Thursday, August 10, 2006

If there's a remote chance...

Once upon a time ... not very long ago, there was a naive mother who believed that she would never say "no" to her children ... she would never revert to spanking ... and she would never allow processed sugar to contaminate her children's tender palate.

This naive mother also believed that she would never turn on the television set with every hope in the entire universe, that an Australian group of men dancing in brightly colored shirts, would keep her children happily entertained for 45 10 minutes so that she could clean the kitchen and overcook something get dinner ready.

It's ludicrous interesting that that just a few short months ago, I swore up and down and around the globe I'd never do any of those things. Yet now, a mere 120 days (plus or minus a few) later:
  • I say "No-No-No!" on average 2,000,000 times a day;
  • I pass out at least three "swats" a week when someone is standing on the kitchen table trying to reach a brownie with chocolate frosting for the umpteenth time that hour;
  • I hand out brownies with chocolate frosting for a snack ... AND,
  • I look forward, with great anticipation, to "The Wiggles" hour.
That's right ... all the things I said I'd never do.

Sometimes, I do them all in one day.

Sometimes, I do them all in one hour.

Before noon

But, there's a good reason. Our kids have unequivocally approached Hurricane Level II. When I look back to my conversation with our Pediatrician this past spring, I realize now that when I expressed concern over our "rambunctious" babies ... at the time, they were only at a "Tropical Storm" categorization. They hadn't really reached the Hurricane level, at all. My Pediatrician knew this. Not only does he care for children, he has a few of his own and he was fully aware that the "issues" I was fretting about, were peanuts. At the time, my babies were just barely walking. They certainly weren't running.

These days, I know what a hurricane feels like. The best image to conjure this sensation, is imagine barreling down a very steep, very slippery slope - towards a very busy road - horribly out of control. And you've got a leg cramp. And a migraine. And you're really hungry because you haven't had an opportunity to eat for several hours. And if you stand still for too long, there is a good chance, your pants will wind up around your ankles because it's too hot to wear overalls. And in the midst of this, a brand new glass from your 12 piece set, was shattered in a million little pieces, by one of three little "tornadoes" that make up this hurricane - while another tornado is running across the room with a pair of ... scissors?? ... SCISSORS!! ... in her mouth ... while the third tornado has figured out how to unlock your telephone and is attempting to call someone in Peru.

Suffice to say ... with three tornadoes toddlers in the house ... I have found that television, when used at the appropriate time and in moderation, is a gift sent straight from heaven directly in to our living room.

Our dependence on interest in television began when the babies were about 4 months old. It became obvious that between the hours of 7 AM to 7 PM 4-5 PM, the sound level in our house increased by approximately 100 decibels. Once you get over 100 decibels on a consistent basis ... OSHA recommends that you wear hearing protection. Provided you would like to hear your child's name called at their highschool graduation.

In those early days, we relied heavily on Baby Einstein videos. For a blessed 30-minutes each and every day ... our babies would be quiet sit in their bouncy chairs with thier little eyes fixated on spinning tops and puppet shows.

As the babies grew older, we introduced them to Teletubbies. All it took was me saying aloud "It's time for Teletubbies!" and the kids would stop their fighting and whining drop what they were doing, and flock to the television. I truly believe the Teletubbies are a large part of the reason our babies were able to expertly say and wave "bye-bye" at 10-months old.

We've caught Sesame Street here and there, but because it usually starts just as the kids are going down for their nap, they don't know Elmo from Cookie Monster. Ernie from Bert. Oscar from Big Bird.

It came to be that whatever show the babies were watching - I would watch, too. Sometimes, I'd catch the show while I'd be cleaning up the room they had just destroyed or, I'd actually sit down and watch it with them - while all three would clamor to sit on my lap.

After watching the Teletubbies for about two months, Charlie and I both came to the conclusion that whoever was responsible for the creation and production of that show - were on some serious, and most likely, illicit drugs. We had this realization regarding the wacked out Teletubbies, just about the same time we found "The Wiggles".

