Because I think my sister is one of the best - and often funniest - writers I know (and I have a lot of writer friends,) a couple of days ago I told her, in passing, "You should send me something for my blog." Seeing as how she's got this way too adorable baby and all. He's always doing the funniest things and she tells me about 'em. Her response was, "I just might. Because I'm not sure things came off quite right in that last one about the hamburgers..." (Of course, my reply was, "What hamburgers?" But then I remembered, and understood why she might want to follow-up, seeing as how my abstract of her parenting style absolutely failed to hit the mark.) And she did, too. So here's our "guest blogger," Mr. Pie's Mom for your Monday morning reading pleasure... On child-rearing, from the mom of a 13 month old. Enjoy!
So, after reading your blog entry about the time I fed Mr. Pie the fast food hamburger pieces while driving, I felt compelled to expand on, shall we say, my child’s relationship to TV (and perhaps to food.). Somehow, your entry made me appear to be one of two opposite things. Either a tree-hugging, NPR-listening, TV-eschewing, War-protesting, organic-food-eating, Guilford College Grad. (I'm not saying I'm not or anything...) On the other hand, it also seemed like I was the sort of mother to plop her kid down in front of Anderson Cooper and toss some hamburgers and french fries at him. So I thought I should clarify.
As you alluded to in your blog, the further I get away from the preparation of the cherub’s food, the more likely he is to enjoy it. So – painstakingly selecting organic sweet potatoes, steaming them, pureeing them and straining them got me pursed lips through which nothing would pass for two hours. (I am not exaggerating. I had no idea a six month old could express his opinions so forcefully!) Store-bought baby food vegetables? – the more the better! Restaurant black beans? The child can’t get enough. I prepare the same dish at home and more beans end up on the floor than in his mouth. You get the picture.
So about the TV: Although he does seem to have an unnatural affinity for the remote control, Mr Pie has only expressed more than a passing interest in three TV programs. 1) The aforementioned CNN. We noticed when he was between 4 and 6 months that the only TV he even seemed to be aware of was CNN; if he was in the same room and there were “talking heads” on, he was entranced. It was kinda freaky.
2) Barney. He has seen one episode of the show, and again, he stood at attention staring at the screen the whole time. You see, my husband has something of a TV addiction himself and sometimes just likes to have the thing on. When the child is around, he’ll sometimes just turn on PBS and let Sesame Street, Mr, Rogers and the whole kid’s line-up play. (I think the thinking is that this will only kill some brain cells, as opposed to all of them.) Pie has never really paid any attention to any of these shows until Barney came on. I think it’s the singing and dancing kids more than the actual big purple dinosaur.
Which brings us to the third thing my beloved enjoys watching on TV, and really, his first love! When he was small, he was a bit colicky. (Before I became a parent, I assumed colic was an actual illness. Actually, its pretty much a medical term that means “when your baby cries for a long time for no apparent reason.” Is it gas? Is it fatigue? Is it overstimulation? Is it something you ate when you were pregnant? Is the child expressing his displeasure with Mommy’s recent return to work? Nobody knows. Sometimes, babies do this for hours a day for weeks on end. )We were pretty lucky, and ours quickly settled into a routine of crying from 9 to 10 at night. During this time, he would not be comforted. When it was over – he was fine, as though nothing had happened.
So anyway – one of the early days of this so-called colic (I’m thinking he was somewhere around 2 months old) , my husband and I and my in-laws had pretty much tried everything to no avail. In exasperation, my husband sat down in front of the TV and turned it on. What happened to come on was the Blue Collar Comedy Tour -- Larry the Cable Guy. The child immediately started laughing his two month old tushy off.. I wish I were making this up.
So, you know that expression about how the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Well, I want my son to eat healthy food and play with educational toys and not get his brain fried from watching too much TV. He just seems to have other plans!
Mr Pie's Mom
(Should I get vanity plates?)