Why TV is NOT the devil


Potamus loves singing “The Wheels on the Bus” so much, that we introduced him to the Magic School bus on Netflix. Mostly because our voices are hoarse from singing that damn song on repeat. At any rate, he loves this show, and I am really loving how much he loves it. He watches enraptured at the story, giggles along when Ms. Frizzle does something funny, and then yesterday my mom-guilt about all the TV watching was transformed into amazement at my little boy’s thought process.

See, we were watching the episode where they go back in time to look for dinosaurs. And Potamus gets SO excited, and pulls out his spyglass (aka a napkin ring) and we were only halfway through the episode when he just kept pointing and smiling and jumping up and down saying “Dnsar” (or something to that effect). He then drug me all around the backyard looking for dinosaurs.

My baby is playing pretend.

He would point, and shout “dinosaur!” and then wave to this imaginary (invisible? maybe my backyard is inhabited by dinosaurs?) dinosaur, before tromping off through the grass and underbrush of the backyard (which showed me just how much weeding I have to do to get my yard looking even remotely good). I was blown away by this kid’s imagination. He took something from TV and then made it his own, just like I used to do as a kid.

So sweet to watch him be so excited about the make-believe world!

Of Pirates and Mermaids

I have begun the dabble in children’s television shows. To be honest, the criteria isn’t that much: the show must not annoy me (no spongebob, GAWD). I get annoyed pretty easily, so the only shows that have made it through my filter are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (though, after a few months of that, I am getting annoyed), Sofia the First, and Jake & the Neverland Pirates. The last one is actually my favorite show ever, and I would have LOVED it as a kid. Here are a few reasons that I love this show so much, and am happy that my son enjoys it, too:

There are pirates. And mermaids. Two of my favorite things! In fact, if it had been around as a kid I would have been obsessedActually, the 7 year old girl inside me IS obsessed. Because, hello, mermaids. And mermaids who don’t just make a feature appearance ala the original Peter Pan (I waited the WHOLE DARN MOVIE for that little mermaid snippet). They show up in at least every other episode. And they are female and strong and I like that, too.


The show also features a girl cast member who is strong and smart without sacrificing being a girl. While sometimes her power of “pixie dust” from fairies makes me cringe, because it’s not as strong or realistic of a power as, say, Cubby’s map or Jake’s sword, it does give her the pretty awesome ability to help people FLY when there are no other options. Which makes me think how awesome women are, coming up with some pretty sweet maneuvers at the last dang minute. Think pulling a full course meal together from top ramen and peanut butter for last minute guests. Or something like that.

The show features Captain Hook in a more revised and, in my opinion, more believable role. While Boof is annoyed with Hook’s somewhat blundering antics, I like that his representation is as Jake & Crew’s ‘enemy,’ who also-sometimes-is-a-friend. Hook seems to be both good and bad at the same time, which, describes all of us at some point…neither truly good, nor truly evil, either. I like that. While I have no idea if it’s intentional, I like it very much. I think, someday, it might spark a conversation about the light/dark parts of all of ourselves, and how we work against and for people in various capacities.

I also love that music is involved, because Potamus is OBSESSED with dancing and he loves the different songs that they sing. He gets so excited that he looks like he’s almost going to jump out of his skin. It’s adorable, I promise. I like that there is singing, but not too much singing…you know what I mean. Those shows where it’s just too…gleeful? Yeah, not into that.

So, if you have little ones at home, I suggest checking out this show. Or if you like pirates…or mermaids…or nostalgia for Peter Pan from our own youth… This is one show that I think will stick around in our house. Unlike the other shows, it’s one that I can watch an episode repeatedly and not want to chop my ears off.

Anyone agree with me? Disagree? Thoughts on this or any other Disney Junior show or TV habits of children in general?