Wednesday, April 14, 2010


My sons are not really "into" watching television. There is nothing I would love more than laying on the couch with my boys on a Saturday morning watching cartoons, Or on a rainy day watching a Disney movie. But they won't. Their attention for television lasts all of 30 seconds and then they are up and at em. not really my "style" unfortunately for me!
What we CAN Do with them is have them sit in our laps for short periods of "snuggle time" and so part of our "wind down" ritual for the night is to bath, get pajamas on and then sit in mom's lap with a drink and watch 30 minutes of something like "in the night garden". The only problem I have with this is that In the Night garden do not make new shows on a daily basis so I have pretty much seen all the garden has to offer. My spouse can block out the show and she thinks of other things while the boys sit on her lap. The same does not work for me so I am intimate in ways I never knew possible with iggle piggle, the tombileboos, makka pakka, daisy doo and other night garden characters.

To mix it up for myself a little I thought if we watched some other shows it would give me some variety in my viewing and so we have been "experimenting" with other shows to watch at bedtime. What we have discovered is that there are "types" of shows good for bedtime viewing and others that are not. Some of the ones that are NOT are "The Wiggles", "Yo Gabba Gabba" or "Roary the Racing Car". The tempo of these shows is too much and the boys get over stimulated and not calmed. One of the shows they LIKE to watch is "Thomas the Tank Engine".

I am not a fan of Thomas and friends.

Let me just segue here to my own growing up experience. When I was growing up one of the things we lived to do at lunchtime was watch the Flintstones. My mom curtailed our flintstone pleasure because she said my little brother (love you Raisin Bran Man!) would "talk like Fred" and Fred was not nice to his wife or to his friend Barney. Now I was not savvy enough to see this myself at the time and I thought it was a lame reason not to watch the show. Wow does having kids ever change your opinion of life and the things your parents did when you were a child!

So Thomas the tank engine. I think the message is an "ok" one - you need your friends to help you out in life - but it takes the full length of the show to get to that point - the point of needing people - and in the meantime the engines are not nice to one another, they are mean and they don't share. My kids can't follow the show long enough to "get" the message. All they see is the engines wanting to do everything for themselves to disastrous conclusions and then getting bailed out even though they were rude and nasty.

I have become "one of THOSE people " who has an opinion about, of all things, a CHILDREN'S television show!

My cousin who has an older child said she really likes Phineas and Ferb, so I checked it out and LOVE it. I tried to get my kids to watch that, but they aren't interested yet. Thankfully I don't care if they like shows or not, I'll watch a kids show without shame! Yay for Phineas! Until they are old enough to watch with me, at bedtime we will take advantage of other treehouse shows which I do approve of..... "Big and Small"(my favorite), "Dragon" and "the Backyardigans" (Backyardigans just makes me laugh, what is with that dancing?)


D Dae said...

Backyardigans rocks! It is the favourite show in our household and pretty much the only show our 18 month old will sit through so I can do his hair. We have almost every episode saved on our PVR. As for the dancing, I looked it up one day. They actually have dancers choreograph and dance the routine with sensors on them, then they over lay the animation and synch it with the sensors. That is why the movements seem so intricate. Pretty elaborate for a kiddie show made in Canada!

The Bumbles said...

Oh this is funny! Not having kids of my own, but spending many hours with others' little ones, I can certainly relate to the need to find something new to entertain your own brain while entertaining the little ones too.

Do they still do Dragon Tales? I liked that one - the theme song and the message. A PBS show.

We were vacationing with friends recently and they popped in an old Muppet Show DVD that had 3 or 4 episodes on it and their twin 1 year olds just sat there in awe. Plus it was fun for us adults to reminisce.

Teena in Toronto said...

Not having kids, my knowledge of kids TV shows stopped at about 1970. I've heard of Thomas, Barney, etc. but have no idea what they are about.