From contributing writer Ann Croft, one of the coolest moms I know.
I am ashamed to admit it, but I have let my 13 month-old watch television. And not just once – more like once a week.
I am ashamed, not because I grew up without television, but, because I am one of those obnoxious people who will state with disgust, “Oh – I don’t watch T.V.” And here I am, letting – no not letting – encouraging my baby to watch Elmo.
I’ve got a million excuses. And they all begin with the fact that I’m exhausted.
The kicker is that my kid, my brilliant, creative, funny kid, LOVES Elmo. The first time I put in an Elmo DVD (that my pusher-husband brought home from the library – yes, let’s blame him!) she stopped what she was doing, plopped down on the rug, and said, “Hi!” to the T.V. She was hooked.
She laughs uproariously when Elmo laughs. Which is ALL the time, by the way. And she bops along to his silly songs. I’m pretty sure she thinks Elmo is a very talented cat as she calls to him the same way she calls our housecats.
While she watches, she will often turn her head to check in with me almost as if she is making sure that I am soaking it all in with her. Her eyes seem to say, “Got that, mommy, got that? Mr. Noodle thinks a banana is a telephone! Oh Mr. Noodle!”
And it gets better. I let her stand directly beneath the television, holding on to the table with her neck bent almost 90 degrees staring up at the screen. Yes, I have moved her away for fear that she’ll strain her eyes or pull the whole thing down on herself. But it’s as if she just can’t get close enough to Elmo. She always ends up back in that position.
So. Not only is my child’s brain being turned to mush by the evil producers of Sesame Street, she is going to need a neck brace and glasses by the time she gets to kindergarten.
But let me tell you. As guilty as I feel. As much as I try to keep this my dirty little secret. As much as I say, “Just this once because I am soooo tired. But after this, never again,” I have to admit it, much like my 13 month-old, I’m hooked on Elmo.
♬Do dah doo doo Do dah doo doo Elmo’s World. . . .♬♫