A Mushy Brain is the Best Kind of Brain

[Baby Watch: Day 188]

After receiving loving criticism from friends and family about the lack of blogs in the past month, I have decided to share 6 stories in (approximately) 6 days to celebrate Baby Oliver’s 6 month birthday.

Story #3

A Mushy Brain is the Best Kind of Brain

I almost started this blog post with the words “As research suggests.” But then I shoved myself into a locker and beat me up, because that is the all-time dorkiest way to begin what is supposed to be amusing and lighthearted musings. So let’s try this instead:

I done read me an article that says kids under the age of 2 shouldn’t watch TV. (Still dorky, but better.) In an attempt to raise a child that is not wholly addicted to TV (and other digital screens), we made a pledge when Kristen was pregnant to not watch any television at all until Baby Oliver is put to bed. Obviously there would be some exceptions, but by and large we swore we would just leave the TV off during the day, and only watch minimally after hours.

Here’s how that panned out:
BeFunky Collage

But really, you can’t blame us. Cause the Pirates had a great season, so every single game became “must watch” television (quotation marks inserted on wife’s insistence). Plus there was a free preview of HBO, which means I obviously DVR’d about 40 movies. Oh, and we signed up for Amazon Prime to save money on shipping, which means now we have access to the entire Amazon Video library of shows that we simply MUST get caught up on (from the very beginning, obviously . . . I mean, we’re not animals). So really, as you can see, it’s not our fault at all.

Of course we kept swearing that we’d stop watching so much television when Oliver became cognizant that there was such a thing . . . but then we became zombie parents, desperate for any shred of calmness from the rabid animal we birthed, and we discovered that children’s television programming kinda, actually holds his attention for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. (Imagine that – It’s almost like they planned it!) So now we occasionally plop him down in front of the Disney Jr. channel and sneak off to enjoy a few moments of solitude (which are mostly wasted giggling in astonished glee like malnourished raccoons discovering leftover steaks in a dumpster). But at least we can poop in relative peace. (I say “relative” as we still have 2 attention starved cats who constantly attack us on the toilet in a futile quest for love, having no idea at all how sad and pathetic it makes them look. I mean . . . have some self respect, will ya?)

Now that the discovery of the television has happened, we have tried to limit his intake. In response, our child became the world’s foremost expert in body contortion and now maneuvers himself to see the screen no matter which direction he is facing. I present Exhibit A:

What can I say? He’s curious, he’s an explorer, and if his father is smart enough to put on educational and informational programs, Oliver will likely learn the intimate details of the Battle of Waterloo before his 4th birthday. Sure we’ll have a TV addicted child, but during his summer break between 3rd and 4th grade he’ll know how to change the oil in my car before cooking Orecchiette with Mint-Almond Pesto for dinner. (The mint leaves had BETTER be fresh or so help me . . . )

And yes, I realize all of this leads to the following sequence of events when Baby Oliver attempts to stand up on his own for the first time:

We’ll all be spending time in the living room, watching TV before bed.

Oliver will grip the ottoman for balance. There will be a brief pause as he steels his nerves. Then, with a rush of adrenaline, he’ll let go, trusting those tiny feet to stand true. He’ll look to us for approval, tittering softly with excitement.

Kristen will cry.

Oliver will beam proudly.

Then I will yell, “You make a better door than a window.”

Oliver will collapse back down to his butt, and we’ll all happily go back to watching Police Academy 5.

It’ll be magical.

2 Comments on A Mushy Brain is the Best Kind of Brain

  1. My baby did the exact same thing last night with her head back in order to see the TV! I wish I had had a camera handy. I’ve been following your blog since the night Oliver was born. My baby is a few days older than him and I was literally up all night hitting refresh waiting for updates. (And praying that she’d finally go to sleep!) I especially enjoy your posts because we’re living the same stages at the same time. Thanks for the laughs!

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