On the way to Liam's American History class this afternoon, I let the boys watch a show in the van. They're only supposed to watch DVDs if we're going somewhere at least 30 minutes away but I probably break that rule more often than I follow it. Because there are so many good reasons for kids to watch TV in the car!
Like, sometimes there's nothing else we want to listen to and NPR is too newsy (I have to monitor what's on when Liam's in the car - he takes in EVERYTHING).
Or we have to go somewhere boring (grocery store, airport to pick up Bill, etc), and I feel bad for making them ride all over town for nothing.
Or they ask (nicely) and I can't think of a good reason to say no.
When I cave, more often than not it's because I know there's something educational-ish in the DVD player. (Suckers!)
Things like The Super Mario Bros. Super Show are not allowed anywhere near my van. Or really, my life. Have you seen this show? It is pure, unadulterated garbage. Liam loves it, of course. As does Finn (he loves everything Liam loves). But I can feel myself getting stupider if it's on anywhere within a 30 foot radius of my person.
A well made skateboard video on the other hand? A perfect video to drive to. There is generally good music, which I appreciate, and no story line to get confused by (I'm talking about me getting confused, not my kids - we don't do headphones yet so whatever they watch has to be approved by the driver). Plus, don't you think it's inspiring to watch people do things not all of us can do? Like play football or conduct an orchestra or hang ten or do a back flip? Even if we never attempt the things we see others do, I think we still get a subconscious nudge to push ourselves in whatever direction makes sense for us.
Today I caved because the 20 minute drive to class is pretty far and I knew I had a National Geographic special all queued up and ready to go.
The boys loved it. They were oohing and aahing and laughing, even during parts about bugs (which Liam gets a little grossed out by) and animals eating other animals (which most people get grossed out by). About 10 minutes in Liam said, "Woah, Mama! This is so funny. That hummingbird was a predator and now he's prey!"
"Who's after him?"
"Well, the hummingbird was eating a spider, then a snake ate the hummingbird. Now an alligator is going to eat the snake!"
Ah - a food chain! Just like he learned in Science a couple weeks ago. I wondered if he'd make the connection so I said, "What is that a perfect example of?"
He thought for a moment and then answered, "Karma?"