As a lazy person trapped in an efficient world, I have always appreciated the media for it’s ability to make me look like I care about stuff while just sitting and staring at things. For instance, I have this computer that I sit at and if I just get this focused look on my face, type rapidly and of course keep the monitors at the just the right angle, it can seems like I am working on the great American Novel, when I am actually just watching a funny Youtube video. Or if some political debate is being broadcast on television I can lay down on the couch and quietly close my eyes and fantisize about being an action star while pretending to care about the state of our nation. Media has been my friend since a child. I have all these memories of kid shows that kept me at bay so I could avoid playing outside or playing with toys so I could “use my imagination”. Because what child needs to nurture that?
Now on the flip side, I have these kids. They require all kinds of things like being fed and sleep and things. Just like me, they have 24 hours in a day, but they don’t really go to work or drive. So they need to be entertained while I do all this busywork before I can get back to my media. So we allow them to watch some of these kids shows. These kids shows make me so bitter.
I am jealous of the dads on these shows. They have some job that requires them to be able to work like maybe 7 hours a week, though they get paid enough to afford this house with a white picket fence and enough toys to start their own toy store. I don’t know what the job it is called, but I think is called Lottery winner? And I just love the fact that they react to their whiny, entitled kids with words like, “Oh, I’m sorry Caillou that you spilled paint all over your room. Mother and I will clean up this mess for you with no consequences. Just go to the table for the 5 course meal your mother has prepared for you.” I love how they could say that to their child with a straight face. Why can’t I be sarcastic with my kids like that?
I also admire Dora the Explorer’s parents for so easily allowing their child to go on adventures outside of the house with a monkey as a companion. Don’t worry though because he wears boots like a human and he is biliguial so you know his is a very trustworthy monkey. She is okay though because her knowledge of words(in two languages no less!) keeps her safe from the insane talking fox that is always trying to steal her stuff. All she has to do is tell Swiper to not swipe and he just goes away. So of course, the parents would trust her. I just wish I could trust my kids like this.
Then there is omnipresence of Max and Ruby’s parent’s. They are always just off the screen probably giving helpful advice to Ruby as she micromanagingly parents her little brother. I mean how could Max ever get in trouble when Ruby (who is like a very responsible five year old) is always setting up Max with his favorite toys and then leaving for her own adventures? It’s a good thing that Max always knows one crucial word for each episode so he can confuse Ruby until the very end of the episode in which that word finally makes sense. I love that their parents allow Max and Ruby to travel cross town to be with their grandma who can appear on the screen. The parents are just so modest that they don’t want to be too big of an inflence on their kids lives. Who can get in trouble with role models like that? Besides as bunny parents, they certainly have other offspring than these two.
I really try to be a good parent by keeping my kids them safe and feeding them, but how can I keep up with the impossible standards of the kid shows? I guess for my kids to be famous and appear on one of these kids shows I need to trust them to do stuff in the wilderness and on their own. Someday maybe I will live up to the parenting skills, but alas the kids shows always make me feel inadequate and that makes me bitter.