Our Directv offers 1000 channels…or thereabouts when you include all the movie pay options.
Which is incredibly wasteful when you consider I really only watch about five of them with any regularity-ESPN & Fox have been in my wheelhouse for a long time. FX has a few humorous shows that interest me. HGTV (aka ‘settling down TV’ came into my life along with my couplehood with Meghan and the next logical channel step is number 293 on the Directv lineup, The Baby First Channel.
Baby First is Meghan and I’s ‘go to’ channel for Cash when we need ‘to go away’ from being his entertainment and get something down for awhile. Yes, Meghan and I did talk about how we weren’t going to have our kid watch TV until he was like three, and then only educational shows. In reality, we got part of it right, he was three when we first exposed him to the TV…three months.
Heck, the programming isn’t as harmful as we’d imagined and is visually stimulating if nothing else. Cash has been quite mesmerized by he moving pictures and high definition screen and even taken to a few regular programs.
He’s a big fan of TEC, a driver-less tractor with eyes and a mouth who makes its way around the countryside of some dreary Northern European country. From what I’ve seen, the main plot of each show is TEC pointing out an obvious thing like a puddle to a real life farm worker who understands TEC and nods and pantomimes while he is voiced over by narrator. TEC usually assists the farmer by towing a few objects and the moral the show is usually that people need some help once in awhile. A positive message if not an overly compelling one. Cash seems to most appreciate TEC’s bright red color and locomotion against the muted countryside. (I did a little research and found the show is shot in Wales, which most the world has a hard time distinguishing from the rest of the U.K.)
Cash also likes the show, “vocabuLARRY,” which centers around a brightly-colored (red, yellow, orange, blue) parrot, who has a really cool theme song with a jammin’ fiddle riff. (Kinda bluegrassy, Merle Haggard with spoken lyrics, “Who’s that swingin’ up and dowwwwn? Little kids scream, “La-rry!” Then “Join ’em as he has some fun.” Again, the kids scream, “La-rry!” Then “Look at Larry, he’s so bright” La-rry! “Learns some words and gets them right.”
vocabuLarry’s plots are a little thin as well. The narrator will point out an object like a flower. Larry will say in a squeaky voice, “Flower” and then hang upside down, fly off screen and reappear on the side and then again from the bottom. Repeat “flower” a couple more times and then return to his swing and say goodbye. The theme song kicks back in which is about the duration as the actual scene.
Harry The Bunny, the “funniest bunny,” according the lyrics of the catchy theme song, is one of the 5 minute segment/programs labeled under Development shows. One recent episode has Harry B reviewing vegetables laid out on a table. The only joke he makes in the episode about celery, lettuce and broccoli was that broccoli looks like a tree. He giggled after saying it. He went on to identify them all as green and after nibbling them, said how yummy they all were. (which makes him an untrustworthy bunny as I would call none of the above “yummy” unless aided by dressing, cheese and/or peanut butter.
Cash doesn’t seem to be as taken with Ookii’s world, about a little green dinosaur and he’s downright creeped out by three singing mice, Tic, Tizzy, and Toot, from the show “Squeak!”
It’s okay, I don’t like musicals by mice either….or musicals by people acting like cats…and just musicals in general.
It’s only fitting I say goodbye with the last show I’ll discuss here, Shushy Bye Baby. This has life-sized muppets dancing and miming next to a live, friendly-looking black male who sings jazzy, finger-snapping songs like, “sleeping makes me feel good, I want to thank you, and the theme song you will never, ever, ever get out of your head once you hear it, “Shushy bye.” The song’s lyrics go “Every night the sun goes down, the lights go out, throughout the town, that’s the time to close your eyes, cuz soon you’ll be in Shushy Bye. The chorus bursts, “Oh my my, shushy bye, I said, “oh, my my shushy-bye.” The singer, who’s name I found is Michael North, has a good voice and puts his gusto into it.
The show is made up of little skits that take place above the clouds with various sprightly characters and real life folks dressed up as train conductors, a bearded king, and the Snoozies-Dozie, Zeez, and Snoozles. Snoozles is always caring and eager to help, Zeez is lovable, fun-loving and always excited to try new things and Dozie loves to bake all kinds of special pies and has great ideas.
I don’t know if it’s a great idea to let Cash watch TV at such an early age but we do limit his time. We figure it’s a stimulating supplement to our reading time, toy time, outside time, meal time and bath time with him. TV is in the mix as we try to fill his days with as much variety as we can.
We’re putting our Baby First in the hope he’ll learn a thing or two.