At first, the rat sent his girlfriend in to infiltrate our happy home. Now, he's invaded our DVR.
John has started taping episodes of "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" for Sprite so she can watch after dinner when John and I are trying to clean up the kitchen, or trying to talk the dogs back out from under our bed. ("It's okay, Harry. We took the knives away. She's not armed anymore.") (Treats help.)
The show has some songs, dancing, basic problem solving, you name it, right up a 1.5 year old's mental alley.
While most parents are either trying to (or feeling guilty for not trying to) reduce television time for their kids, John and I are going against the grain and trying to encourage it, at least a little bit. We would like to see Sprite sit down on her Elmo couch and pay attention for a couple of minutes so we can resume said chores without interruption.
This has not worked so far. The same child who can sit and read a book in your lap or stack blocks, or click her mega-blocks together for about 30 minutes, can barely last 30 seconds while parked in front of the TV. Usually she loses interest right after the first "Oh, Toodles!" is shouted, so the plot is not really revealed yet and John won't delete any neglected episodes so they start to clog the DVR memory.
Speaking of Toodles, what's with that? They call on that damn thing all the time! I think on this episode, I counted 5 times the phrase "Oh, Toodles!" was shouted out by different characters, making the poor mouska-tool put in an appearance and help them out of their mouska-jam. Actually, make that ten, since Mickey tells everyone to say it after him so you get to hear it twice in a row. I would love to see an episode where Toodles comes out briefly to flip off the Mouska-bunch or appears with a strike sign for more mouska-pay every time he's mouska-called, like when they can't can't collectively find their mouska-way out of a paper bag.
I have to give a a couple of cool points to the show though. They Might Be Giants, a fun, kooky, alternative rock band, around forever, is behind the "Hot Dog Dance", a song/dance performed by Mickey and his friends at the end of the episode. That gives a little edge to this saccharine-sweet kiddie crack that doesn't delve into subjects deeper or more thought provoking than possible cures for Donald's hiccups.
I'm trying to sneak a couple of "Blue's Clues" episodes onto the DVR to mix it up a bit, but I'm not used to Joe and his eyebrows yet. (Yes, I'm a Steve fan.) (I know Steve left before Sprite was born.) (So what if I was watching Blue's Clues before I had a kid?) (Can we move on please?)
Sprite at least pauses for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She hasn't even considered slowing down to see Blue discover a clue.
I'm told it could be worse though. We could have inadvertently stumbled upon the Wiggles and that's the kiddie version of heroin..