telly tuning

The first time I saw Caillou, I thought, awww, how sweet - a little boy with cancer as the hero! Now I know that Caillou does not have cancer, the question begs to be answered: why doesn't this kid have hair? Or nipples?

Micah set this doll on his train, "Caillou"!!

Caillou has the most annoying whiny voice and talks in baby-speak way too much for my own auditory pleasure. Yet I let Micah watch the show because they rejoice in cleaning, gleefully extol the merits of being a responsible big brother and slather putting away your toys with adoration. Micah's halo is firmly on after a little Caillou.

With Thomas, too. Added plus with Thomas: he learns all kinds of train terms that crack us up later, like coupled up. Oh, and Brit-speak: he looks cross! Thomas is all about helping out, being "a really useful engine". He's about instilling morals, values, and drumming highly repetitiously catchy songs into your brain through the voices of young English boys.

To be completely honest, Thomas usually bores the crap out of me. He moves an inch, those eyes go back and forth while Ringo Starr or George Carlin or someone else talks about how Thomas can't wait to carry those eggs. Yaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn. Back when I was pregnant and ragingly insomniac, I'd put Thomas on to knock myself out. More effective than any cup of chamomile tea (or baseball game), I'll tell you.

And then, you have Word World and Super Reader. Word World is all right. Super Reader gives Thomas a run for its money as a top-tier slow show.  But Micah loves it. It makes me look great, too, because it's essentially teaching him to read and it looks like I did all that, stay-at-home-mom that I am. Ha!

TV has changed so much. In my day, it was Mighty Mouse, Tom and Jerry. Lots of action-packed-smacking. Destruction, death, good-vs-evil. Now? They care about watering the plants and helping Tom Thumb get back to his parents. Not all, but many shows are actually rather marvelous at reinforcing concepts that I dearly hope Micah will take to heart (like how rad it is to put away all of your toys!).

I once thought I'd be just like my parents and raise my kids largely without TV (forgetting of course that they simply DID NOT HAVE TV in Fiji).Don't get me wrong - it's not like I'm an advocate for plunking your little darling in front of the screen for hours on end (in the basement even), but I do think a little here and there can be positive.

Your kid is raring to be helpful, itching to put his toys away, learns to read and you get a nap: not bad, in my book. Not bad at all.

Moxie's digging the Caillou Train too