I thought I was safe from Sponge Bob. I'd heard his name mentioned around the blog world of course, but as the addiction of toddlers and young children. Now mine are all at school I wasn't anticipating his name being uttered in our house….ad infinitum.
As first time parents we started off with high ideals around TV watching. We knew we didn't want our baby to have a square box as a baby-sitter, it was damaging to their development, their creativity suffered…we'd read it all and knew we could bring up our child without it. Until our son was about 18 months that is. He started waking up every morning at 5.30. Wide awake, ready to go. We'd take it in turns to sit on the sofa and read him stories while the other caught got a bit more sleep till a more civilised hour. In self-defence, my husband discovered that
The rot set in. Soon we'd acquired a Thomas the Tank Engine video set - two tapes that played in succession, filling our early mornings with the repetitive theme tune every ten minutes. Our daughter was born to its sound track, as he was kept busy upstairs with watching it, while she emerged into the world.
A routine evolved of watching first thing in the morning and then a little at bed-time, before stories and tucking up. We kept to our resolution of no TV during the rest of the day, the only exception being if a child was sick, when they could be lulled into a coma by watching the flickering screen. Gradually Thomas collected friends from the Disney collection, one by one we built up a library of classics, that salved our conscience by keeping our children to the quality end of TV watching. Tom and Jerry managed to join the throng, but otherwise cartoons were kept at arms length.
For years the only TV channel the kids knew was Animal Planet. The choice was Animal Planet or a video. They recently extended their viewing to some grown up movies - The Sound of Music, Dreamer, Princess Bride. We could sit down and watch with them and enjoy most of the things ourselves.
We returned from our trip to
If you have found deep meaning and a lovely soul in poor old Sponge Bob, please let me know and I will try to find some consolation for the fluff that I'm letting my kids fill their heads with!