In my opinion, all you need to have a successful band, are four guys with dark hair and a British-sounding accent. It will certainly help if one or two of the guys can play the guitar, and if all of them can carry a tune. The thing about "The Wiggles" - much like "The Beatles" - is that they really can sing quite well. Even though "The Wiggles" are considered "children's music" the lyrics aren't too bad. When you think of it, "Driving a Big Red Car" is not nearly as far fetched as "Living in a Yellow Submarine."

What I've noticed is that if I so much as reach for the remote control, our kids run and grab loveys and dive bomb their couch. They will remain seated just until the band starts playing, and then within moments, all three of them are up, with their little arms waving and little legs kicking - all around the living room.

There is no doubt ... our toddlers are wiggling to "The Wiggles" and it is absolutely hysterical.

At our house, each and every night ... I can guarantee that in the 30-minutes before dinner time, our children are all-out laughing and wiggling to "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport!" I can also guarantee that between the hours of 8 PM and 11 PM ... Charlie and I can't stop singing "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport!" We are so enamored with this song ... we're seriously considering the purchase of a wobble board.

What I'm getting at ... is that it's not just the kids who are hooked on "The Wiggles".

I'm not ashamed of our addiction to this children's band. But, I was a little surprised when I was at the store recently, by myself, and a woman at the deli counter asked me "Ah, I'll bet you have a toddler at home?" I gave her a blank stare and said "Actually, I have three. How did you know? Can you hear them?!?" And she replied "I figured you must since you know all the words to 'Henry the Octopus'!!"

Yep, that would be a dead give away. But "Dorothy the Dinosaur" on our iPod would be a good indication, too.


  1. I think that I've learned over the years to never say NEVER. I swore my daughter would never watch Barney and she was his biggest fan. I'd be right there with her singing along. She LOVED the Wiggles too (they were just becoming popular when she was a baby). I can STILL to this very day sing Dorothy the Dinosaur (I can even do the little dance)... I do it every so often at work with some of the other fellow parents. Anyone who doesn't have kids usually goes scattering out of my office...probably thinking "crazy people".

    I think TV is a great entertainment and you shouldn't feel guilty at ALL. As long as it's not all day and it gives you a few minutes peace.

    My little guys WERE fascinated with Baby Einstein as babies....then they took a break from them. Now, it's like they've never seen them before. They LOVE them. Who knew?

  2. I am partial to Hot Potato myself.

  3. Yeah, you know you have a problem when you know all of the dances by heart.

    My kids newest thing is "Hi-5" on TLC.

    I get a babysitter for a half hour that I don't have to pay for=HEAVEN.

  4. I really think you should send this Blog to "The Wiggles". It is so cute and I think I will get a copy of those songs---just to get "Little Red Riding Hood went scurring thru the wood--The wolf said hello and she answered him--"
    Love the childrens music.

  5. Seriously, you crack me up! I was that first woman too and now look at me. Oh, the Wiggles, now I'm going to be singed hot potato all day :P I also like the do the monkey song. When we went to the zoo last weekend, the boys were doing the moves to the song when we saw the monkeys, elephants and tigers.

    I love how your kids sit so close together, mine can't touch at all. That would be the end of the world or something.

  6. This is too funny. I have some very similar pictures of my trio mesmerized by the soft glowing lights of Baby Einstein. We call it "baby crack" in our house.

    If I have made any wise choices as a mother, perhaps the wisest is to never say never. As soon as I found out I was pregnant with triplets, I figured any pre-conceived notions I had about parenting pretty much flew out the window. (First to go: "I will never drive a minivan.")


  7. Oh Jen!
    I am so right there with you on the "I'll never do that with my kids" thing. Tummy sleeping. TV watching. Sugar eating. Oh, and my latest--plopping him in front of Baby Einstein with a popsicle in his highchair while I play poker. For money. At least I'm making money!

    I LOVE the pic of the three of them in the little couch!!! It is precious!!!

    And, I think that Julie Aigner-Clark, who created Baby Einstein, will have a special throne in heaven for the magical work she's done here on earth. All Hail Julie Clark!!!