I am ashamed to be writing this. I’m ashamed because I always pictured myself as one of those innovative parents that would do things differently. I wouldn’t buy my children tons of toys that served no purpose but to line the pockets of some movie executive. I wouldn’t load my kid with sugarary cereal no matter how magically delicious it was. And I wouldn’t let television become a crutch in our lives.
But, I can’t deny it. It has happened. I am embarrassed to admit this but I simply can’t hide any longer. I bare my soul to you my blogging community as I ask for your support in dealing with my 3 month old baby girl’s very serious, very real addiction to television.
I know, I know you are gasping as you read this and I don’t blame you. I’m sure you are condemnimg me with all sorts of vile insults and rushing to remove me from your blogroll or your bookmarks. I don’t blame you. I don’t even have an excuse because there is no excuse for poor parenting.
All I can say is it started innocently enough. We would place Swee’Pea in her Boppy pillow and she would crane her neck to look at the television. “How cute!” we’d exclaimed. (Oh, we just didn’t know any better!) We might as well have been saying, “Look how cute she is chasing that dragon!” And now, I know I was enabling my daughter’s addiction without even realizing it. I’d encourage her excitement every time she would turn to watch the football game with me. My wife commented that she seemed particularly interested whenever Oprah came on. We would joke with her every time she turned to look at the turned-off television, “Oh, are you looking for Oprah, Sweetie?” But no addiction, even an addiction to Oprah, is a laughing matter. I just didn’t think there was a problem.
But now? Now, things are most certainly a problem. She is always aware of where the television is. If we’re feeding her and she is turned away from that wicked black box, her eyes will strain to catch even the faintest glimpse of her crack equivalent. Why even yesterday she was being especially cranky. My wife picked her up to comfort her and she calmed down. I was about to comment on my wife’s magic touch when we noticed that Swee’Pea now had a very clear view to the television from her new vantage point. The manipulation of those closest to her had begun.
And finally, there was last night. Last night Swee’Pea cried for long periods of time. Those of you who are frequent visitors know that she isn’t a crier. At first, I thought she was gassy or perhaps suffering from a cold. It was only later we realized that she was particularly cranky because she was missing the season premiere of Oprah.
Yes, it’s a sad, sad day in our household. But they say the first step is admitting you have a problem. Since Swee’Pea can’t talk yet, we might have a ways to go in that department. But as soon as she starts talking we’ll work on all 12 steps.
I’m not sure where she gets this addiction from. Many addictive behaviors are inherited. Andrea is adopted so I’m assuming it’s from her side of the family.
What’s that? Ooh, Katie Couric is on. I gotta go.
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