Television possesses a scary, scary power.
All day today, Carolyn was in a cranky mood, no doubt because yesterday she got her six-month vaccination shots. As the day wore on, she was less and less amenable to distraction. We tried feeding her dinner, and that worked for a while, but then she started crying. We switched to toys, and that was good for a few minutes before the sad face returned. Kick-and-play seat, no good. Jumping chair, nothing. Walking around while bouncing her in my arms kept her to a minimal crank, but stopping for more than a minute caused the crank to escalate fairly rapidly.
So, at last, in desperation, I put her in front of the television and started a Baby Einstein video. From the moment the TV turned on, she calmed down. We ran through the DVD twice, and she didn’t so much as fuss. Even the end credits kept her captivated. She stayed calm after the television was turned off, nursed, and went quietly to sleep.
This may be in part because it’s roughly the sixth time she’s seen the television on in our house, so there was a certain novelty factor involved. If anything, this little episode has reinforced and deepened my determination to keep our children’s television exposure to a very bare minimum as they grow up.