I am kind of a stickler about how much TV Kaden gets to watch. Like obsessive about it. I was one of those parents who pledged their child wouldn't watch TV until they turned two. Which totally didn't end up happening. But we did make it to almost a year before Chad broke out Finding Nemo, while he was acting as stay-at-home dad, and I was teaching full-time. I blame him for the lapse completely, but it was in a moment of desperation for him. Anyway, probably because we monitor his TV consumption so closely, he is a TV junkie. He begs for shows constantly. It's kind of sad.
Then I got pregnant. And sick.
And boy, howdy! Netflix, Kaden, my bed, and I became serious buddies some days. Wonder Pets, Pokoyo, Diego, Super Why! You name it. We've seen it.
You know how every parent has their personal niche of extreme? I have friends, for example, that are amazing at monitoring their children's sugar intake. Some of their kids have never had processed foods, where I have given Kaden fruit snacks as a bribe to be quiet in sacrament meeting for over a year now. Some parents have extreme adherence to a specific discipline philosophy. Some parents insist on homeschooling their children. The list goes on and on. All parents have their thing, and all parents (whether they admit it or not) think parents who don't do their thing are missing an important key to parenting. TV was my thing. I have nothing left. I have intense guilt, but so far the justification that I only use it as a crutch in extreme situations, and that we never have it on all day, is winning.
This morning, I woke up with a killer migraine. The kind where a smidgen of light makes everything start throbbing ten times worse than it already is. The kind that Tylenol (which I sometimes wonder . . . IS this, the only pain reliever allowed to a pregnant woman, an actual drug??? I'm beginning to think it might be a placebo) can't even touch.
Kaden, who has a sixth sense that he should wake up early on the most inconvenient days possible, woke up at 6:28 a.m.
I tried the, "Let's look out the window. See, the sun is still sleeping!" trick. Didn't work.
"I wanna lay by you!"
"Lie by you, Buddy" . . . (Just kidding, I didn't correct his grammar.)
So, Kaden came to snuggle with me and my pounding head. The rule is if he wakes up before 7 a.m. he has to try to go back to sleep, even if it's in my room. He lay there super quietly for a good thirty minutes and then said, "Mommy, I'm hungry! I wanna eat dinner."
And, because I'm a terrible parent, I told him if he stayed in my bed he could watch Diego, and I would bring him some milk and a cup of cereal. And that is an offer he simply can't refuse, my friends.
I'm not sure how many episodes of Diego we watched this morning, as I was drifting in and out of consciousness until he would scream, "One more show!" and I would shield my eyes from the blinding light emanating from the television screen and push the play button again.
Here are some of my thoughts on Diego, which I have complied from the impressions I've gathered after watching multiple episodes over the last few months:
1. In my anti-TV mom ignorance, I thought Diego and Dora were brother and sister. They are actually cousins, in case you were wondering.
2. Why, Diego, do you constantly feel the need to scream everything you say? You never talk in a normal voice. Never. You are always excitedly screaming.
3. The songs, all with a slew of Spanish words thrown in there (to help parents like me think their kids are learning something) are extremely catchy. I frequently sing them, with incorrect Spanish words, while washing the dishes, doing the laundry, etc. I never mean to start singing them. It just happens.
4. The Rescue Pack has the catchiest song. Even Kaden, who usually declines to dance, will rock out to it.
5. How old is Diego supposed to be, anyway? And why are his parents never concerned that he's gallivanting all over the freaking RAIN FOREST unsupervised? On the Valentine's Day special, Sammy the sloth was so concerned they weren't going to find his friend to deliver her Valentine before night fall. The sun kept slinking lower and lower in the sky. Luckily, they found her in time. As a parent, I was a little concerned about how Diego was going to make it home, however. I'm all about cultivating independence in children, but really???
So. My secret's out. Do you think one can return to a state of extreme after a lapse as intense as the one I have described?