Someday Owen is going to realize that most other kids get to watch more than 6 minutes of tv a day and don’t have to wear an inhaler mask when they do it. But for now, while I am still in control of the remote, that’s all he gets.
In the mornings we get up, I get Owen a sippy cup of milk, and almost immediately he is grabbing the remote and shouting “TV!” TV! Teeeee Veeeee! Mommy!”. Every morning my response is, “Oh! You want to watch TV? (Yup.) Only if we get to do a breathing treatment, ok? (Yup.) Can you say please? (Peees!) Let me get your medicine set up.” And he waits like a drug addict waiting for his fix, waving the remote in the air until I turn it on. Once it is on, he allows me to do the whole treatment with no fussing or pulling or twisting away. Hallelujah. That is totally worth a few minutes of tv time. No matter how many weeks and months we have done the same routine of ONLY watching tv for the 6-7 minutes it takes to give his daily preventative asthma treatment, he still insists on asking for it all day long.
With Owen, the key to being engaged in tv used to be music. When we were first trying to get him to stand the breathing treatments I used to turn on the tv and would have to sing on top of that in order to get him to sit still. Finally I realized if I could find a show with music, then I could rest my own voice. So we started watching a show called Sid the Science Kid. The pace is slow, the characters are cute, the topics are toddler-friendly and there are at least 3! songs! in every! show! That means one per asthma treatment in our house. A Disney singalong dvd is on our Christmas list in an effort to actually listen to music I appreciate too.
But recently there’s been another love affair blossoming. A love affair with Elmo.
Or, as Owen calls him, “Amo”. We’re not Italian, but the dual meaning of that pronunciation is not lost on me.
There is something magical about Elmo.
I can count on one hand the number of times that Owen has seen Elmo on tv. I put on Sesame Street a few times but generally it didn’t hold his interest; there were too many boring parts with no music! But as soon as that “dah dah dahdah, dah dah dadah” of Elmo’s World came on, Owen’s eyes glazed over like he was in a trance. “Aaaaaaaaahhhhmmmmoooooo” he croons.
He’s still bored by the rest of Sesame Street, so it’s not really a good option for us every morning, but we’ve taken to watching one Elmo video on the computer in the evenings after daycare. (One. Despite the sweet “Mo? Mo?” from Owen as soon as the video is over.).
WHAT is so special about Elmo and why do children fall head over heels in love at first sight? I’m trying to tame this love affair and not feed it with more tv time or stuffed animals or Elmo-themed crap. But I’m pretty sure that who/what Owen loves is beyond my control.