Yesterday, I must admit I used videos to “entertain” my child while I was watching her and getting work done. Don’t judge, you know you’ve done it. This was on a “smart tv.” So it makes it better, right?
It was some channel that was supposed to be all education content. There was a polar bear (I think) and he was kicking a soccer ball and it was bouncing off stuff and smacking him in the face and stuff. It was pure gold. Almost an “America’s Funniest Animated Polarbear Videos.”
After a certain amount of time of setting the 7 year old in front of the enrichment, I decided to check on the status of my “smart child.” I asked how it’s going. She was coloring. Coloring while there are cartoon pianos falling out of the sky? Huh? Even worse, was her answer to my inquiry of “was it good?” “Nah, not really. It’s just some polar bear or something. And everything he does, he does wrong. And it’s supposed to be funny but it’s just the same thing.”
OK, I can play Bach documentaries (Bach-umentaries, as I like to call them) and they will usually drop what they are doing and flock to whatever size screen to check it out. This polar bear thing was worse than grainy library films. Please don’t tell the maker of the video. I will not tell you the name because I have too much sympathy for fellow cartoonists. But I actually broke my 7 year old of TV. Kind of like how we accidentally broke her of most vegetable eating when we introduced chocolate. Yesterday, she lost her taste for cartoon slapstick and put her head in a book. Yes, it was a coloring book, but it has the word “book” still. Right?
Why shouldn’t I celebrate? I can’t really brag because, well, I did not plan this. I discovered it. Sort of like sticky notes and velcro… which is also a sticky thing. I guess accidental inventions kind of lean toward figuring out what to do with sticky stuff. Anyways.
Do you see the beauty here? I wasn’t being a real stellar dad for that hour yesterday. But I did something right. Accidentally. I got her to use her hands in a little bit of creativity and look away from a screen. Yes, I’m claiming it. Not the invention, not the intention, but the discovery. I came across a “dad hack” and didn’t even use apple cider vinegar.
Pop culture media love to point out how dorky dads are. We are Homer Simpsons and Al Bundy’s over and over again in entertainments. We are essentially the polar bear who just does it all wrong, right? Wrong again Hollywood. I am living proof that even dads get it right sometimes.
Go dads! Get out there with you broken watch accuracy and build from there. We can build on our strengths and get that accuracy number way up there to 3 or 4 times a day. Then you’ll be better than polar bears AND watches.
Are you a dad? What have you done right lately? How have you been able to sing the Earl Thomas Conley song “Every once in a blue moon, I’ll do something right?”