george shrinks is dethroned

August 2, 2004

i have to tell you we have always been a pbs kids family (with the occasional nick jr. or noggin show). my kids have watched hours and hours of public, commercial-free television. i like some of the shows on other channels but i just can’t stand the commercialism, it makes my stomach turn. i really want my boys to have grateful hearts. let’s face it, the gimme monster can surface in almost anyone after enough exposure. jorge still insists that i watch the latest infomercial with him. “but babe, look what it can do!” ay-yai-yai…

so we heard this week that there is a rescue hero show. i set the tivo and prayed curses over the advertising that it would be powerless over my sweet child. surprisingly, josiah was only mildly interested in the “chocolate maker for $19.95” (which is really just a double boiler) but he suggested this might be a good thing to make for our friends. the rescue show ends and the tivo records the beginning of the next show. the music starts, the colors bright, josiah’s eyes are like saucers. …transformers…ugh…he watches 30 seconds of the opening song, he is totally hooked. it’s all he can talk about.

“what IS that mama?”

“it’s like a lego robot mom.”

“it’s so cool.”

my mother heart drops just a notch. i know this has been coming for awhile. i guess i was hoping it could be george shrinks forever. george is smart, resourceful, adventurous and kind, but not too perfect. i like george… and damn, that zooper car is just wicked awesome.

i have been putting off video games, action heros, pretty much anything violent. it’s not that i intend to shelter my kid from all violence but there is just SO much needless violence in our world today. if a had a kid that craved violence i’m sure i’d be trying to work some justice angle or outlet but josiah just isn’t that kid. this is my sensitive, tender soul little boy. this is probably the reason why we have gone so long without ninga turtles and power rangers. this is quite a feat for a almost 4 1/2 year old.

i don’t mean to be dramatic but it just feels like it is everything that is wrong with the world. the good guys, bad guys, a lack of understanding and acceptance, impulsive action rather than careful thought, the idea that fighting is the only way to solve our problems, that power is for force and not to be shared, that strength is merely physical…and this isn’t just cartoons, it’s the evening news.

is there really that much evil in the world that needs to be conquered by violence? isn’t there much more hurt and pain?

i have no idea how to navigate this part of my parenting. i know complete shelter is never the way to go. this is unfamiliar territory for me. i just pray my boys can see people and the world clearly, and i pray that george shrinks reigns just a little longer.

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One Response to “george shrinks is dethroned”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Pache: We’ve found that PBS and Nick Jr. are both more commercial than the Disney channel, surprisingly enough. Everything is sponsored by McDonalds or Dannon’s or other junk foods, whereas on Disney, everything is just a house-ad. It was a fascinating realization!

    Isn’t TiVO the best?


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