Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A question for the cartoon creators

Not a mush brain child. Maybe a bucket {or bowl} head, but not mush brain...

It doesn't bother me at all for you to know that I watched my fair share of TV growing up. I still know the theme song to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air {and have to admit that I loved that the preppy girl's name was Hillary}, I can still name a majority of the Snorks, Care Bears and Smurfs {insert your own Smurfette-only-girl joke here} and I Sooo wanted Angela and Tony to get together on Who's the Boss {but was a little let down when they finally did}. OK, please. Before you go any further, you must click that Who's the Boss link if you ever watched that show at all. The lyrics are in the top right description portion of the youtube video and I GUARANTEE you that you didn't know them! It all makes sense now!

So, since all that infinite wisdom gained from TV has gotten me so far in life {*ahem* yeah right}, I don't mind that my kids watch a little TV. I have to admit that I didn't want Ollie to watch any when he was a baby, because ALL THE BOOKS tell you it will turn their brains to mush, but somehow I could rationalize an hour of Praise Baby or Baby Einstein and be okay with it.
Then the real world started chipping into my beliefs of mush brain-ness and I had to fix dinner once that kid could move. So, he recognized the Barney theme song by 9 months. {Don't click that link or else you will hate me.}
I said it.

Here's the thing that I've started to notice: on all the shows that my kids watch now, the characters talk to them {which is good} and give options for the children to solve a problem.

It goes something like this:
"We have to cross the rocky rock path to save the baby reindeer from being eaten by a coyote. My rescue pack/ mousekatools/ rocket/ backpack/ toolbox can help us!
Should we choose an umbrella?
{much too long pause} Nooooooo.
Should we choose macaroni and cheese? {pause, pause, pause} Noooooooooo.
What about Leeeenda the Llama? Will she take us across the path? YESSS! She will take us!"

I'm all for problem solving, but my children {particularly Ollie who is 3 - almost 4- and is catching on to these things} know that it's ALWAYS the third option! Have you noticed that? A.L.W.A.Y.S.

And the options are never really the best to begin with. I saw Mickey use BLOCKS to get grapes from a tree one day. Really Walt? I know you are an ice cube, but I'm sure you still have creative control. Come on. We are expecting a little more from the mouse.
And grapes grow on VINES, not TREES that are being grown to get away from the giant. Get your facts straight, Disney.

So, does anybody else have an opinion on this? Have you noticed it?
Are they being coddled?
Are they going to answer C for every question on the SATs one day?
Will they fail True/ False quizzes because there is no 3rd option?

I think we might have a new phenomenon called the "Diego Generation" where they stare at you for about 5 seconds before they answer a question. And then they jump and down and sing a song when they solve a problem. Or get to ride a llama- because that happens ALL the time at an office.

I guess I will just letting my kids' brains turn to mush and hope for the best. I think that's what the Seavers, Cosbys or Keatons would do in this situation, so I'll go with that.

For your viewing pleasure, one of my favorite Saturday Night Live TV Funhouses spoofing Dora: Enjoy!


Lisa said...

Lord you make my laugh! Keep them coming.

Hollie and Janie said...

I agree.... We need some high order processing skills! I never understand why Backpack always says "delicioso" after you "pick" the correct contraption.... really, backpack, did you just eat the device that will help dora get to rainbow mountain????

Laura said...

this is hilarious. Diego Generation - I love it! Aand I miss the 80's sitcom theme songs. There are so many I hold dear: Growing Pains, Family Ties, Jem and the Holograms, Facts of Life, One Day at a Time. I think I feel a cd coming on!

Susannah said...

So true! I'm with you, our brains didn't turn into mush, did they?! I try to let Anderson watch old ones like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and Seasame Street, which are STILL my favorites!

pheather said...

That post was so funny, Hillary! I have just started using TV to distract Jackson a little bit since the baby came. He used to not be interested at all, but now it will entertain him for a little while, and I totally appreciate it! I have noticed all of the question asking and too-long pausing that goes on now. Loved the SNL clip! Thanks for sharing!

Diana Williams said...

Compleeetly off topic, but we have that same bowl/hat!

meg duerksen said...

literally five minutes ago...we had this conversation.
kids just sit there and soak it in.

Rhonda said...

Hilarious! Actually around the age of 2.5 or so my little guy used to talk just like Diego. He would say "Mom, what do you use to eat sketi (spaghetti to you and me)? A spoon.. pause...pause...pause...No we use a fork!" and then he would laugh.

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