Monday, November 07, 2011

Graduating from Nick, Jr....

Let's just pretend I didn't take a month of off blogging, shall we? I can't sit through another one of my rambling explanations of writer's block and what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life angst, so we'll just gloss over it and spare ourselves, mkay? But as an aside, I'll admit that I am "supposed" to be writing almost 6000 words for NaNoWriMo today, as I am already 3 days behind after a strong start (and by "strong, I mean there are words on the page, even if they don't make sense or reflect anything remotely identifiable as writing--or-thinking--talent). But considering that I realized around word 5000 that I have no discernible plot and I dont' really like my main character (who is based on ME, for the love!), I am thinking I might switch gears entirely, give myself a couple of days to brainstorm and then start from scratch again. super!

So instead of worrying about plot and character development or the existence of a theme, I decided to blather on about Ethan and how he is growing up too damn fast and SLOWTHEHELLDOWNALREADY! He is constantly asking me when his next birthday is--"how many months until May?!!" "How many weeks, days, minutes, seconds until my birthday?!" I am trying to devise plausible ways to slow down the time-space continuum so I can stay 40 for at least the next decade--40, not "in my 40's"--and he is trying to rush headlong into his next birthday so we can have a StarWarsBeatlesTransformer party at ChuckECheese/ourbackyard/PumpItUp/thepark.

He's pointing out words he knows how to spell and rambling off math equations as we drive to the grocery store. It is all very exciting and he's amazing and when I am not feeling just the tiniest bit suffocated by his constant neeeeeeeeed for attention and validation, I am busting with joy and pride at what a fantastic little man Ethan is turning into (and truly its not as though I ever doubted that).

The other day, as Ethan and I were compiling a small army of Luke Skywalkers out of playdough, Ethan heard Moose E Moose talking from the TV (yes, "bad parenting 101" in our home--the TV is on, a lot, even when we're doing other things.) and then heard announcer lady say, "It's like preschool, on TV." He looked up at me & announced, "I think I'm too old for this show; I'm in kindergarten, not preschool."

Now being the peri-menopausal, hyper-sensitive joy to be around that I am lately, these words made me a little weepy and I had to pretend to go to the bathroom because crying around your 5 year old isn't quite as okay as crying around your screaming 8 month old. After I contained myself a bit (seriously, turning 40 is a fabulously complicated blessing--time has taken on a whole new significance for me in the past few weeks; I hope its just a phase and I can soon go back to getting through a day without contemplating my own mortality and being at once crushed with gratitude for my own health and terrified by the passage of time which will surely find a way to steal it away). GAH!!!! Aren't you glad I haven't been blogging?!!! Seriously.

I realized, though, that he's right; Dora and Diego don't really speak to him any longer, aside from the fact that we can basically recite the script of each and every episode. He still loves Dino Dan and, G-d help me, The Fresh Beat Band; but other than that, we have little use for Nick, Jr. And I can't bring myself to turn on regular Nickelodeon or, even worse, live-action Disney shows. Ethan's got a sass streak that does not require him being exposed to smart-mouthed teenagers on TV. (could I sound like a crankier old woman?!) I did show him Husband's and my favorite ever cartoon--The Fairly Odd Parents, on Nick this weekend, and he liked it. Only problem with that is that its on before SpongeBob, which I loathe with the intensity of a billion white hot suns, so I have to be quick with the remote when Fairly Odd Parents is over to avoid falling into that freaking pineapple under the sea.

More than kid shows, though, Ethan has been showing an interest in the Science Channel and Food Network. Yesterday we flipped back and forth between some show on how Super Novas are created & Food Network Challenge: Lego Cakes. Obviously he can't grasp the concepts of density, worm holes and solar wind (um, hi; neither can I), or how these Challenge contestants can call rice-krispie treats "cake" (um, hi; neither can I), but he watches it rapt and full of questions. Hours later he wants to know "why did that star explode, again?" and I wrack my brain to remember something about the heaviness of the iron at its core and how when the star can't take it anymore it does something like imploding and then exploding out from the core. And then there's the whole idea of the black hole---5 year old's mind? Blown. So is back to a discussion of rice-krispie treat as sculpting medium. Far more familiar territory for me.

