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May 7, 2008

Yes, I Let My Two-Year-Old Watch TV


By Cindy Droog

I let my two-year-old watch TV.


There, I admitted it. And while I may be kissing my Mother of the Year Award good-bye, Ive got some good reasons that might at least prevent the judges from laughing out loud at my application.


I let him watch Wheel of Fortune because my dad and mom used to watch it with me. We used to have a healthy little family competition each night, and the winner didnt have to help with the dishes. And, it jump started my lifelong love of word games and maybe even my career.


Nothing warms my heart like watching him yell E or J at the screen. He chooses his own letters I have no idea how and he has so much passion when Vanna White finds his letter, laughing and clapping for himself. Im definitely seeing a sixth-grade spelling bee in his future.


I also let him watch American Idol (which has, unfortunately, forced me to admit that I watch American Idol). I want him to believe that he can be anything he wants to be, but its more than that. It also shows him that just because you should win, doesnt mean you will. 


Take Jason Castro for example. Should he be singing to us, while Carly Smithson sits in her apartment and watches him perform? Of course not. And while hes a little young to understand this concept, I think this is a very subtle way of showing him that life isnt always fair, but when forced to leave the stage, you can still go out with a bang.


One thing I thought for sure I would love to watch with him is Major League Baseball. I could watch it every night I dont but I could. My parents and I used to watch baseball, too, but that was before the major sponsors of Viagra and Bud Light were being flashed across the screen every five seconds.


Still, I guess well have to have the talk about avoiding alcohol and unprotected sexual activity at some point. I figure, what better time than when were happy, just after Magglio Ordonez has hit a triple against the Yankees?


Hes also allowed to watch a few kids shows. Bob the Builder has a team of people, machines and animals that have the can-do attitude Id like him to embrace. Handy Manny has singing tools Im not sure why thats a good thing, but it sure is catchy to go around telling him to Hop up! Jump in! to his car seat so that vamanosing is possible.


We obviously TiVo shows like House, Criminal Minds, the nightly news, and our other favorite Bill Maher for when hes sleeping. As much as Id love him to be a future doctor, FBI agent or liberal comedian, I figure theres got to be a way to encourage this that doesnt involve weapons, blood or the f-bomb.


I might not be Mother of the Year, but there are some things Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton just cant teach him. Im not counting on the tube to do too much, but a few conversation starters via ESPN and Fox are OK by me.


2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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