Thursday, January 22, 2009

Toddler Under the Influence

I love television.

There I said it. While I don't watch it as much as I used to -- kids have a way of sucking that out of my schedule -- I do appreciate a good show when I get around to playing the Tivo.

And as a parent, I also allow it for the kids. (I will pause here so you can silently judge me or cheer out loud for someone who actually admits it.)

Say what you want about TV, but in the Mac house, we dig it. Not only did I grow up a total TV junkie -- throw out any TV trivia from the '70s and '80s and I will dazzle you with my useless knowledge -- but Jeff and I have made a living working in television for many years. So we don't exactly consider it the enemy. Anything that feeds my kids can't be that evil, right?

When we brought Lucy home four months ago, she couldn't be less interested in the boob tube. That's just weird. It's like Brady's dislike of all things sugary -- cake, cookies, candy -- and Jacob's ability to curb his own tantrums in even the most stressful of situations. Are you sure you're my kids?

We were cool with Lucy's ambivalence toward our friend the TV -- except for those times during the week when it would've been nice to be able to, oh I don't know, perhaps go to the bathroom without her on my lap. Or maybe cook a meal without her needing to be held while I steam, stir , or saute over a hot stove. (And by steam, stir or saute, I really mean microwave.)



I will admit, over the past four months, we've tried everything from Baby Einstein to Dora, Sesame Street and princess movies. Is it too much to ask for someone to make 30 minutes of quality TV that my little hurricane Lucy can stop to enjoy.

Little did we know, it was those crazy British blobs, the Teletubbies, that would catch her attention. A total fluke -- her brother grabbed a DVD and popped it into the computer -- she sat like this for A. FULL. HOUR.



Be warned you chubby little 'Tubbies. If I run into Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Lala and Po on the street, I might just kiss them on the mouth.

32 comments:

Lynn said...

Ha! I'm cheering with ya sister! We love TV too and Chaislyn loves her some Dora and Diego, it is pretty cute seeing a chinese girl running around talking in spanish!

Ramona said...

Oh dear me, is that a Mac (by that I mean APPLE MACINTOSH) is see????? Tsk tsk tsk. :-)

TV? You mean glorious thingS in my house that keep the kiddie-monsters quiet at times? To say I would DIE without it is an under statement.

Daria - Boutique Cafe said...

Jackie,
If Lucy loves the TeleTubbies you might also want to try "In the Night Garden". We hear that our little baby girl is loving that show, I'm so happy to know there is something she will watch when she finally comes home with us. :) Give it a try and let me know if it works.

http://www.inthenightgarden.co.uk/en/default.asp

We Loves Us some TV too!! :)

Becky, Dean, Drew & Luci said...

TV...thank goodness for that lovliest of inventions! But Teletubbies?!?!?!?!?!?! There are just 2 things that are not allowed to be watched EVER in this house...one is Barney and the other is Teletubbies! One of my pet peeves is WAY over done Baby Talk and horrible grammer! (And while Barney doesn't use baby talk, he is just plain annoying!)

Tami and Bobby Sisemore Family said...

oh my!! On that recommendation I MUST find a telletubies dvd! :) heehee to sit still for any length of time woudl be a treat! AN HOUR! WOW!!!!

by the way, we could easily play tv scene it together from that time frame! :) heehee

hugs
Tami (fellow tv enjoyer)
Noah's mama
www.tillGodbringsthemhome.blogspot.com

Tamara said...

Oh - it is joyous to just have even 20 minutes to pee or cook or just have a quick break! Jia also could have cared less about TV when she first came home. My wonderful Baby Einstein videos that fully entertained my first son - she will not even look at. But in the last couple days - she has been mesmerized by several things. The funniest is the new Electric Company DVDs of the 70s TV show that I bought for the boys. She stares and dances and sings and maybe learn to read? Go figure. Last night she was laughing hysterically and sitting quietly on the couch watching Inspector Gadget with the boys. And this morning she sat right down and danced away to Yo, Gabba, Gabba which both myself and the boys just don't get. Yuck!

The Family K. said...

No flames from me, my friend. TV has worked wonders in our household, too.

BTW - if Lucy loves Teletubbies, you may want to check out the Teletubbies in Chinese. Here's a link: http://chineseforfamilies.com/My_Homepage_Files/Page23.html

Anonymous said...

What happened to spending quality time holding, bonding with, kissing on, and nuturing these lovely, beautiful, and abandoned littles ones....the children we spent all those long months crying and waiting to bring to their forever homes? Do any of us remember what we swore we would do or give up just to snuggle and nestle our sweet baby's cubby cheaks into our necks and watch the world stand still? Are we willing to walk away from that commitment just to have a 30 second potty break without a baby bottom on our lap?

momwithfaithandhope said...

