On Fresh Beats and Jump Arounds and the parenting in between

Some of you might remember a little post I did back at the end of May about how annoying The Jump Arounds, aka The Fresh Beat Band, are.  Since then I’ve received several endorsements and complaints.  Today I laugh because I got another complaint on the post just this weekend. 

I’ve been meaning to write a post addressing all the people that are upset with me not enjoying a children’s show.  Lighten up.

At first I was excited that The Jump Arounds went off the air because I noticed a lot of people felt the same way I did.  The show was engineered around four non-sings, non-dancers.  The songs were so very annoying.  But then Nickelodeon made a name change to deal with all the negative responses.  The Fresh Beat Band was born, but it was the Exact. Same. Thing.  Nothing changed.  I bowed my head in defeat, realizing that there must be lots of other parents who allowed their kids to watch the show.  My main problem is still that the advertise ALL THE F-ING TIME!  They advertise more than Olivia or Ni Hao Kai-Lan, more than any other show in the Nick Jr.  line.  I wonder if they actually believe that we would start watching it if they played it enough.  If you play it, they will come.  Maybe it’s more sinister, and this is a plot to hold us ransom.  I’m sure I can raise a million to get them to stop advertising, but I would rather that money go to somewhere important like autism research or making sure no child goes hungry again.

The Husband is begging me to make this post into an anti-capitalism speech.  He believes that The Fresh Beat Band is a symptom of a much larger problem, the desire to hook children in a pop culture that demands their money, starves their soul.  You’ll have to forgive The Husband; he recently watched Michael Moore’s new movie so he’s a bit obsessed with anti-capitalism theme, which is ironic because he’s a small business owner and I remember when he read Ayn Rand.  Don’t worry.  He’ll swing back in the middle in a month or two.

While I agree with my husband, I’m totally fine with other parents letting their kids watch it.  I just won’t let my kids watch it.  That’s my choice.  I’m the parent.

I’m upset because so many people think they have the right to judge me on my parenting over one little post, over one little opinion about some silly kid show.  And yes, it is silly because it’s only about entertainment.  Just like The Office is a silly show.  Just like The Simpsons is a silly show.  Just like Desperate Housewives is a silly show.

It frustrates me that parents out there don’t think it’s their place to monitor their children’s television shows.  Are you kidding me?  We’re talking about preschoolers and toddlers, not teenagers.  We’re talking about the most impressionable years of a person’s life.  Are they going to tell me I’m a bad parent because I won’t let my son pick out his own sugar-filled cereal that was advertised to him?  Am I a bad parent because I didn’t buy the toy my son wanted in the store?  It’s my job to monitor him!

I’m sure we’re going to have talks over the video games, movies, music, clothes he likes and wants.  I’m sure I’m not going to like everything he likes. But you know what.  That battle is years away.  I’d like to keep it there.

I like having a place where parents can complain about random kid stuff that we don’t like because we parents are subjected to a lot of stuff we don’t like.  If you’re like me, you have quite a few toys loving relatives and friends gave your children, toys that make you want to roll your car over or, at the very least, make disappear one night, but we don’t because the kids LOVE them.  We subject ourselves to a lot of shows that have annoying characters.  I’m not a big fan of Elmo, but I deal because it’s Sesame Street.  I think Donald is a loser, but the boys love The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Some days I wish Dora would just go away and not have such silly adventures (though I totally want a chocolate tree), but the boys are actually using Spanish that I obviously didn’t teach them.  I’m willing to eat a lot more vegetables because I’m setting a good example.  I’m willing to eat a lot more “kid food” if that means they’ll eat, especially if they eat the vegetable side dishes.  We’re willing to give up our television programming so that our kids watch something age-appropriate, and we’re willing to watch shows we don’t like because we don’t want our kids sold to by advertisers.  We do these things because we love our kids and want to be the best parents we can be.

But in the end, my opinion doesn’t matter.  I’m just a mom, living in Arizona, doing the best I can.  I get to be the loving, imperfect mom to two boys, and they are the ones who should care how I parent.  My opinion shouldn’t affect any you because you are the parents of other kids.  If I mess up, then I’ll just pull money out of the therapy fund for my kids.  And if you mess up, then hopefully you have a therapy fund.  Because I’ve learned one thing about this parenting business, we’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve got.  So don’t judge.

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And the walls came down

She’s doing it again.

 

“You want to fold it like this.  If you hold it like this, it’ll go more smoothly.”

 

I CAN DO THIS.  I can do this WITHOUT your help.  WITHOUT your judging.  WITHOUT your criticisms.

 

And I remember. . . .

—–

 

She’s judging me again.  I can never remember seven times eight.  T always does, and he’s younger.  Now she’ll see I’m crying because I can’t remember and we went over this a hundred times.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

 

—–

 

I know this.  I know this.  I know this.  C-O-N-S-I- That’s not right!  I can see it in her face.  I misspelled it AGAIN.  Why am I so stupid?  I’m tired.  I want to go to bed.  I don’t want to stand here and spell out the words AGAIN.  Stupid tears.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

 

—–

 

Damnit.  Why does she have to judge me?  I did it right.  Sort of.  Why can’t she just let me do it my way?  I just want to finish it.  Stupid badge.  If she wasn’t the leader, it wouldn’t matter if it was perfect or not.  I’m listening.  Can’t you tell?  I thought I did it right.  I did it the way she told me to.  Don’t cry.  Don’t you dare cry.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

 

—–

 

I’m trying!  I can’t get this.  I don’t care how I got the right answer.  I got it.  Stupid math.  I’m not like her.  I’m not good at math.  I’m not going to work during the school year like you.  I’ve got too much to do.  No, I don’t get it.  No, I don’t want to go to school early AGAIN because I need help.  Why do you care any way?  It’s late.  I’m tired.  I don’t get it.  It’s stupid.  Now, I need to wipe my eyes.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

 

—–

 

I KNOW!!!  I went yesterday and today!  I don’t know why I can’t get a job!  There are no more openings. Why are you so mad?  I’m trying! I failed!  I know I did.  I know I can’t stay in school if I don’t get a job.  Yes.  I mean no I don’t want to come home.  Don’t you realize yet, woman, that I miss you and you’re wasting our twenty minutes yelling at me.  Yes, I called them twice.  I don’t know why I call.  I don’t know why I have to cry every time we talk.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

 

—–

 

Before I got defensive, before I raised my walls, before I stopped listening, I noticed how my mom held the blanket I was trying to hem.  I listened to her voice.  I really listened and realized she wasn’t judging or criticizing.  She was trying to show me the best way.  I’m not a kid any more, so I swallowed my pride and laughed at my mistake.

 

“Thanks, Mom.  I think I got it now.”

 

 

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