When we first had kids, Brighton advised us not to let them watch t.v. until they were at least two. She's a child development person and she knows these things so we did what she said.
At the time I thought it had something to do with how they are growing and learning and whatnot but today I realized that it is so when you really need to use t.v. as a sedative you don't want its impact to be watered down.
Lucy went to the dentist. She watched Dora the Explorer. Her teeth were perfect, but really they could have taken them all out and replaced them with Cabbage Patch dolls and she wouldn't have blinked an eye.
I know before Lucy and Studley start public school I will have to get some flash cards or something and quiz them on all the t.v. characters they've missed out on so they don't get teased for not knowing who the Backyardigans are (who are the Backyardigans, anyway?). Today when the hygienist asked Lucy what she wanted to watch Lucy greeted her with one of her blanker blank stares. Finally she said yes to Dora because she has a Dora suitcase.
Some of our friends think I'm being all holier than thou about the t.v. thing. They too had heard it was a good idea to hold off, but for one reason or another they couldn't. They think I am noble and forthright. Just between you and me, that's not it.
It's because I have whatever is the opposite of an addictive personality. There are a couple shows I like and would watch if I could remember to watch them. I can go for months without turning the television on. In fact, I had to call Chris at work the other day and ask him for technical assistance because all the cables had been used for other things and there was no longer sound coming out of our set.
When I was a kid I tried to be like my friends and get hooked on a soap opera. Instead, I watched reruns of The Monkees. They were on when I was likely to turn on the television and frankly I liked them better than the soaps (except of course for Soap, which I loved).
Now that I think of it, I think my preference for The Monkees greatly shaped my adult life. I like places where Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz would seem at home. I definitely live in more of a Monkee house than a Guiding Light house.
And that is the real reason to not watch television as a child. Because eventually you will grow up and one day your husband will spend an entire day with Michael Nesmith and you will not be there and it will make you throw a temper tantrum the likes of which no one has seen since you were 12.
Time after time Chris gets to meet the people I admired in my childhood while I am stuck at home wearing an apron and fretting about how shiny my floors are. He spent the day with Michael Nesmith. He says he's awesome.
So not watching t.v. now will save Lucy and Studley from future heartbreak and it will give their future spouses less to torment them with. Hey honey, I met the voice of Dora today!
I'm just sure that's what Brighton was on about.