Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Electronic Babysitter

Have you seen the commercial for the Topsy Turvy Tomato planter? You simply plant the growth in the hanging container and watch luscious, ripe, juicy tomatoes appear. From the commercial, you hang this thing upside down on your porch. I love how they show how easy it is and how much back breaking farm work you'll avoid by sending in $19.95. Clips of Amish Farmers and their overworked brood are shown in fields lugging baskets of tomatoes. The poor little tyke's hands are bleeding from such manual labor. (This clip really isn't seen, it would appear more was my second calling.)

Then there's the toothpaste tube gadget holder for a more even, perfect blob of toothpaste on your brush every time! Lola urgently agreed the other morning we should have that in our bathroom. She suggested we get one to match "our decor." Television is so enriching for my kids. Great vocabulary builder.

TV has introduced Lola to Go-Gurt, Yo Gos, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and how to punch her pre school friend in the gut. Hats off to Spongebob Square Pants and the episode where Flats, the new classmate beats the crap out of Spongebob. A hand written note scrawled at the bottom of her report card notified me of this. Did I want to speak to her teacher about it, the note asked?

Lo's two favorite commercials as of this week, Snuggie and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. When either of those two are on she screams for me to watch it together. When she gets a few years older that will be us watching a Lifetime Network movie about teens and drugs and the terrible downward spiral of the cheerleader who ends up prostituting herself in the KFC parking lot. The Snuggie commercial is a bit disturbing. The actors clad in those robes look as if they're about to severe someones head and offer it to the mothership.

I have glorious memories of TV as a kid. My parents had a huge console style. They still do. My father added several slight modifications over the years. The tubes finally went bad and they were forced to buy another TV....and get this....he removed the old set and placed the new TV in the console! I remember watching WPIX, Dialing For Dollars, Chiller Theatre with the numerous fingered hand coming out of the ground and grabbing at the lettering. I loved Batman, Happy Days, all the great cartoons like Scooby Doo, Josie and The Pussycats, wow, Land Of The Lost, the Hanna Barbara empire that dominated my Saturdays.

What I don't remember is my parents telling me to turn it off or "you're watching too much!"
I do recall my mom telling my brothers not to sit too close. "Sit back, do you want to be sterile?"
Sunday night we would watch Walt Disney and Animal Kingdom then take baths and go to bed. I still can smell my bath soap. It was a Christmas gift when I was about 5. It came packaged in a school bus and the soaps were shaped like little kids.

A neighbor has been coming over in the evenings, just before dinner, un announced with her little boy. I'm usually getting Lola unwound from her day at school, cooking dinner, giving Gibson his dinner when I hear the doorbell. Of course the TV is on, beaming its seductive glow out the living room windows onto the street. Lola's little friend adores her, but because the TV is on and larger than life, 41 inches I think? He starts to drool. He is mesmerized. He falls into a catatonic state and stops blinking. I find myself saying "Oh that damn TV drives me crazy! I turn it on once in a while for her as a treat." By now the clouds should part and a bolt of lightning should find its way down my chimney and smote me for lying.

Why am I embarrassed that the TV takes up almost half my living room? What's so wrong with TV? You see the bumper stickers all the time KILL YOUR TELEVISION. I bet those hybrid car driving, Whole Foods shopping, mom and pop business supporters unload their organic groceries and sit down to share a meal in front of the TV! HA!

When Lo and Gibson and I are together, yes the TV may be on at times. I'm a news junkie. I do prefer music to TV background noise any day. I don't follow any of the popular shows. Idol, Lost, the dancing show my mother in law loves, the one with the celebs. I don't have a series I have to watch. "I'm so sorry to hear about your upcoming lung transplant and no donors, but I really have to go Grey's Anatomy is on!"

Lola loves spooky movies. She gets that gore gene from me and her Grammi. She snuggles with daddy in the leather chair and watches until it gets too creepy. She and I watch classic Disney movies together. She still craves sitting in my lap. Her teachers marvel at her expressive language and vocabulary. I'd like to think her parents have something to do with that. I was making dinner last night, she ran into the kitchen about to burst. "Mom, mom, the commercial said to ask your parents. Can we get it, can we get it, it would be so cool!"

Operators are standing by. Act now and we'll send you two for the price of one!


  1. Hey! I don't have a bumper sticker that says "Kill your television", but I might as well...and we don't watch TV with dinner! (-:

    Atticus has so many cute TV stories from being with Lola.

    Reading all your fun stories makes me think of Lola...maybe we can all try to go to the park or something this summer?

    You should post some pictures w/ your blog!

  2. I'm having problems uploading pics????? Need to figure it out? Some sort of glitch:(