During our vacation last week, in between fun filled outings to the zoo, museum and Target (!), to distract my children from trashing my in-laws immaculate, beautiful and not at all toddler-proofed house, we watched a Blues Clues dvd. On a loop. Any time we were in the house for more than 5 minutes. My brother-in-law asked the question I know most people unaccustomed to a constant stream of “Maaaaaaail Tiiiiime!” would:
“How do you stand this all day? Cause I’m already going a little crazy.”
My first instinct was to assure him we don’t have the TV on that much at home, but I pushed past it- he wasn’t attacking my animation supported parenting style, he was really asking for a coping tactic.
So how do I do it? The never ending dvds of Steve/Joe & Blue, repeat watchings of the movie du jour, be it Cars, WALL-E, Bolt or Backyardigans Robot Rampage, or the old, still in “We’re educational!” dvd case Baby Einsteins. Simple really.
“I don’t pay attention.”
I don’t think my answer was embraced. He’d obviously been trying to block out the silly songs, stories and… well, I’m not sure what else actually. Because I was, truly, not paying attention. It’s a marketable skill I think, but to stick it on your resume, you’d have to reword.
“Able to accomplish tasks in timely manner despite distractions in noisy workplace.”
See, sounds much better that way, right? But seriously. I don’t listen anymore. Before I figured this out, I watched Cars 2-3 times a day, at the behest of Sam, the master of “Can I watch?”. Heaven knows the boys tune it out, only coming back during their favorite part (the driving sequence with Mack, I don’t know why). Which left me with inane dialogue and a storyline that could have been cleared up if Lightening McQueen was just given his ONE PHONE CALL!
*ahem* I digress.
Now, I turn on Franklin, Team Umizoomi, Dinosaur Train or whatever other pseudo-educational drivel the little ones currently clamor for, and TUNE IT OUT.
Which makes the shows a little more delightful. I know Umizoomi has been the obsession for a couple days now, but I just picked up on the fact that Bot is voiced by Joe from Blue’s Clues. He also has some sort of container system on the other side of his body, the side that does not hold the catchy “belly-belly-belly screen!”. I slowly pick up bits and pieces of the show, but don’t have the men in white coats coming to pick me up while I alternately complain that none of *my* friends ever send me paper thin video letters, and rambling about Blue being the only animal that can’t speak in a decipherable tongue.
Okay, I admit it, I do have an Achilles heel. The aforementioned Baby Einstein dvds. I know, I know- they’re just colorful toys & images, set to classical music. Seems like perfect background noise, right- completely ignorable. It’s not, and I hate it. Maybe it’s because there’s nothing new for me to gleam on the occasions when I pause between laundry loads and diaper changes. Maybe I just really enjoy a story, even if it’s simple and repetitive. Or perhaps classical music just gives me a tic. Whatever it is, I’ve hidden the damn Baby Einstein, and will convincingly plead ignorance to their whereabouts if questioned by the 3 year old. Because sometimes, ignoring just doesn’t cut it, and the world is not a good place for anyone if Mommy’s having an insane day.