While the practice leaves me guilt-ridden, sometimes we have to put Stella in front of the TV in order to get some things done around the house (or just get a minute of peace). I feel the need to interject (for the purpose of rationalizing or defending my behavior, maybe) that this is never for more than 15 minutes or so at a time, if only because Stella’s attention span is teeny tiny. We noticed early that she did, in fact, respond much better to cartoons than “normal” shows. Some cartoons were more alluring than others. One can only speculate, but we figured it was a matter of color palette and animation styles. For instance, Spongebob > Rugrats (thank god) but < Invader Zim. Samurai Champloo is > Tom and Jerry but < Dora the Explorer (yeeeesh). And so forth.
And then one day, we discovered the ultimate cartoon (at least for now): The Bubble Guppies. I had never heard about this thing, and I assume it’s reasonably new. If you do an Amazon search, it’s not even marketed yet – the true sign of unplowed opportunity for a show’s creator (I’m already thinking ahead to Stella’s first Easter basket, and figured a Bubble Guppy chew toy would be more useful and appreciated than a stuffed rabbit).
It is geared to little kids and is essentially an educational show run by little mermaid children with upbeat-colored hair. They sing. They cover a topic in every show (the solar system, sports, airplanes, etc…). They eat lunch and sing the lunch song. It’s pretty insipid, but my child LOVES this. We are now DVR’ing every episode in order to keep a stash, and when you set Stella up in her swing and turn on that cartoon, she immediately starts grinning. It’s uncanny!! She sees that pink-haired mer-child and it’s like Christmas morning.
I’m not sure how long this Bubble-Guppy Svengali mojo will last, but for now it’s a wondrous thing. Even if it does make us rotten parents for a few minutes.