There's a BIG part of me that is so thrilled to say goodbye to Moose E Moose & Zee. It's been a long and drawn out relationship of convenience with them, and I don't care if Moose likes Candy Corn or if they make it to Frisko the fire ant's birthday party on time. And I won't miss Max and Ruby or Little Bear and I take sheer joy in the idea of never having to sit through another episode of the Backyardigans. But like the end of all relationships, its been a little bittersweet because they have become such a part of our daily life's fabric (again, awesome parenting!!!). And as you know, I bristle at change, even when its welcome and good for me. I'm all rational like that; its how I roll.

I'm sure we'll find our way to Channel 120 every once in awhile to see what's up with the Fresh Beats (like maybe they decide to, oh, I don't know, change clothes once in awhile?!) and Dino Dan (will his mother ever seek professional help for her child who sees extinct prehistoric beings roaming freely throughout the hallways of his school and home? And when will that annoying chubby classmate of his turn into a full-blown Chris Farley?) But for now, we are going to make Science and Food Network our go-to's. Because you know, the family who pretends to understand a damn thing that astrophysicist is saying together, stays together. And maybe if I watch enough of the show about worm-holes and black holes and the like, I'll find a way to stay 40 for the next decade.


Sarah said...

I still love Franklin and Little Bill and am glad when Jack is in charge of our viewing a couple days a week when he doesn't have preschool. We only watch PBS kids in the morning before school (I don't know why-- guilt, I guess-- sending my kid to school all hopped up on Power Rangers is like feeding them red dye and HFCS for breakfast), and both kids like a little HGTV in the afternoon, especially House Hunters. Jack also loves him some Project Runway and has been known to watch Gilmore Girls with me while I work out. That said, iCarly is a fave of mine, and so are Big Time Rush and Victorious, but yes, all of those kids have bad manners (though none of those shows is as nasty and blatantly sexist as the crap on the Disney Channel). Anyway, I agree with you. When Jack asks for a big boy show, I feel a little sunrise-sunset -y myself.

lonek8 said...

ha, we are watching Backyardigans as I type this.

The tv is on all day at our house, and I'm not even all that apologetic about it because it's mainly to feed my own addiction, and I'd rather have it on all the time and my kids totally ignore it, than have them turn in to zombies the second the tube goes on (like many kids I've seen). you know how the kid who was never given any junk food at all goes completely crazy the second his parent's aren't looking, but kids who are exposed to it don't really care one way or the other if a cupcake gets waived in their face? that's my approach to tv. or something.

We've been hitting Little Einstein dvds pretty hard lately, which is kind of fun because Izzy LOVED them and watched them 24/7 when she was little bitty, but then she out grew it so we haven't watched them for years. Now Sophie is totally in to them and it's been long enough that I'm not sick of every episode anymore so I think her obsession is cute. Plus, they watch those in the basement so I don't have to listen to it anyway.

if you're going to mess around with the time space continuum in search of prolonging your year of 40, can I please go back and be 25 again? I feel like I really wasted my hotness and physical fitness. thanks

lonek8 said...

oh also, Izzy likes Hoarders. She calls it the "clean it up" show which I love.

The story of Tress: said...

Oh, I love that you are at this stage. I managed to squeeze a good solid two years of Sunday evening tv watching together out of the Food Network- mostly Unwrapped and then Emeril Live at the time- and it was so much more fulfilling than the endless nick Jr./Noggin/Disney ick. Don't mourn it, my friend. It's good news all around. And next year he will be in school ALL DAY and you can get a break from answering the six hundred thousand questions his curious little mind comes up with for a few additional hours. Which you will need to rest up for the next phase, which will feature rebellion. Eek.

Becca said...

I will miss PBS Kids when it's gone too, but I think we have many, MANY more years to go on that. I wish we had the science network! We just have to wait for Nova to come on!