I'll be blatantly honest with you (as usual): I let my boys watch TV. When Jackson Bird was a baby, I tried to keep him away from the TV when Jacin had it on, and I was careful to limit Bird's tube time as he grew older. As a new Mom, I had read that watching TV before the age of 2 can decrease your child's creativity and leave them "imagination-challenged" (or something). However, once Bird started riding our dog Rascal like his horse, swimming in the bathtub as if he were diving for buried treasure, and fixing the imaginary engine under the kitchen table, I determined our boy was not void of an imagination. And when Levi came along, I decided that there were certain TV shows that had distinct benefits - educational, of course. So I gradually welcomed Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Word Girl, and Wild Krats into our daily routine.
Mickey Mouse comes on from 8 to 9am and teaches teamwork and creative problem solving. (It also keeps them entertained and somewhat quiet while do the morning chores. Too much verbal communication first thing in the morning overwhelms me, so thanks, Mickey, for the help.)
Word Girl and Wild Krats comes on PBS in the late afternoon. Word Girl enhances vocabulary skills and Wild Krats introduces the wonders of the animal kingdom. (Incidentally, my bedroom TV picks up both of these shows, and Bird enjoys watching them in bed with me while I finish my nap.)
Yesterday, something devastating happened. About 5 minutes into a Word Girl afternoon episode (and about 4.5 minutes into my extended naptime), the sound stopped working on the PBS channel. Jackson hollered about it, I messed with the remote, but to no avail. I simply could not get the sound to work on channel 8. That meant naptime was over and we had to get up. I forgot about it until this morning.
At 8:05 this morning, I put Levi in the pack&play in my bedroom and stationed Bird in my bed. I turned on the TV to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and jumped in the shower. About 3 minutes later, Jackson Bird yells, "Momma! Them ain't tawkin right!" After yelling back and forth a few times, I determined that for some reason, Mickey and his friends were experiencing difficulties with their verbal communication. I grabbed a towel and went to investigate. Strangely enough, Mickey and his friends were singing the Hot Dog song in Spanish!! Bird pointed to the TV and reiterated, "See! Them ain't tawking right!" (Yeah, Mickey's not the only one, kid! I silently quipped to myself.)
It was then that I remembered the difficulty we had experienced with Word Girl yesterday. Could it be that somehow Bird had messed with something on the remote, rendering Word Girl mute and causing Mickey to sing in Spanish? After pressing a few buttons, I changed the setting back to English, but not before discovering that Mickey isn't just a cute, friendly, wealthy little mouse: he's bilingual, too!!