Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TV Allowed, But Only for Special Occasions

Not too long ago, I found myself watching Stuart Little the based-on-the-book movie starring Hugh Laurie and Geena Davis with the two elementary school boys I was babysitting.  I have to say my favorite part was watching Hugh Laurie be a sickly sweet and concerned father to a young boy and a talking mouse.  It’s been years since I read the book by E.B. White.  My mom and a number of other people are fans of the popular TV show House, but I don’t particularly enjoy watching Hugh Laurie play a bitter, rude, sarcastic, pompous, jerk of a doctor, brilliant though he may be.    
Now before people think that I am all for kids spending hours in front of the TV instead of playing games, reading, doing their homework, building with Legos, playing outside, and arts and crafts, let me put in my disclaimer: when I was nannying for my two little guys, we didn’t watch TV during the 11 hour days that I had them. 
The only time I turned the TV on so we could watch something was when I brought over the DVD of my sister Theresa’s dance recital, so they could see the numbers she was in.  A few times I’d brought them with me to her dance classes and/or dress rehearsals, and they’d really enjoyed them, so I figured it would be fun for them to watch. 

I can still remember driving to Theresa’s dance class one day with Jack riding in the backseat when I told him we were going to see Theresa dance.  From a very early age he was quite vocal, so upon hearing this, he began chanting “Teesa Dance! Teesa Dance!”  When I told him that it was likely my mom would also be there to watch the class.  He responded with an enthusiastic, “Trishamommy?!” which is what the boys called my mother, aka the grand-nanny. 
On the way home from a very lively dance class with the subsequent loud music and repetition, Jack was pretty riled up.  The whole way home, he chanted, “Teesa dance! Teesa dance!  Boom, boom, boom!” He inserted a: “Trishamommy” every once in a while for good measure. 

I viewed it as a good sign when the elementary school boys I was taking care of were confused when they got to come home from school and watch movies.  One of them had a fever and needed to rest, so their mom okayed a double feature for the afternoon/evening. 
I knew this wasn’t their normal afterschool activity.  At one point, the youngest asked if all they were going to do while their mom was gone was watch movies.  I clarified that this was allowed only because one of them was sick and because their mom had said it was all right.  With that reassurance, he finished his homework, practiced piano, then he joined his brother and me for Stuart Little 2.   
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