How did this happen? Seriously....HOW??? I have no idea how my boys got into Thomas the Train. I know that we have a couple Thomas books and they liked him on and off for a while. I know that TV started to enter their lives about 4-6 months ago and sometimes we'd let them watch 15 minutes here and there. I tried to get them to watch Barney or Sesame Street. I'm not quite sure how Thomas became the big obsession, but it has. We now have Thomas pajamas, DVDs, baskets, trains, phones, train tracks, Tivo recordings, paper plates, napkins, etc. and I'm sure that's just the beginning. I know it'll get worse before it gets better.
I recently posted elsewhere online how much I didn't like Thomas and got a bunch of comments to links about how Thomas is part of a dystopian society. All very interesting/funny and it made me realize I wasn't alone. Other parents are just as bored out of their minds watching this drivel as I am.
Over the last month or two I have given up trying to be the perfect parent and learned that Pinterest-inspired arts and crafts twice a day just ain't gonna happen in my home. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that children should have no screen time at all until they are two years old. I firmly believe that the AAP committee who came up with this recommendation are either A) insane, B) not parents, C) insane because they are parents D) financial backers of Pinterest, or E) live in a cabin in the woods and survive on a diet of berries and twigs.
I tried. I mean I really tried to not give them TV and computer time. There comes a time in our lives, though, that we just need 20 minutes to boil water to make mac 'n cheese (it's organic, I swear) and microwave some green beans (organic too).
The thing is, though, that I have learned that watching 30 minutes of TV a day isn't going to hurt my kids. I watched TV when I was young and I think I turned out OK. I have also learned that Thomas is definitely the best way to get 20 minutes of sleep in the afternoon. I've started to notice that I put in the DVD and I make it through the first ten minutes sitting upright on the couch. Next, I start to feel sleepy. Before I know it one of my boys has hopped off the couch and is pushing the "OFF" button on the TV (which they have learned to do somehow without me teaching them) because the video is done. I head to the pantry, shove some chocolate chips in my mouth and feel refreshed after my 20 minute power nap.
Here's the thing, though: I'm not sleepy when I put the DVD in. I don't lay down on the couch. I watch the first few minutes of the DVD and discuss what's going on with my kids. I really stay active, but somehow Thomas makes my brain shut down and shut down hard. Maybe it's my aversion to anything that calls a character a "Fat Controller" which I find offensive. Maybe it's because I think the trains with moving eyes are a little creepy. Maybe it's because I feel like these engines really aren't useful considering all they do is cause problems. Who knows. All I know is that if I buy some DVDs online for cheap I can sell them for $49.95 plus shipping and handling as a cure for insomnia on QVC at 3:00 a.m. ;-)
And while we're talking about playing and toys, I thought this would be fun to add just for a laugh...