All the peer-reviewed parenting guides my wife read to me while she was pregnant and I was on the Internet stated that babies shouldn’t watch more than four hours of tv a day before they’re six months old.
Dilemma: Zach is 5 1/2 months old and it’s baseball playoff season.
How was I going to show Zach the importance of baseball and only let him watch four hours a day? How was I going to instill our family hierarchical ethos of God, daddy, baseball, green beans, Calvin and Hobbes, and mommy?
Zach had been looking forward to the playoffs since he first learned to sign. His favorite team, the red colored Cardinals, were playing.
I had to make a decision whether to break our malleable tv rule and crush my child’s hopes, or to capriciously follow the rule.
I asked my friends at work what they did with their babies when playoff season came around. One didn’t have a baby under six months old when playoff season started. One ignored the four-hour a day tv rule. And one was a soccer fan. I reported him to HUAC.
I came home and smelled the pesto and A&D cream. I kissed my wife and my smiling Zach. I sat on my part of the couch, looked up, and remembered that we didn’t own a tv. Zach had only seen partial episodes of Sesame Street on youtube when we taught him how to count. And partial episodes of The Wonder Years when he sat with me and Kris. And partial episodes of He-Man when I got up with him at 4 a.m. and his mom wouldn’t find out.
I sat Zach next to me. I turned on the computer. And we found a radio station playing the game. And we listened together.