and protect (see alarm clock, electric kettle, bathroom door), now continue existing for the sole purpose of mocking me. The hardest one for me to accept is the TV. Previously a source of inspiration and comfort, it attacks me nowadays with brightness, loudness and rapid eye movement-inducing images.
Kids' shows appear to be designed to drain parents of their last remaining shreds of sanity. Here are some of the ways in which they do it:
Google "The Wiggles" and the first page that comes up will refer to them as "Four Aussie guys in their colorful skivvies." Sounds about right. Enter exhaustion.
I know your demographic is 2-8-year-olds and you've nailed it with your sense of aesthetics, delivery and energy levels, but remember, my toddler and preschooler are not turning the TV on by themselves. There's someone at home to help them with that -- someone who hasn't slept in five years and has not a perky bone (not to mention other parts) in her body. Either stop singing or dancing or lose the colorful skivvies. Something's gotta give, mate.
2. Unsolved enigmas
No thanks, "Mystery." My caseload is full. I'm currently working on "If You Were a 5- or Possibly 2-Year-Old, Where Would You Put my Husband's Work Badge?" and "How Come You're Tantrumming When I'm Serving The Same Dinner You Couldn't Get Enough of Last Night?" I do not wish to take on "Where Are Max and Ruby's Parents?", nor "What is Binou's Gender?"
3. Catchy opening tunes
Because while the cats are away, the mice shouldn't be humming "They're two, they're four, they're six, they're eight." Or is it while the mice are away? Either way, this is wrong. And should never ever happen again. And again. And again.
4. Unacceptable Behavior
I spend considerable amounts of time trying to teach my son that whining gets you nowhere in life. The fact that you're on TV sabotages my message.
5. All Things Psychedelic
No bright, loud, multi-colored, flickering effects, please. Psychedelic is that which is produced under the experience of altered consciousness. No need to bother, I'm already on a strong consciousness-altering substance. It's called sleep deprivation.
Dear Dora, Mickey Mouse Club House, Bubble Guppies and other attention-seekers,
I'm in a symbiotic relationship with a toddler and preschooler. It doesn't get any more interactive than that. Yell out "And what do YOU think?" or "Say it with us!!!" one more time and I'll use the remote control on you.
This post was originally published on In The Powder Room.