Back when I wasn't going to let my kids play with Barbie dolls or guns, I also wasn't going to let them watch TV. Pardon me a minute...
Okay, I'm back off the floor and the giggling has subsided.
Along with a wonderful husband, Mothers Day Out, and my mommy, TV has saved me during these past few years. I could not have gotten through being pregnant over and over and over with toddlers and infants in my care without the beauty that is children's TV. And I ain't too proud to admit it.
Fortunately, in this glorious age of DVRs and On Demand, there is much high quality TV to choose from. Back in the olden days, with the exception of Saturday cartoons, we got Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers in the morning, and Electric Company in the afternoon, with little but banned soap operas in between. Sunday night came The Wonderful World of Disney, sandwiched between Wild Kingdom and Sixty Minutes. And - get this - you had to be there when they came on or you just missed them.
There is so much good stuff out there now for kids. PBS especially has come out with some phenomenal new shows in the past couple of years.
Here are some Naptime favorites:
1. Max and Ruby....RUBY and her LITTLE BROTHER MAX (do do do do do)
We all heart Max and Ruby. Shepherd claims it is for babies but even he will still stop building Lego bombs when he hears that theme song. Max and Ruby wins the longevity award hands down.
Max and Ruby are bunnies, and the plot lines are sweet and innocent. No monitoring required. This show could have been written in the 1940s, and I love that.
Poor Max and Ruby are among the millions of fairy tale orphans. No parents in sight - they are not even mentioned. Grandma does come to visit frequently, but soon leaves them to their unsupervised selves.
This might inspire you to call CPS, but listen. Ruby manages to keep three year old Max fed and bathed and mostly out of mischief and the house clean, all while getting her Bunny Scout cookies sold. And if that weren't enough, Baby Huffington's momma is constantly dumping him on her as well. As is Baby Shep, Baby Maggie, Baby Eva Rose and Baby Ike's momma.
At age eight, she's a far better woman than I am. Ruby is my hero.
Shepherd's favorite hands to the down. I have mixed feelings about the show, and not just because of the childhood trauma of always being cast as Thelma instead of Daphne. Maggie can't watch it at all - it is far too sca-wy for her. And hey Shaggy - we all know why you have the munchies, okay? Scooby is, however, a rock star, so it must make the list, my misgivings and all.
Calliou, a little French Canadian kid with alopecia, is jumping for joy because he's back in the Naptime household after a two year moratorium due to the whining and baby talk he induced in our home. Calliou is pretty annoying and his mother is certainly tripling her prescription of Prozac. Seriously, the child could and perhaps someday will burn the house down, and she'd find a way to praise him for it. Oh, Calliou, good job not splashing the gasoline!
So why do we watch? Because Calliou is hypnotic. For twenty-eight minutes my children are riveted, motionless. And twenty-eight minutes is just about the the time it takes me to make a phone call or catch a power nap on the couch...or compose a blog post.
4. Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible.
Oh, what a complicated relationship I have with TBN. While I think so many of their people should be burned as heretics for the abomination they promote called the prosperity gospel, some of TBN's good shows are really really good. This is one of them. My kids love it and the bible stories stick with them. As do the songs by the "aspirating woman/male" (Walker's description) like the one about Judas. Oh Judas you sold Jesus out...you're a backstabbing sneaky twofaced crook... See? Catchy.
I have just discovered the Smile channel, which is Christian shows for kids. So far we like Sarah's Stories, Bibleman, and a couple others.
Others we love:
- Word Girl - Word Up, Word Girl is fabulous
- Curious George - classic
- Sid the Science Kid - especially the My Mom is Cool song, um yeah.
- Backyardigans - I wish my kids liked this show as much as I do. And I wish I had named Maggie "Uniqua."
- Martha Speaks
- Dinosaur Train - new on PBS and great
- Sarah's Stories
Shep is just starting to get into real TV. He loves How It's Made, and much to my delight, What the Victorians/Tudors/Stuarts Did for Us. Any other suggestions?
Next Week Friday Faves:Favorite Online Store /Etsy (uh oh, that should be good. And just in time to give a shout out to some friends before Christmas.) To see all upcoming Friday Faves, click here.