Thursday, January 22, 2009

Children's Programming

I used to think that Barney was bad. Then came the Teletubbies...and other British children's shows that make me wonder what bad acid trip the creators were on. I firmly believed, B.M. (before motherhood,) that I would ban any children's show that was not educational...or that annoyed me. But then I had kids.

I like "The Backyardigans." Other than not knowing what in the world Uniqua is supposed to has catchy tunes. And I'm rather fond of Tyrone the moose and his anxieties...he reminds me of myself. Dora, however, needs somebody to teach her how to use her "indoor voice." I mean...what is up with the yelling? I have enough screaming kids at my house...I certainly don't need one more. Alas, Irelynn loves her.

Irelynn has discovered a new show that makes me cringe. "Yo Gabba Gabba." Now, the name alone, says it all. It has a guy in an orange jumpsuit with a fur hat, a robot, a long-armed monster, and a character that, as a friend once pointed out, resembles something a woman would use to pleasure herself. Not that I would know anything about that.

So, why do I not ban these shows? Is it in hopes that my daughter will learn useful phrases in Spanish? Is it because I want her to know that robots and monsters are people, too? Or perhaps because I feel the music in "The Backyardigans" will inspire the budding musician that I'm sure she is? No, my friends. I have no reason to justify allowing my child to watch these shows. Other than they offer me a half hour of quiet, happy toddler time. Which, as anyone who has a toddler valuable indeed. And educational. They teach her that a happy mommy is more willing to play that extra round of Candyland. Or Lucky Ducks. Or read "Green Eggs and Ham" for the 10th time. Which makes up for the brain cells she most likely lost after that last episode of "Yo Gabba Gabba."

Sesame Street is still good. And entertaining. Although I could do without "Elmo's World." Mr. Noodle never gets anything right. I think it would appeal more to adults if they taught kids more relevant things in life. Like the importance of sleeping in. Or why quiet time is important. Or perhaps why mommy drinks. I can picture it now:

Let's ask Dorothy....or, about the part what drinks and what doesn't?

Does a dog drink?
Unless Daddy thinks it's funny to pour beer into his water dish....

Does a pineapple drink?
But you can put pinapple juice into a drink!

Does the postman drink?
In fact, I think he drinks on the job....

Let's ask Mr. Noodle....

Mr. do you drink?
(Mr. Noodle pulls out light beer)

No, no Mr. Noodle...that's not how you drink!!
(Mr. Noodle looks confused, shakes head, smiles, and pulls out a wine cooler)

Mr. Noodle ....that's not how you drink....
(Mr. Noodle pulls out the bottle of Tequila)

Yay Mr. Noodle!!! Now you're drinking!!

Perhaps I should invest more time in actual adult programming when the kids are in bed.


  1. OMG! Tyler loves Yo Gabba Gabba and Elmo's world. I'll never be able to look at Dorothy or Mr. Noodle the same way again!! :)

  2. ...And you forgot...

    "Dorothy wants to sing the drinking song!" :)