Our oldest boy is very particular about what is on the television. Truth be told, he watches a bunch of it. I realize this is taboo in the world of parenting today, but in all honesty, much of what’s on is white noise to him. He realizes if it isn’t on, but he’s not really paying attention to it constantly. He’s got a set of shows that he watches, most of if not all of them have SOME educational value alongside their entertainment. By and large though, we find that he plays MORE if the noise is on in the background.
…before the long look down your nose at us, please remember that I’m never home, and the wife is taking care of a baby as well as all three of them battling cabin fever amid this ceaseless northeast winter. It’s not on 24/7, in fact we have designated quiet times, and mealtime is a TV off time. He knows this, and is fully capable of functioning without it. In the end though, its on a lot. Whether its being watched or not, its on.
Where I’m going with this, is that the boy absolutely hates anything that I put on. Now, don’t for a second think that while he’s not watching I switch from Sheriff Callie’s Wild West to Hang ’em High. Goodness no. For the most part, I’ll throw some Discovery Channel program on, or my favorite, BBC’s Top Gear. Whenever he’s realized that I’ve seized control of the remote, or he comes home from school and finds me with something on, he immediately deflates and says in the most wretched and sad little voice that he can muster: “Oh…..boring shows again.”
But he’s a fraud. A big, fat phony. If Top Gear is on, inevitably there will be some amazingly beautiful supercar being put through its paces around a track, or a race of some kind, and the little weasel will find himself fascinated by them. As with all little boys, he is mesmerized by anything with wheels. Throw on a program with a brightly colored Aston Martin smoking its tires around a track, and BOOM….got him.
But its a lot like catching a woman watching porn. (I think. I don’t actually know, I’ve never managed to catch one.) – As soon as you draw comment to it, the eyes immediately shift elsewhere, a stammered excuse escapes the lips, and a stubborn refusal to admit that there is any enjoyment of what is being shown.
Even when there’s a documentary about some animal that he saw on Wonder Pets he’ll pay rapt attention to it, as long as I don’t say anything about it to him. As soon as he realizes what he’s seeing, the whining tapers off, and is replaced by that childish curiosity and fascination we are all so fond of.
But again- as SOON as its mentioned, its the end of the world, the mewling begins anew, and he’ll beg for some Phineas and Ferb.
I highly suspect that he’s messing with me, either that or the stubborn streak that he’s inherited from his mother is much wider than I thought, and I’m in bigger trouble than originally anticipated.