"Mom. You should make a deal with me."
"I should? What kind of deal?"
"I don't know. Kiki's mom makes a deal with her."
"Mom. My seatbelt is rojo and amarillo."
"Uh, yes. It is. Uh, do you see something that is also azul?"
"Yes! My shirt!"
"Wow. Good job, Addie."
Okay, then. So maybe letting Addie watch movies or television isn't so bad. I mean, she learned what "making a deal" means from the movie Kiki's Flying Delivery Service, which Aunt Julie and Uncle Steve sent her last week, and she learned the colors in Spanish from Dora the Explorer. I mean, really. Does she even need me? I could just turn on a bunch of videos all day long, and at the end of the day get a recap for a few minutes before bed. It's the perfect plan! More free time for me, a varied and distinct education for her.
And Americans all over the country are doing it.
I suppose the main drawback (other than, you know, not actually spending any time with my kid) is that she could also model some bad stuff. We've been letting her watch the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for example, and we had to have a long talk about the bad things the kids in the movie do. Augustus is greedy; Mike is a know-it-all; Veruca is spoiled (a "bad nut"); and Violet doesn't do what she's told. This results in them being turned into blueberries and shot down garbage chutes and various other forms of light torture.
Addie's pretty clear on the "good" and the "bad" stuff, but I have found her repeating some of the bad things the kids say. Last week, we were a little lax with her because she wasn't feeling good, and she developed a very Veruca-esque tendency to stamp her foot and scream that she waaaaanted something, nooooowwwwww. Not good. We had a lot of time on the naughty step the last few days to break that habit.
And we were worried she'd be scared by things like the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz, though we haven't seen evidence of that. What seems to worry her more are things like "feeling lonely," or not being included. And, she claims to hear the "hic boom oh" sound a lot.
Don't ask. Let's just say it involves a hiccuping blue bull with a stomping problem. What I'm saying is, you never know what the kid is going to react to, or how she'll react.
We're back to limiting her t.v. now that she's feeling better--we definitely want her to have time to paint and draw and play and read and be with us. But I think it's good to remember there are good things and bad things that t.v. can do for us. Do I want her watching Saturday morning cartoons, with all those ads and stuff? No. Do I still think Dora videos and Sesame Street are okay, and maybe even beneficial for all of us? You bet.
Now leave me alone. I have to finish The Sopranos.