When my son was a baby, we would put him in front of a Baby Einstein video where he would be entertained for a half hour, affording us the luxury to do things like fix dinner.
From an early age, he was interested in TV. I remember seeing the age guidelines on the boxes and waiting until he was 9 months to play the videos that were for "Ages 9 months and up."
As a first-time mom, I was very particular about age recommendations.
That has since gone out the window for the most part.
I mean, seriously, because the Baby Einstein video has words in it, a 7-month-old shouldn't watch it? It isn't like we are talking about rated G vs. PG here. Yeah, I got over that real fast.
My daughter at 14 months is a different beast.
She hadn't shown an interest in TV at all. In fact, we weren't even sure she saw the big box (yes, box... since we are still in the dark ages with our non-high def TV) sitting there as anything but vocal competition.
I suppose I should be happy about this. I suppose my left bicep muscle should be a source of pride from hauling her around while fixing dinner since her sitting in front of the TV for 30 minutes just was not an option. Not feeding my family wasn't an option either. Options were limited.
My son has been amazingly amenable to watching Baby Einstein or Teletubbies upon our suggesting to him that she might want to watch one of those with him instead of Curious George. He will sit and watch either program aimed at children much younger than him, giggling at the funny parts and trying to convince his sister to pay attention to the movie.
(Oh, and for those of you keeping track, the Spider-Man cartoon has been officially nixed from our Tivo lineup. My husband has to live with Curious George again for the foreseeable future.)
This past weekend, we reached our limit.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
On the third attempt, my daughter sat in her little rocking chair with a bowl of Goldfish and a sippy cup of water and watched Baby Neptune.
All by herself.
And she even laughed.
I know. Someone out there is balking that I forced TV on my 14-month-old. And yes, I know the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't recommend TV before age 2.
But for the rest of us who live in the real world and don't have biceps made of steel, 30 minutes with baby in front of something entertaining is worth a heap of something.