The TV Nanny
Round the corner, not far away, a little girl hardly ever watched TV.
We used to carefully record specific programs we liked her watching and let her watch them at specific times (calm down time before bedtime started). I was proud of this. It worked for us.
But now there is two of them, a two year old and a newborn, we watch way more TV! Breastfeeding in the early days takes so long and toddlers really don't like to wait, so I developed the habit of putting CBeebies on to distract her. Toys and books worked to start with but it didn't take long for her to want me involved, and in the early days I didn't have the hands spare. If I was bottle-feeding I still wouldn't have a spare hand. So the TV came on. It allowed me to feel she was safe & we could watch together while still feeding the baby.
At first, I felt guilty. What if she develops an American an accent from watching too many cartoons? What if she turns into MikeTV? I remember the husband one Saturday saying;
"I like that she's not allowed TV until after 6pm." And I thought;
That week we had had the TV on from 8am some mornings...
...I worry less about it now. It's a part of our new existence. It enables me to feed the baby or cook the toddlers dinner or feed the dog or go for a wee. We don't watch it all day. We often watch it together. We turn it off when we do other things. We don't watch adverts (I hate adverts, especially children's TV adverts!) A lot of what we watch is active and the toddler dances along with it. It's not ideal, no, but it helps and in the end, she is safe. A large part of my everyday life is trying to keep everyone from safe and when she is watching TV she is not trying to climb the outside of the stairs or bang her head on the side of the table.
The husband doesn't spend extended periods of time alone trying to entertain as well as get on with life at the moment. When he is with them both, he gets to entertain and doesn't normally have to do domestic things like cook tea at the same time. Besides, when he's at work, he'll never know...