Reality: TV

This is where I recant the preceeding post.

Well, OK, I'm not rescinding the sentiment, but I do have to retract the anecdotes that inspired it because, at it turns out, my son's bits of amazing knowledge aren't magically appearing after all. Impressive that he retains it all, but I now know the whole truth.

Shortly after I posted all about his thought processes on pupa stages and stages where you do plays, he came to me asking for scissors and tape because he wanted to make "a raisin dispenser out of an envelope."

Me: Uh, Calvin, what do you need a raisin dispenser for? Every time I give raisins to you, you tell me how much you hate them. Why would you need a dispenser for them? Will you actually eat them? (We had raisins in oatmeal for breakfast, so I thought that was the connection with raisins.)

Calvin: Well, um, no. But I just want to make the dispen -

Me: Actually, wait a minute! My real question is, how do you even know the word "dispenser?" Huh?

(with a shrug) Curious George.

Me: Oh. Huh. Well, I'm not giving you raisins.

Calvin: Well could I have scissors and tape - or maybe some glue? I need some kind of adhesive.

Me: Adhesive? And how do you know that word?

Calvin: Curious George, Mom. Or wait. Maybe Cyberchase? Everything I know comes from Curious George or Cyberchase.

Or Super Why, Calvin.

Calvin: It used to be Super Why but now I know how to read so I don't learn anything from there anymore. Curious George and Cyberchase.

Henry: Yeah. But I still learn from Super Why. Hey! You can make a dispenser for goldfish, Calvin!

Calvin: Great idea, Henry! (He really does talk to his brother like that, like a grandpa to his grandson or something...) Yeah, Mom! A goldfish dispenser! Can I have the scissors and tape now?

And they were off...

Besides regretting the steep preschool tuition we've paid this year, I was left to reconsider the limits I've placed on their TV viewing. Maybe I need to reduce their interaction with nonverbal animated monkeys and add some instructive how-to housework programs. Since they like learning from TV so much and all.

Probably most importantly, maybe I need to pay closer attention to what they are picking up so that I'm not embarrassed on my blog, thinking my child is mysteriously erudite when really he's just another PBS Kid. Then I might also be prepared with scissors and adhesive when they want a hands-on activity to supplement their viewing experience.

But it got even better today...

Lily came over to play after church and while I was making lunch, I heard her telling Henry that she was going to buy her mom the Topsy Turvy, "and she is going to looooove it!" Henry asked what a Topsy Turvy was and this is the one-breath answer he got, complete with enthusiastic hand motions:

"It's a little thing that you can hang upside down that's like a little greenhouse and you can grow delicious fresh tomatoes in it for salads, sandwiches and sauces to enjoy all season long!"

And maybe you had to be there, but hearing this entire schpiel from a little four-year-old girl made me completely bust a spleen. I could not stop laughing, especially when I remembered the blank but slightly awestruck look on Henry's face while she gave it to him. I was laughing hard, but still to myself, when Calvin asked what they were talking about. Lily said, "I was telling Henry that I'm getting my mom the Topsy Turvy." And Calvin said, "Oh! I've seen that! It's so awesome! You can grow tomatoes in it..."

I lost it again and David came downstairs wondering what was so funny and as I was retelling what she had said, tears streaming down my face because it struck me so funny, Lily overheard me and interrupted with, "Plus! The best bruschetta you've ever tasted!"

Then, for just a moment, standing there at the stove in my Sunday dress with a brood of children at my feet and a smiling husband, all of us talking about the wonders of the Topsy Turvy, I really felt like I was starring on the Truman Show, experiencing one of those tender product-placement moments. And I couldn't contain myself.

So...if I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!


KatieBug said...

Stuff like that cracks me up!

My kids also learn great things from TV and have a special love of infomercials. My oldest refused to sleep in his bed for over a month because "his old flat mattress would hurt his back and neck so he needs an easy to clean, ready to use EZ-bed!" Sleeping on the floor was MUCH better I'm sure! :)

the lizness said...

that is so priceless lol!!

NOBODY said...

You are hilarious. While the whole post made me smile, your last line made me laugh out loud.

So, the topsy turvy thing, I don't know why they play that in the middle of kid's shows---maybe they are hoping kids will get it for their mom's on mother's day? The "all season long" thing is HILARIOUS. I happen to know what it is because Bo has said, "Oh mom, wouldn't you LOVE that!?" When he's seen it.

Cracks me up that Cal talks to Henry like he's an old man. :)

NOBODY said...

One of my favs is, "Can we go see _____________? It's coming soon to a theater near us!

Unknown said...

Not that I am trying to justify, but both of my kids learned SO much from TV--practical stuff like letters, colors, and shapes, but contextual stuff like you mentioned.

Super Happy Girl said...

I am so glad I read these posts (via my feed reader) in order. I enjoyed them so much more that way :)
HAHAHAHA! What cuties!