My four year old woke up Saturday morning and put her soccer uniform on. Navy blue top with flames on the shoulder, maroon shorts, with a scratchy white waistband, 'knee badges,' and those impossibly thick navy socks. I said 'Oh there's a Blue Dragon in my house!' and she nodded in agreement since that's the name of her team. She smiled and added, but not a really scary one.
She then waited patiently at home while her brother and sister were shuffled to and from from their own athletic events. She played with her imaginary friend Sarah (who has several houses: one in Africa, one upstate near a little bridge in Beacon), and sat and played her new Zingo game by herself (I think..but Sarah might have been there) for about forty five minutes. Zingo had been a surprise gift for her yesterday when, after having her walk fifteen blocks under the Brooklyn Queens Expressway with me to fetch our car from a mechanic, I had to drag her to two different Brooklyn neighborhoods to fetch aforementioned brother and sister from various friends' houses.
At eleven thirty she ate half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then went off to soccer where she played like she usually does--running around the field after the ball, waving and beaming at everyone on the sidelines, stopping the ball with her hands to line it up for a perfect kick (a tactic that doesn't fly with the referees), and generally exhausting herself.
When she came home she took a bath and then asked to watch some television and I ushered her upstairs to watch a kids' show, because the guys were watching a crucial Mets game (the one where Santana ended up pitching the entire game). We turned on Noggin and saw a placid little scene with some fish in an aquarium. I checked the guide and noticed that the same 'show' was playing on Nickelodeon, our other favorite channel. Three hours of something called World Wide Day of Play. Hmm, maybe three hours of fun kids' shows? Perfect!
We watched the scene a little bit longer and then some words began to race along the bottom of the screen. Something like: Noggin is participating in Nickelodeon's World Wide Day of Play, a day when we celebrate all things active, so turn the tv off, and go play! We'll be off the air from 12noon to 3pm. Have fun!
My four year old and I stared blankly at the screen, waiting to see if the same words would rush by again, or if we'd just hallucinated. And then, here they come again...is this really happening? A warm sense of community flooded over me, what a great idea! Followed by a tinge of guilt, oh I'm one of the idiots who actually needs Nickelodeon to tell me to spend more quality time with my daughter.
Oh look, I said, playing along. They want us to go play instead of watching tv. Freshly bathed from her muddy midday soccer game, she looked up at me incredulously.
See? Those words are telling us to turn the tv off and go play a fun game! I wasn't sure if I'd have the stamina to keep up with a fun game, but it was still kind of interesting and I was inspired to share it with her. She looked back at the screen. Moose A. Moose walked on from stage right. 'Hey what are you still doing here?' he asked, looking out at us, standing there in the upstairs bedroom. 'You should be playing something! Turn off the tv!' (something like that).
Look, even Moose A. Moose wants us to turn the tv off and go play, I said.
But I want to watch Dragontales, she said.
Ummmmmm (I'd like to think this pause lasted longer, but it really wasn't that long). Okay, I said, scrolling through the higher numbers to find Kids On Demand. Select. Preschool. Select. PBSKids. Select. Dragontales. Select. Some episode about teamwork. Select. And I left her alone in the room, with a tiny bowl of cashews and almonds. A good snack for my soccer star, right?
A World Wide Day of Play a nice idea. But it's also nice to have about a zillion other opportunities to call up some great show for her.
Today is a rainy rainy Sunday, and she just spent the morning playing dodgeball and capture the flag in the backyard with her older brother and seven of his best friends. And once we get back from Gus's birthday party at two, it'll be nice to curl up and watch some kids' shows.
After a World Wide Morning of Play, we're ready to soak in some shows.
7 years ago