Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bye Bye Baby (Einstein)

We love Baby Einstein. Yeah, I'm fully aware of the controversy that led Disney to offer refunds to customers. We didn't bother to claim ours as we are perfectly happy with the series of DVDs. Yes, watching Baby Einstein DVDs is probably not going to make your baby the next Albert Einstein and it is scary to think that some people actually had those expectations. I bet they also think that drinking lots of Diet Coke will make them thin.

We liked Baby Einstein mostly because it was a great short term babysitter. Strap Blake in the highchair, put on one of the DVDs and instantly you have an invaluable baby-free half hour, perfect to take the dogs out amongst other things. Also, Blake enjoyed watching them. It made him laugh, wave his hands and get excited. It calmed him down when he was upset or when waiting for Calpol to take effect.  So what's wrong with a little bit of Baby Einstein here and there? It wasn't instead of anything else, but on top of.

In case you never saw a Baby Einstein video, let me summarize it for you: a series of short video clips featuring toys, puppets and live action with classical music playing in the background. With the occasional exception of a mini-sketch with puppets, there is no plot whatsoever. The sort of colourful surrealism one might enjoy best while smoking pot (I would imagine).

So I was a bit surprised over the last few days when Blake started protesting a few seconds after I left him in front of the laptop with Baby Einstein on, even when it was one of his favourites like On the Go (about vehicles). Was his diaper soiled? Was he still hungry for more breakfast? Was he not feeling well? Was he sitting on some toy that was poking his bottom? I'm often a bit slow, but then it clicked.

As Blake improves his mastery over the iPod I keep adding stuff to it. Recently we added some Spongebob and Thomas the Tank Engine videos. Blake would be very quickly bored with any program that involved characters talking. If there was no music, he'd walk away. That's why his favourites were Baby Einstein and Lady Gaga videos. And now almost at once there was this drastic shift. While he still likes Lady Gaga music videos (and how!) he's now quickly bored with Baby Einstein and more interested in plot-driven videos that tell a story and use dialogue or a narrator.  The baby Einstein videos are supposedly aimed at 0-3 year olds, but Blake decided he had enough at two. Seeing him giggle at a Spongebob episode filled my heart with pride. Soon I can introduce him to true classics like Ren & Stimpy. Happy Happy Joy Joy!

It's exciting, but also a bit sad. Just like when Blake started to refuse to be bottle fed. Just another aspect of babyhood that is now left in the past. They grow up so fast... On the bright side there will probably be things he'd outgrow that I'll be happy to be done with like High School Musical type nonsense or Justin Bieber... *shudder*  



Miron, my uncredited part-time proofreader disapproves of the Justin Bieber mention saying that Blake is way too macho to ever like someone like that. One can only hope!


Bobby said...

Lady Gaga videos...colorful, jazzy, lots of feathers...what a great idea! My husband will kill me but I can always throw back in his face that he's had her addicted to the "Fairies Away" number from "Were the World Mine" since she was 6 months old. Sigh.

Mickey said...

Lady Gaga is a tiny bit on the skanky side, but in a very tongue and cheek way, so I guess it's OK. I never planned for him to fall in love with her, he just caught me watch Bad Romance on Youtube and the rest is history...