March 5, 2009

SOMETHING'S GOT TO GIVE

Like most new moms, I was a bit frazzled and dazzled by the all the information I was constantly being fed when Baby-Ko was born. I'm sure I could have shut myself off to some of it, but the over-achiever, neurotic and Hollywood mommy in me ate it up like crack.  Plus, what did I know about motherhood and parenting, really? I certainly wasn't about to take advice from my mother in law (who thinks you can get a "cold in your vagina" if you walk around barefoot), and I certainly wasn't going to "wing it," (that would require giving up control). I needed to KNOW things and I looked to experts, authors, and money-making, yenta-loving mommy and me teachers like Wacky for advice. Often times, however, her advice was down right scary....

One of the many "no-no's" that Wacky imparted on us was television watching-- Letting your baby (under the age of 2) is a cardinal sin and will make them very, very dumb. I remember she passed out an article about some study done stating that letting your child watch television or videos, specifically Baby Einstein, will make actually LOWER their IQ and can even cause language delays. What? Really? Okay, guess those videos are getting re-gifted. Let some other person dumb down their kid. Not my little dude. No way. Television is staying off. FOR. EVER. (The Today Show doesn't count... right?)

Then my life changed. Drastically. I went back to work full time and left my SPSAHM (that's: Super Perfect Stay at Home Moms) behind.  I started working at a mommy website, listening to stories from BTDTM (that's: Been there Done That Moms) and slowly but surely, the slacker in me started to surface. The more tired I got, the harder it became to be so cautious, so concerned. The harder it became to do "the right thing,"  the easier became to cave in to "just this one time" mode. It was like I went from organic only! to "fuck it, just give it to him" overnight.  

Next thing I know, we're buying (which means it's totally intentional and active) DVDs like Signing Times for him.  For the past 5 months or so, we've been letting him watch these shows  and while I initially really hated the idea of him watching any television at all, I reassured myself that at least it wasn't Dumb You Down Baby Einstein.  At least he can learn really important words like "Baseball Team" or "Soccer."  Yeah. right.  Soccer?? Why does my 17 month old need to know the word soccer when he can't even say the word "milk?"

Ironically, as mentioned in my previous post, I attended a Blogger Summit at the Baby Einstein Headquarters last week. It truly couldn't have come at a better time in my life. First of all, let me preface this by saying, I was surrounded by some seriously smart, funny and awesome mom bloggers. Second, the women from Ketchum were lovely and equally sharp. And the Baby Einstein group couldn't have been sweeter. They shared with us their philosophies, products and debunked a lot of the "beware the boogy-man" type myths that mommies like me were eating up. They sent me home with a lovely basket of products and DVDs (including the World Music coming out March 31st).  

After listening to the other moms talk about how much their kids loved the videos and how perfectly fine and verbal their kids were, I knew that letting Baby-Ko watch images of magnetic balls and what looks like a homemade green puppet dance to Mozart could hardly be harmful. More importantly, I realized that even a study from Harvard (that came out last week), telling me that TV viewing is neither harmful nor academically effective for children under two, wasn't going to stop me from feeling like I'm constantly dazed and confused.  No matter what I do, I think I'm bound to feel some guilt and question some of my own judgment, EVEN when a scientist, pediatrician, or a signing Frog tells me otherwise. That's kind of just who I am.

And while all those reports I heard were scary, I know that some things I'll just have to let go. Besides, something's gotta give.  I'm friggin exhausted. In fact, tomorrow morning, when Baby-Ko gets up at 5 effing 30, I'm popping in Baby Einstein and I may even follow it up with some "Teet" (i.e. "Sesame Street") -- that'll buy me at least another 15 minutes snuggled on the couch next to him before I have to leave for work.  Now how harmful can THAT be?

3 comments:

E said...

Our pediatrician is Wacky-esque with her non-tv and non-BabyE ways, as well. I always walk out of her office feeling like such a bad mother! She would be aghast to know that I put on the tivo'd Puppy Bowl for the Littles while I get dressed/go to the bathroom/go in my room and scream into a pillow... I just don't see the harm, especially in small(ish) doses! I say pay attention to those BTDTM's, because SPSAHMs must either have nannies or take a lot of prescription drugs.

OM said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with a little TV, but of course like everyone else, I have no idea what I'm talking about. I make sure he's not in the room when I watch zombie movies and Dexter, but he loves Keith Olbermann. Gotta start early.

Shell said...

As a BTDTM, the way I see it is this...it was far better for my child (and probably less frightening) to be plopped in front of the TV while I had to handle some business in the bathroom...as opposed to being strapped to my chest in the Baby Bjorn while I did the business. Yeah, poor guy, going potty with mommy (against his will) used to be his fate once upon a time!

It's much easier to cook dinner that way, read a book, etc.

Just go with the flow and you and Baby-Ko will be alright. Trust me.