One final note on my L.A. vacation: Sasha watched a lot of TV. Specifically, a lot of “Yo Gabba Gabba!,” possibly the best kids’ show on the tube. In the mornings, she’d get up, drink her milk and then march around the house demanding we put on a DVD. And, most of the time, despite our reluctance to turn her over to this glowing baby-sitter, we would. It was easier. While she sat on the beanbag chair across from the TV, we could eat breakfast, or check e-mail, or blog, or take a shower, or generally take care of the things we’d normally take care of while Sasha would (normally) be in day care.
Still, the guilt. TV! It’s bad! The more she watches, the more she wants to watch, and the less able we are to escape the screen. Plus, it rots her brain, right?
Well, at the same time, she’s learning a lot from “Yo Gabba Gabba!” The last two weeks, she’d sing out songs like “Keep trying, keep trying! Don’t give up, never give up!” And it was wonderful watching her trying to mimic the many, many funky dances on the show, or empathizing with the characters when they were hurt, naughty, or crying. TV may not be teaching her to read, to add, or to parse the Declaration of Independence, but it’s showing her how to be a human being.
So, we let her watch. After all, it was vacation. But now that we’re back, the TV will stay mostly dark: maybe 30 minutes a night, with some Sesame Street on the weekends. Will Sasha complain and demand we click it on? We shall see—and then we’ll find out just how well she’s learned that “never give up” lesson.