I’m not one of those parents who forbids their children to watch TV. I loved watching cartoons as a kid and can’t imagine keeping that joy from my kids. But let me be clear, we don’t have the TV on at all hours of the day so the girls can just go and stare at it and rot their brains either. In fact, we don’t even have a TV in our living room or playroom. We have two sets – a large one with surround sound in the family room/basement and a small one in our bedroom. In a given day the girls probably watch one hour of TV and sometimes none at all. (Correction: Brinley watches the TV, Nora runs around the room disturbing her.)
Anyway, up until about two moths ago we were a strictly PBS or Disney Jr watching family. I wasn’t opposed to other shows, it’s just that the girls would always ask for George, Elmo, Mickey, Jake or Angelina. In fact, Scott and I were the ones to try to broaden their TV watching scope to include Wonder Pets, Wild Kratts and eventually Strawberry Shortcake, Pound Puppies and My Little Pony. Thanks to a nifty little invention called DVR we just queued up a bunch of said shows for our kids evening viewing pleasure. Brinley loves the new shows in her repertoire. However, after sitting down with her and watching some of these shows Scott and I make the executive decision to remove Pound Puppies from the line-up. The show is just crap basically. It has no real message and seems to clearly just be a “brain rot” type of show. I don’t think Brinley has yet noticed that we’ve nixed it and hopefully she won’t.
But on to the original point of this post – PBS and Disney Jr shows do not contain commercial advertisements. They simply air the show and when it’s over we’d turn the TV off therefore missing any commercial breaks in between shows. Enter “The HUB”, the channel that airs My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake and the dreaded Pound Puppies. These shows all contain commercials. At first I thought it would be a pain having to go in and fast forward through all of them so that Brinley would stay interested but I was wrong. The kids LOVES the commercials. I think it’s because she’s getting to see a whole lot of (mostly crappy) products that she’d never otherwise see.
Case in point – Pajama Jeans! Why on Earth this infomercial airs during a kids TV show is beyond me, but you can bet your money that Brinley has become their youngest spokesperson. A few weeks ago we were shopping in a clothing store and she said to me, “Look mom, Pajama Jeans!” (They were actually jeggings, but I let it slide.) I thought to myself, “How the heck does she know what those are?” And she continued, “Mom, they have the look of jeans with the comfort of pajamas and they don’t leave any unsightly marks!” I couldn’t help but laugh as she proceeded to tell me that I should order a pair.