Welcome back, Old Friend

I have a lovely daughter. She is bright, intelligent, hilarious, loving, beautiful, and so very dear to me. But currently she is going through a phase wherein she has decided to yell at me until I turn into "Daaaaaaa!!!" (Daddy). Unfortunately for the both of us I have no skills when it comes to growing a dangling participle and shape-shifting into her father, and so we've moved on to the next best thing. Because the yelling? Could quite possibly go on until Mama's brain blows a gasket and Daddy comes home to find her rocking and twitching in the corner.

And so our front room/Sydney's daytime play area has gone from this:

To this:
(she's watching a Music In High Places DVD).

The final straw fell yesterday morning as I tried to keep Sydney entertained while simulatenously stringing together a 10-minute chunk in which I could drink a cup of coffee, Swiffer the kitchen floor, refill the dog's water bowl … ANYTHING REALLY. Under normal circumstances I am not a stellar multi-tasker. I was trying to straighten out the details of a cancelled cross-country meet yesterday while on my own at the house and it was just NOT WORKING what with all the SCREAMING and the demanding of "DAAAAAA!" going on in the background. By the time John's mother arrived at 11:30 to take over so I could get to school I was at my wit's end, standing at the kitchen counter still in my robe, not a scrap of food in my stomach, trying to finish slicing some mushrooms to freeze (DANG YOU COSTCO) while Sydney screamed bloody murder … I'd started THAT project THREE HOURS EARLIER. And this was all AFTER she'd torn apart the her play area, eaten dog food (!!!), dumped out the dog's water bowl, found an old can of formula and DUMPED IT OUT (that took about 10 seconds, and NO I have NO IDEA why I was saving an open can of formula when we're off the formula up in here), unloaded a book case, bonked her head nineteen times DOT DOT DOT you get the idea. Either I need to go back to work full time so John can be a stay-at-home daddy or the television was coming out of the garage THAT DAY.


And, well, you see how that turned out.  Since I am now the expert of hanging televisions on the wall, up it went. I thought it would make our family room look like a sports bar but I'm really pleasantly surprised with the result!


Our new babysitter: Ryan Adams from Manda on Vimeo.

We have already discussed that we will not have the television on all day every day. That the background music of everyday life in our house will not become the white noise of a television set. But for the sake of everyone's sanity (me and John's mother, to be more specific, since we do child care while NOT BEING DADDY), it's one of those "necessary evil" things. I feel horrible saying this, but with our front room set up this way (and honey wheat pretzel sticks, that is), I feel like I might actually be able to handle a second child one day. We still don't have cable, and so far no antennae, and because we're so used to NOT watching television at this point (we went 5 months without it!) we plan on being frugal and measured with our television consumption. But 30 minutes of booty shaking every day? Probably won't kill us.

The only problem right now is that we don't have any kids DVDs aside from a few full-length Pixar movies. What are your kids' fave videos? Which ones are the LEAST annoying to adults? We prefer music-heavy anything at our house and are kinda anti-Baby Einstein just FYI. Also Sydney loves vehicles and balls and animal sounds. Suggestions? (They don't even have to specifically BE kids videos just kid-friendly.)

13 thoughts on “Welcome back, Old Friend

  1. Lizzie says:

    I know where she gets those booty-shakin’ moves! As far as TV goes, Lucy only knows the Silly Songs With Larry that we can watch on YouTube. But she LURVES THEM WITH A FIRY PASSION.

  2. Nora says:

    Jack’s Big Music Show…. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE… music is hip and cute and kidsy, yet won’t make you crazy. (You can watch these for free online too if you want to check it out before you buy) Also, but this may be better later on, Word World and Super WHY!… both of those are SUPER educational and have really helped Bethany start to sound out words and they are cute on top of being educational…

    Whatever you do, DO NOT LET HER WATCH YO GABBA GABBA!!!! She will become an addict and you will find yourself mesmerized and I swear there are subliminal messages in there and that creepy guy is in my dreams so just DON’T GO THERE!!!

  3. J. says:

    K’s fav show at the moment is Little Einsteins, which has a plot and integrates classical music and art. Maybe it’s just because I’m a music nerd, but I watch them with her and don’t hate myself for doing so.

    Backyardagans also has some catchy tunes and K likes them as well. And really, you can’t go wrong with Sesame Street. That darned furry red monster is addictive. So much so, in fact, that one of my daughter’s earlier words was “Mel-mo” and she identified him in the toy aisle at Target–and she had never even seen him on TV at that point!

  4. Amy --- Just A Titch says:

    She got it from her mama! She got it from her mama! PLEASE tell me you know the song of which I speak, or else I just sound ridiculous.

    I feel lame, and a little crazy, but hearing your voice made me a little choked up…and Syd is so cute! As far as little kid videos…well, um. No help.

  5. ANNIE says:

    Chris and Jake both love ANYTHING ON SPROUT. ANYTHING. Well, except for Kipper. They both have a bit of an unhealthy love for Nina, host of the afternoon/evening shows. And then there’s Backyardigans and wonderpets which, to be honest, I found totally creepy the first few times we watched it…but now I love wonderpets just as much as the boys. Except when the song is stuck in my head, as it is now that I’ve brought it up.

    The boys have gone through phases of complete adoration of one of us while really caring less about the other. Conveniently Chris went through his Daddy stage starting not long after I came home from the hospital with Jake. It lasted for several months- maybe a year. At times it was challenging, but it gave me the time I needed to take care of the baby. This summer has been the opposite, though, and both boys went through an I Want Mommy And Only Mommy So Don’t Even Try To Do Anything For Me, Talk To Me, Cuddle Me, Or Endear Yourself To Me Because You Are Not My Mommy stage. Talk about a challenge.

    But I loved it. Even when I complained about it. Loved.

  6. Rachel says:

    Check out your library. Ours has hundreds of videos available all for free. It isn’t music heavy but I am a fan of Curious George.

  7. Candice Smith says:

    RW loves the Little People videos. Did one come in the Little People farm set Syd got for her birthday?

  8. Emily says:

    Jack’s Big Music Show was IT for us for the last two years. Now we’re into Dora (BARF) but JBMS is still MY first love. It’s unbelievably adorable and I just loved it. Actually, we have a few copies of episodes burned onto DVDS – we don’t watch them anymore because of Dora (BARF) so if you want them, I can totally send them to you! Just say the magic word! (Chestnuts!)

  9. Lily says:

    Isabella would definitely recommend ANY Elmo/Sesame Street movies. Victoria would most likely second that. Public libraries are amazing in Children’s DVDs. But, if you want to borrow any of ours, let me know.

  10. Lisa says:

    there is a series called “i love toy trains” that both of our kids love. they’re kind of dorky, but play some adult music (instead of annoying barney songs) … i first found them at the urbana library.

  11. barbetti says:

    I wish I could help…but I’ve boycotted DORA or BARNEY from ever playing on our televisions. Dublin thoroughly enjoys Twilight and The Little Mermaid (swoon!) and CSI.

  12. supahmama!!! says:

    along the lines of jack’s big music show is a series called “curious buddies” that uses the same puppets from JBMS, but without all the plot. just a bunch of baby/toddler themed everyday stuff set to music with, well, PUPPETS. i’ve only been able to find it on netflix, but both my 8 month old and my 2 year old LOVE IT. also, as creepy as dj lance rock is (we call him crack rock up in our house…) we love love LOVE some yo gabba gabba.

  13. Laura says:

    dude. go to amazon and search for “scholastic dvd.” the storybook classics are awesome. i own them and do not have children. (someday, right?) 🙂

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