WOO HOO for TV Junkies. We had the same "problem" with Gracyn at first. (Problem, well, for us who enjoy TV it's a problem.) Now, she'll watch Baby Babble any time, and loves Hannah Montana! YIKES So the Tubbies did it for her, huh? Did big brother get a treat for poppin' it in?! And seriously, anything/anyone that allows you be hands free to pee and push buttons on the microwave (that's me too) deserves a BIG SMOOCH.

Terri said...

Anonymous, Are you serious?

Ramona said...

Anonymous - no, I haven't forgotten my pre-adoption fantasies nor did I promise to give up TV once she got here.

Lynn said...

Anonymous, give us a break will ya. Even when we/us are pregnant we say those things, then reality sets in and you need a minute to yourself. There is nothing wrong with it and we shouldn't be made to feel guilty for it.

Karen said...

Why are all "the glass half empties" anonymous? A little computer time is not such a bad thing...great for enhancing eye- hand coordination, also helps fine motor skils and not to mention a little fun and imaginative play (even if it's with those strange big puppets...I do not miss those teletubbies days)! A little alone time in the bathroom is not a bad thing...says the preschool teacher and mother of four!

mama_chita said...

I guess 'Anonymous' never has to: clean, cook, sort through mail, pay bills, do anything online, make a phone call, or go to the bathroom!
And speaking of bathroom: Who uses the bathroom with a baby sitting on their lap?!

lorabelle said...

hmmm...I suppose there might be two ways to look at this. I had to go back and read your post a couple of times before I decided to comment. If Lucy is still wanting you to carry her around and entertain her and she has been home now for almost 6 months, perhaps she is still actually trying to bond/attach with you. I mean, Allie was clingy and attached at my hip for a almost 3 1/2 months before she felt like she was ready to do some things on her own. My bio children were different in this aspect because they were held and nurtured from day one, but SLC babies spend much of their time in their beds just standing there watching what is going on. when I think about spending a year or more in that little room, most of it in a crib not being held or soothed as much as probably needed, then I think well, my dishes, my mail, my work, pretty much everything that can wait, will just have to until I finish this business first.
Jacki, I'm excited that she wants you to hold her and keep her entertained. It just might be taking her a little longer than you expected, but please don't write your wait off as a false expectation or fantasy (no offense R). As for peeing with a toddler on my lap, yes I confess Mama-Chita, that the first two months I probably did that a half a dozen times! Once we got past stepping stone and she realized that she didn't have to be on my lap then she didn't need it anymore. But there isn't a morning or afternoon that I get to pee by myself, she is still standing there watching me with a corny little smile on her face! I guess what I'm trying to say is that it takes some babies/toddlers a little longer to get there, but once they do, everything gets better all the way around. As a mom you find yourself with a little more time on your hands and as the baby, you have reached another milestone. We truly can not compare our adopted children or the adoption process with that of our bio children or a pregnancy, and our adopted children do need more in many different ways than our bio ones do. Most of us adoptive parents have educated ourselves on this before hand and have a pretty good idea of what to expect before we bring our babies home. I think TV and computer are just fine for 20 minutes here and there, but if she is actually wanting your attention JackieMac, I say let everything go and take advantage of that time because it's still early in the game and that is a good thing, not a negative. Just my opinion... Hang in there!

John D said...

Children (adopted or biological) shouldn't get something just because they 'want' it. If a parent want to pee in peace they should do so. ALL children need to learn they can't always get what they want and being in the bathroom with Mom is one of those things. And I think we know who 'anonymous' is.

marina said...

I agree with Lora - adopted children need more time than a bio child does. We all know that. You have to make some sacrifices to ensure that they bond with you securely or you will all pay for it later!! I don't think a little t.v. time is evil. Sarah isn't interested in it yet - but I'm looking forward to when she is. Hang in there Jackie - this too shall pass. Maybe it's a good thing for both of you that your job is over for now - you will have more time for her AND yourself. Sarah no longer sits on my lap when I pee but she used too! I don't even shower without her right now though. It's important to get time to yourself as well though so you can be patient with her.

It does sound like she is still adjusting to life in a family and is trying to feel more secure. It's heartbreaking what these babies had to endure - even though St. Lucy's is a good orphanage - it's still not a home.

Michelle said...

