The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Parential Discretion Advised

On Sunday we went to our friends son Milo's first birthday party. As we were mingling I got several, "Oh... it's like I already know you from your Blog." (!!!)

People actually read what I write? Nice, sweet parents of these adorable kids? Maybe I should reconsider the things I write about, and curb some of my cynicism. Honestly, I'm a really nice guy, it only seems like I think everyone is an idiot.

So the first thing that raced through my mind after meeting some of my readership was, "Maybe I better not publish my last post." So I've been sitting on it for a while, thinking about toning it down. Maybe I will roll it back a notch for future posts, but this one was already written, so here goes.

Yesterday afternoon we gathered around the TV to spend a little family downtime together. Much of the day was spent setting up our new home, watching The Boy, unpacking boxes, watching The Boy, installing a coat rack, watching The Boy, rearranging some furniture, playing with The Boy, sweeping the floor, moving The Boy to a safer location. I've never unpacked so slowly before in my life!

Back to the downtime. I usually don't turn the TV on when The Boy's around. I know that he will be exposed to thousands of hours of television before he's even twelve years old, so the longer I can hold off the better. P and I aren't necessarily anti-TV, we probably watch on average about five hours a week, but right now he can be so easily entertained with a metal bowl and spatula so why turn the TV on? Not to mention how transfixed he gets whenever it catches his attention, he'll stop whatever he's doing and stare blankly at the screen, and that scares the hell out of me.

But it was a busy day, and I'm too tired to chase him around, so I'll make exception and spend a few minutes watching Tree House with him. Tree House is a commercial-free kids station, if The Boy is going watch TV, I'd rather it be this.

There are two women on the screen talking in high-pitched voices, The Boy seems taken with them, but they are driving me crazy with their kiddie-talk and antics. "Should I put the bird-feeder in my pantry?" "How about under my bed?"

Me: Y'know, that blond one probably takes it up the ass.
P: Uh huh.

(Sometimes I think my delightful wife just agrees with me as a way to avoid listening me go off on some 20-minute tangent. It works!)

What compels someone to become an actor on a kids station? And what sort of demo reel are you going to build with a painted face, mop-top wig and high-squeaky voice? Unless they've had their sights set on becoming the next big childrens entertainer, I'm sure Tree House was the last thing on their minds as they graduated from Juilliard.

I guess you've got to pay the bills somehow.