Sunday, February 18, 2007

When Is Too Much TV, Too Much?

"Christmas comes together at K-Mart, Mama. Did you know that?"

This is what my son told me in December, and what should have been one of many signs that he was overly influenced by what Mommy watches on tv.

As luck would have it, the television station that I watch most frequently also broadcasts on the radio. So when I am in my car running errands, picking up the kids, driving to work, etc. I can hear all my shows...and so can my kids. I love good tv and bad tv - I am mostly addicted to noise. If there isn't something good on the tv station, I will listen to NPR or other news or talk radio stations. I have voices programmed up and down the dial. But, as for the tv shows, I can listen to Good Morning America, The View, Entertainment Tonight and all of my soaps. Ben asked me the other day if my show was ending. The opening credits of General Hospital were playing as we sat in the drive through ATM lane at the bank. I don't know if the fact that he realized it was 'my' show was the worst part, or that it happened to be the culmination of a three week storyline about a hostage crisis at The Metro Court hotel. Oh yes, and he asked me to turn it up.

Regardless, the most interesting thing about Ben's television fascination is how it reflects the attention span of children everywhere. He doesn't care about the show as much as the quick and quirky commercials. He is intimately familiar with the bee from Nasonex, the gecko from Geico and the mucus from Mucinex. We should have seen this coming. Our son was terrified of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny for the first few years of his life. But when we went to the Indy 500 parade he ran screaming TOWARD Digger the dermatophite - you know, the toe fungus, from the Lamisil commercials. We have a picture on our fridge of him and Digger. It was a moment not soon to be forgotten.

I know that there are countless reports about the impact of television on children. How most children by the time they reach school have seen 100,000 acts of violence. Not my kid. However, he may end up working in an ad agency getting paid to create copy for creatures, real or imaginary. The bright side of this (if there is one) is that Ben isn't running around begging for me to buy him some sugary cereal, or some video game. There's still time for me to reform. I can be a better mom - I can play Raffi and the Wiggles on the radio.

I have returned my flower, a changed bee.


Post a Comment

<< Home