Friday, December 10, 2010

Things I Have Learned From Children's TV

So the Bug is starting to get to an age where she can tell the difference between suitable television programing and my secret pleasure, the Real Housewives. (I can't get enough of 'em, although I totally think all the New Jersey Housewives are completely whack-a-do.) She's been a bit under the weather the past few days, so I've been letting her watch more TV than usual, since she hasn't been as into chasing the dog around the sofa as she is when her energy level is normal.

So I've been watching Sprout and Nickelodeon.

Okay, so it is time to date myself a bit. The TV I remember watching when I was a preschooler is pretty much Reading Rainbow and Sesame Street. Beyond that, my mom watched Days of Our Lives and Another World.

Some things I have learned from this new generation of children's shows.

1. Australians are really freakin' weird.

Example 1a: Dirt Girl World

Okay, so it is actually a co-production of the CBC and the ABC, but all the creepy little people and bugs have Aussie accents, so I lay this at the feet of the Aussies.

2. Brits are a bit odd as well. (Perhaps I should have combined these into one and just laid it at the feet of the entire Commonwealth. Perhaps this oddness is the lasting influence of the royal family?)

Example 2a: Rubbadubbers, a series that takes place entirely in a bathroom in stop motion.

Example 2b: Fireman Sam. It seems that Fireman Sam and his cohort are Welsh, and it is interesting to note that when the show originally aired, it was in Welsh. Even for a kids show, however, the morals seem a bit tidy. Also, I find a few of the voices a bit off, and the Welsh accents make me think of the show Torchwood, so I keep waiting for Capitan Jack Harkness to swoop in and blame the rift, and possibly hire and/or sleep with Fireman Sam or his sidekick who is, inexplicably, named Elvis.

3. Math can solve anything. The Bug loves a show on Nick called "Team UmiZoomi" in which 2 Smurf-sized children and their handy Robot solve Umi City's problems with their Mighty Math Powers. The show actually reinforces important skills for preschoolers like shapes, pattern recognition and counting, but the breadth of problems they solve with math is nothing short of stunning. They've found lost toys, gotten planes off the ground, made sure Grandma got her "I Love You Day" cookies. The part the Bug likes best is the song at the end.

4. It's all good if you can end the day with a song. Just ask Team UmiZoomi or Dora the Explorer.

I still want to know what Dora would do if she didn't find her objective and couldn't sing the "We Did It" song at the end of an episode.

Stupid Stuff I Love

So I have this in-law. She knows everything. Just ask her, and she'll tell you everything there is to know about everything. When presented with any question, this particular relative will emphatically tell the asker why her opinion is RIGHT. When I seek out friends to help me edit my dissertation, I won't ask her, largely because she will suddenly develop a deep knowledge of my field and attempt to debate points of methodology with me.

When I registered for gear for the Bug, this particular relative called me to critique roughly half of the baby stuff I had picked out. She has 2 kids, and of course she knew what we needed. She has, in fact, given us a lot of hand-me-downs, and I'm not saying we don't appreciate them, but I'm also a grown person and I would like to make a few decisions on my own for my child. And while I am all about the frugal, one of the advantages of a middle-class existence is that one has the means to get a few frivolous things.

Indeed, there is at least one baby item that DH and I use in part to spite this particular relation.

In light of this, thanks to the anonymous nature of the internet, here is a short list of baby stuff that I have loved so far that she thought were dumb.

1. Our wipe warmer. It is pretty frivolous in its own way... after all, the Bug survives when we are out and about and she has to deal with a room-temperature wipe. But the warmed wipes are particularly nice when she has a diaper rash or when she has woken up in the middle of the night and needs to be changed, as it eases the shock of suddenly being unwrapped down to a naked bum. If you get the right sort and maintain it correctly, it doesn't dry out the wipes.

2. The Boppy Newborn Lounger.  This thing was awesome when the Bug was smaller. She was never one for chilling out in mechanical moving things (i.e. bouncy seats or swings), and has always been one for being near people.

We were able to put her on it next to us where ever we were and she could just chill out. I loved this thing, the Bug loved this thing.

3. The nursing cover. I happen to have one by Balboa Baby. We like it, mostly. It is either appropriate or an evil thing of covering my child. I prefer this to the know-it-all relative's  approach, which was to nurse her children in public restrooms. I'm sorry, but that's kind of gross, if you ask me.

4. Newborn sized diapers. In these days of 8 and 10lb babies, there are a number of kiddos who never need these. The bug was 6lbs 5oz when she was born. For the first few weeks, the size 1s were just way too big. Sure, the size 1s mostly kept poop off of us, but the newborn ones fit so much better. We didn't need a massive case of them or anything, but they did the job so much better than the size 1s, which the nosey relative assured us were all we would need.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Nine Month Old

So every time the Bug goes for her check ups, our pediatrician (who we love), gives us a hand out about what she should be doing at this stage. I thought I'd share where she stands on the milestones that they outline in this month's hand out.

1. "Sits Alone"

What you can't see there is that she is actually leaning forward from the back of the crib, not just leaning on the headboard.

2. "Crawls or scoots, then pulls to standing."

The poor dog. Dude can't escape if the baby gate is up.

And the list of stuff she can mess with just tripled.

3." Picks up small objects with thumb and forefinger... and feeds self..."

What they fail to mention is how pleased she'll be with this particular skill or she will feed herself paper.

4. "Babbles 'ma ma' and 'da da' and enjoys music."

They don't mention that she will also imistate inflections and start sounding like a miniature professor.

They also don't mention that baby ninja will cut her mommy in the middle of the night as some sort of warning. (Sweat heart, if you didn't like the Turkey Vegetable puree, you could have just told me.)

Ninja baby gives her target a warning slice while the target ... on Twitpic

They suggest that she might be afraid of animals. (See above.)