Wednesday, May 03, 2006


In theory, we try to limit our kids' television viewing. In practice, they watch television. They have their DVDs - Dora the Explorer, Looney Tunes, Rugrats, et al - and they watch some shows - Caillou, Big Big World, The Simpsons - and then there are the grownup shows. C has taken a shine to How I Met Your Mother and Lost, but it seems the other two could take prime time or leave it. I don't screen TV stringently for nudity or language, but there are shows such as the CSIs and the Law & Orders that show the results of violence in scenes that are far too graphic. When previews for horror movies come on, too, we'll have the kids look away.

I'm not sure that this was such an issue when I was growing up. I remember watching Welcome Back Kotter and McCloud and those didn't seem so bad. Going to see Grease at the drive-in was about as risque as it got until I got a little older and then depended on aunts and uncles for the good stuff. The Amityville Horror and The Omen came out when I was young, though I wouldn't have dreamed of seeing those. But there was a song my mother sang us - it was like a lullaby about a peanut. Does anyone know the one I'm talking about? It's about a child who found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut, and it turns out the peanut is rotten, but he ate it anyway, ate it anyway, ate it anyway. Well, long story short, the kid dies of some weird rotten peanut botchulism. He goes to heaven, which is a nice, sweet touch, I guess. But it's a song, nonetheless, about a child dying from eating something as unremarkable as a bad peanut.

She sang me a lot of other songs that I sing to the kids - Row Row Row Your Boat, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mary Had A Little Lamb - but with all due respect to my mother, who is a wonderful and concientious one, I believe I'll stay away from peanut poisoning ditties, at least for tonight, because tonight is when we all gather around the TV to watch The Sopranos, mother#*%&$@*%!!