Friday, December 12, 2008

What is too much TV?

Be careful what you wish for, I guess? We have been wanting Amelia to show interest ina TV show so that we can entertain her on our trip to PR for the holidays.  Now , the kid is hooked.  Blues Clues, Elmo, Dora, "la novela", Spanish TV documentaries on the human body ( her babysitter really likes the latter 2).  She also likes Handy Manny which drives me crazy since the stereotype is insane. A latino handy man. It's only saving grace?  He is adorable and Wilmer Valderrama does his voice and he is an awesome Latino businessman and a decent actor. 

But now I'm worried she watches too much TV. So do I.  I have watched TV from the day it caught my eye.  When I was single, it was my companion. It's the first thing I would turn on in the morning and the last thing I would turn off at night. I work in television for crying out loud. That thing feeds my family.

Yet, now I'm worried I'm a bad mother for starting Amelia on this family tradition too early. But what am I supposed to do with a 14 month old  when the temperature outside is below zero with the wind chill factor.  I play with her. Her babysitter plays with her all the time.  She moves away from the TV to play on her own often. 

She's 14 months, I can't give her a crayon yet. She navigates our 2 bedroom apartment like a police investigator. She opens drawers, tries to put her hands in the toilette.  Drags her dolls all over the place but if Blues Clues is on, she's frozen on her bean bag. 

I take her to be with other kids at least twice a week and in the weekends we go out often. But still, the other day she gave Steve the remote first thing in the morning when he didn't turn it on quickly enough.

Then again, I grew up on TV and my brain didn't turn to mush.  My Mom never sat down to play with me for hours and I don't resent her. Plus, except for the Spanish soap operas and documentaries, and the morning show I work for, Amelia watches Nogin and Sprout.  

TV and all, I got good grades, had extracurricular activities, a social life, graduated cum laude from college, have a successful career, found a guy and have a family. Maybe there is a future for her.

I guess I could have my father's approach. (Si, Papi por fin estas en el blog) He was offended when we didn't consume anything his company sold. From electronics to Coca Cola, anything Bacardi distributed, no matter how bad it was, we had to buy it.  Still now, after being retired for over a decade, the man only drinks Bacardi. So do I.   The least Amelia can do is appreciate television for what it is, Mami's passion and what puts food on her table. Que no sea malagradecida. Ay Mama!


Anonymous said...

This is one for your brother. How much TV does Mariana watch???? Does she watch "La Comay"??
Dont worry about it, if its your passion and your work, she"ll probably hate it as a teenager.
Tio Roger

Beth said...

Thanks for posting this - I often feel the same way (my daughter is 20mo) and I feel a lot of guilt. However, just like you, Evie and I do a lot of playdates and she's involved in My Gym, library lapsits and other activities around town. So - if it means some peace and quiet when they watch their little shows then so be it. :) Again, thanks for posting this - you're not alone and it makes others just like you feel not alone either!

Ana Belaval said...

Hi Beth,

That's exactly the point of this blog. For so long we all pretended motherhood was bliss when it's just an fascinating/frustrating experience full of love and bodily fluids.

Thanks for reading and for the support.

Ana said...

Thanks, Ana. It is nice to know that there are others who stuggle with the same thoughts and issues. It is amazing how culture plays a big part in our parenting. I will not worry myself so much anymore about the kids and TV. I too, managed to get good grades while being a day and night TV watcher.