Monday, March 20, 2006

Couch Potato

i grew up with the tv as a friend. i didnt really like playing outdoors. i did play quite a lot when i was younger but once we moved to 'the jungle', i hardly ever left the house. tv kept me company throughout the day. i watched tv when doing work, i watched tv when studying (guess that explains my results), i watched tv when i ate, i watched tv all the time. when i went overseas, i used to buy the weekend tv schedule and circled all the shows i wanted to see during the week. i'd run back from class just to catch the afternoon edition of 'neighbours'. i remember telling the time according to what's on the telly. like if i was watching 'ready, steady cook', then it must be 4.30pm, watching 'match of the day' means it 10pm on a saturday. everyone i know complains about the boring shows on the english tv, but i can sit for hours, watching god-knows-what show after god-knows-what show.

now it seems that i have a 'couch potato jr' on my hands. amir loves the tv. he would push us out of the way if we're standing between him and the telly. he would strain his neck to see the tv if there's something blocking his view. he even know which is the remote control for the tv and which is the control for astro. not only that, he knows exactly where to point the control.

children's tv nowadays is really educational. i've seen the credits for some shows and they really do a lot of research before producing those shows. the messages are very deep too, for a pre-schooler, that is. it teaches them to say thank you, say please, to make friends, to work together, to respect other people, to appreciate everyone in the communicty, to think, to move. there's so many things to learn. sometimes, hubby and i would sit quietly and watch the shows, long after amir has gone to sleep. there are some shows that i really, really like. 'save 'ums' is one of them. amir has been following this show since he was about 3-4 months. he knows the theme song way before he can lift his head. if i were to start singing 'on the land, in the air, under the sea...', he'd give me a big grin. another one that he likes is 'elmo's world'. i think everybody loves this show and as much as you hate to admit it, you too love mr noodle.

however, there are some shows that is really disturbing. last time they had a show called 'house things'...that was really scary. i didnt like it at all. it was so dark and gloomy and the message was quite evil. even the song was scary! another show that i dont really like is 'clifford, the big red dog'. not so much of clifford and how scary it would be if there really was a big red dog, but more of the human characters. there's one girl called jedda, sorta the main rival for clifford's owner. jedda is forever in hot water and forever making up stories and lies and is the wet blanket of the group. she always end up saying sorry in the end, but she'd be back at getting other people in trouble in the next episode. and i hate the way she is always potrayed as the bad girl (at the smallest thing) and the way other people trust her wholeheartedly and take in her word so easily. to me its not jedda that's irritating, its her so-called friends for being so soft and believeable and having no backbone. everytime jedda say something bad about clifford, his owner would go 'no, jedda...clifford's not like that' in her soft, whiny voice. i mean, for god's sake girl...slap her girl up her head for once. why take it lying down?!! i mean, seriously...what kind of message are they trying to send to the children? that we should be soft and whiny and let other people walk all over us? or that we should be bad and evil and if we say sorry, people will forgive us, but we can be bad again the next time. sorry is the no 1 word to get you out of trouble, it doesnt matter if you dont mean it and dont learn from your mistake. if you say sorry, you're safe. i think its ridculous. i'm sure there are more ways to show children good attitude vs bad attitude.

having said that, there's always this argument about babies and toddlers watching too much telly is more likely to have ADD or other behavioural problems. i'm sure the people who write the papers have done thorough research, but i cant help but be thankful for the idiot box. i get to do housework because of it, amir understand songs because of it, he gets a good laugh out of it, he follows football because of it, i have a cousin who learned english just from the telly. too much a good thing, isnt always a good thing i know, but for the moment...thank god for the television.

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the value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults - peter de vries

grown-ups never understand anything for themselves and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explainning things to them - antoine de saint-exupery
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