WOW....I am amazed of some of the comments. Just because Lucy came from a orphanage and not Jackie's WOMB doesn't mean that Jackie is not entitled to some space. I spend a significant amount of time with the MacDougalls and Lucy gets more one on one attention than most children, let alone the time she spends with her brothers. Who are any of you to JUDGE. You do not experience what they do on a daily basis. Every Parent needs a break...every Human Being needs a break and some personal space...that doesn't mean that Lucy is loved ANY less. Jackie and Jeff have made numerous sacrafices for all 3 of their children and I have the utmost respect for them as parents, spouses and friends.

Anonymous said...

Wow...a spark in the fire. Jackie I have been flowing your blog for a very long time now...never commiting...being an innocent bystander..it wasn't todays tv article all on it's own thst promted me to take the step to respond to you. My husband and I have bio children and adoptive children...I've walked on both sides of the fence in two different sets of shoes. A working mom and stay at home mom. I decided to post for several reasons but mostly for Lucy. She is a beautiful little girl who is attempting to do what ever it takes to get her mommy's attention--positive or negative. I am hoping that as a stranger I can get you to take off your rose-colored glasses (you do a marvelous job pretending that everything is wonderful) and get down to your baby girls level and spend mommy and daughter time with her. You can pretend writing through your blog that everything is wonderful....but sny intelligent reader can see and feel your pain that you so quickly brush off with smart humor. You have made several comments of late that prove my theory....I have read your postings on other parents blogs as well. Wasn't your dream not too long ago to have a baby girl, to shower her with all the love and devotion that you might not have been given as a child? Maybe it's not too late to make that a reality...but sacrifices will have be made. Will it be the daughter you wanted and who you tucked into bed this evening or a career? You are an funny, beautiful, and talented writer...would it be so bad to put the DREAM JOB on hold...only for now...to be able to spend the rest of your adult life knowing you did what was the best thing for both of you? Jackie, believe or not, I think you need Lucy maybe more than she needs you...go to her. This will be my last post and the last visit to your blog...Best wishes to both of you!

Michelle said...

I don't quite understand why Jackie is not allowed to have a minute of alone time. How is she supposed to refuel to be able to give all three of her kids the love and attention they need? Jackie is not ungrateful at all and I as her friend take offense to the accusations that some of you are implying! Jackie is not the energizer bunny and never will be. Just because Lucy was adopted doesn't mean that neither Jackie nor Jeff are entitled to some down time. They are better parents for recognizing that they need that time. We all have boundaries and they need to respected. I SALUTE Jackie and Jeff and anonymous...until you see for yourself what goes on in the MacDougall house, please DO NOT JUDGE!!! One more thing anonymous...what works for you may not work for someone else...

Paula Perry said...

hahah
i love tv too, and my little tot isn't that into it unless its singing and dancing, Jana Alayra is a big hit.
I tried her with the tubbies but she's not interested, i am glad that lucy likes them. You need to get in the night garden...i hear its wonderful (i'm british so proud of those little guys!!)
did you also see that there is a chinese Dora like character, you could try that too it will teach her a bit of chinese along the way.

Paula Perry said...

gosh i just read all the comment, and to put it lightly i was not haha ing about them...wow some were harsh.
I have had my little tot on my lap when i pee on a number of occations, i still however think that everyone everyone needs a little bit of time even if its just half an hour of tv time. I can't think that you have any intention of putting her in front of the tv 24-7 like some seem to think, i mean come on anonymous..
I think you not anonymous is the best judge to judge lucy..
Take care and please, we all want to have a few mins to ourselves sometimes, it doesn't mean that we love our kids any less

Not Anonymous said...

To the thoughtful and highly literate person who wrote, "You are AN funny, beautiful, and talented writer" AKA Anonymous...

I have a feeling there's some blog envy at the bottom of all of this. Sure it's super simple for Jackie to pour her guts out on a blog all day and share the details of her life honestly with the entire world while remaining funny and candid and beautiful 24/7. Obviously anyone who's an (sic) funny, beautiful and talented writer could do that. What's really difficult is anonymously judging people, urinating on their work, psychoanalyzing them free of charge and equally free of intelligence plus criticizing their parenting skills. Now that's super tough! Anonymous has to be anonymous so no one offers her another book deal or TV appearance which must happen every few hours. I guess you already know who Anonymous is so that's even more interesting. Please feel free to share that information with me and I will kick her in the vagina for you and then write about it on my own blog...once I actually have anything worth saying on an actual blog. As soon as I do, Anonymous please feel free to chime in...not that I need to ask.

Jeff said...

Hi All,

I just finished reading all the comments and I am really surprised at how heated things have become over this post. First, if you read Taiwan-On with any regularity, then you know that Jackie has a way of spinning the mundane into a funny story. This post is really about the accidental discovery that Lucy likes the Teletubbies. We don’t leave any of our children in front of the TV for hours like the post jokingly suggests.

When Lucy finally came home, Jackie said she wanted to take the blog in a different direction. She wanted to write about life. Write about life with an adopted child. Write about life with three kids and a husband. Write about life working a job. And dare I say it… working a dream job (if possible). I think it makes for a more diverse and interesting reading experience than simply blogging about what Lucy (and only Lucy) did today when she was playing with a doll… or how big she is getting. (not that those things shouldn’t be talked about. But some blogs seem to be just that stuff).

I have personally made job choices that were not the best for my career, but were better for my family. (switched to a night shift with less pay so I could be at home with the kids, etc…). So when I read about how we aren’t putting our family first, it’s more than a little hurtful. So to you people who think that we don’t put Lucy (and the boys) first, that think we don’t pay any attention to our children, who decided to tell us that you will no longer be coming to read about our family because you don’t “approve” of our perceived parenting (and saying it while hiding who you really are)… please. Don’t come back. We really don’t need your “help”.

Jeff

Julie T said...

AMEN, JEFF. I mean, give me a break. You two are the best parents I know. This "anonymous" psycho obviously has major issues that she is projecting on you. Letting your kid watch a 30-min video is neglect? Then put us all away and lock away the key. This person is obviously very unhappy and ... guess what ... a LIAR. I'd love to see what goes on in her house. Does she not OWN a TV? Puhleaze. I highly doubt it. Please don't come back to this blog, Anon, because this is an honest space where Jackie tells all ... the good, bad, and the ugly. You're obviously in search of sugar-coated nonsense -- so do us all a favor and go elsewhere!

RYanPaigeD said...

Jackie and Jeff you are two rocking parents who ALWAYS put your KIDS and EACH OTHER first. And as someone who has seen your family in real life, I think you family has a BEAUTIFUL bond!! Keep up the good work!

Jennie said...

Pretty much the exact way I feel about the staff at Pixar. I'm new to your blog, so I won't tell you what I would do to Jeff Lasseter, should I ever meet the man. Wouldn't want to make a bad impression.

Anonymous, it isn't a crime to want a few minutes to yourself. It doesn't make you a bad mother. And FYI, mothers who make their children the absolute center of their existence impede their child's ability to grow and develop independence. Our mandate as mothers is to raise whole, functioning adults. Your success is when they can stand alone. But they can never do that as long as they have to prop Mommy up.

Anonymous said...

I am shocked at some of the ignorant comments people are leaving. In order to be a good, or great parent you have to have a few minutes of space to get other things done. Its also healthy for children to not only be loved and held, but to gain confidence through a little independence. There is a lot to be learned from so many of those tv shows.

Hitman said...

I remember those days with Jer.. the doing everything with him attached to my leg.. it was a very hard time on everyone including him. I was blessed to be a stay at home mom so I can't say I totally identify with all of what you said.. lol. BUT I think that sharing who you are and what is going on there is great!
WE had a rough adjustment with Jer for 3 months, total adjustment was approximately 6 months which when I researched, I found that it is approximately 6 months adjustment for every year the child was abandoned. So you are almost there Jackie! Hang on a little longer. It is hard.. I know!!! As long as you are MOM, and the same MOM to all your kids then she will know you love her!! And it sounds like you are doing just that!!!! The truth is that every couple with bio or adoptive kids struggle with this very topic. Too much attention or too little attention, both can be damaging. At the end of the day we all stand forlorn staring at each other wondering if we did indeed parent to our best ability...(all good parents ask this question) but most like to keep those struggles hidden or of secret origin. Your parenting style is YOUR parenting style.. NO FLAMES from us!!! *hugs* And I am glad that she finally found something she likes to watch. You just wait.. she will find TONS to watch soon enough. And actually, the baby babbling shows at her age are key! Look how smart she is!!! Too cool!

Sarah k

Matthew said...

haven't heard from anonymous in a while...they're probably catching up on the new season of Lost

Jen and Jeff said...

Well, my gosh. THIS is the post that sparked such flaming comments? What a cute, innocent post to have triggered such a heated debate. Those anon women have issues. Serious issues that are far more a concern than letting your child watch one hour of television.

Emily said...

Funny post....I think every mom deserves a few minutes of "me" time every now and again, and after reading this I'm a little scared to post anything about our (in process) adoption on my blog.