Friday, January 20, 2006
Babies are good.
Being a grandparent is SOOO much better than being a parent; you can't even begin to imagine. I get to mind my grandson during the weekdays and on the main he is a sunny little person. Right now the Goonybird (my grandson) is happily eating Ritz crackers and watching kids tv.
I have no problem with letting the Gooneybird watch tv; I've watched all the shows with him and we picked out ones we liked. I'm pretty impressed with a lot of what they have these days for the little-littles, actually. I just make sure its the channels without commercials. I've got so that I can tell what time it is by the sound of the show coming from the next room; Go, Diego, Go! means it's 1/2 hour til naptime.
Diego and Dora are the shoutiest damn kids, though.
Diego-Hi! I'm Diego. I help ANIMALS. Oh oh, do YOU hear THAT? What animal makes THAT noise? Do YOU know what ANIMAL makes a noise like THAT?
Dora- help BOOTS find his WAY to the ICE CREEEEM STAND! say, ICE CREEEEM! Saaaaaay ICE CREAM! Say ICE CREAM! Good! You helped BOOTS find the ICE cream!
Indoor voices, for Gods sake!
We have a weird show here called The Doodlebopps, which is-and don't quote me because I'm not sure I've understand it-three aliens who are related somehow, in a band, who are little kids but tower over everyone else on the set. DiDi, Rooney and Moe Doodlebopp, they're called. I have no idea what the point of this show is, unless it's to indoctrinate children early into attending live rock concerts or something.
The actors who play these alien rockers are actually quite talented people. I know one of them is queer as fuck in real life, and I wonder if he gets a lot of play ('Oh man, you'll never guess who I just blew in the men's room-Rooney Doodle!')I hope they go on to have fabulous careers because, you want to talk about paying your dues. They have to wear a metric ton of makeup and total bodysuit costumes with just their faces sticking out, AND sing AND follow choreography that often includes huge casts of kids AND memorize lines- 'Oh Moe! Don't worry; you'll get big someday!' 'Aw, but I wanna be big NOW!" At the very least they deserve a raise. I hope they get craft service because they have to be losing a lot of weight jumping around like that in those foam rubber nightmares.
Another strange one is Breakfast With Bear. This is Bear from the Big Blue House, which he leaves at intervals to roam at large and visit children and have breakfast with them; and this merits a program of its own.
Bear has the patience of a saint. Some of these kids are just total tumors; so utterly gobsmacked by having this giant carnivore in their homes that they have no idea what to do other than stare at the camera and mumble.
The person inside that costume is another unsung hero of television. He manages to project this cuddly, kind, loving personality from inside a seven-foot costume with one arm stuck straight up over his head and the other one hampered by a four fingered glove covered in layers of foam and dynel, and then only allowed about 12 inches for his inseam so he has to swing himself along as though he were wearing a ball and chain. And that bear suit is grubby. You can date the programmes by the darkening mats in poor Bear's fur along the motile side. Folks, give the guy a break for the love of God, WASH THE COSTUME.
Another puzzler is the Backyardigans. There seems to be no message whatsoever. That's not altogether a bad thing, but you gotta wonder why Nick picked it up. They're supposed to be jousting with Disney for the hearts and minds of toddlers, meaning mommies and daddies, so you think there'd be something, like 'be kind to animals' or 'don't pick up crap off the sidewalk and put it in your mouth' or something. But no. Its just a happy little show with the best music, and little dinosaury-moosey kid things that play make believe games in their back yards.
We had to stop watching Blues Clues last summer while Grandpa was on the couch. Grandpa memorized Blues voice and started imitating it to make the baby laugh...which was funny, but then grandpa started doing it all the time. And that was still kind of funny; a 275 lb biker with full sleeves toting a hysterically laughing infant and going 'Oo oo oo OOOOOO!' in the middle of Wal-Mart. But then it became a kind of verbal tic. You'd hear him drop a wrench out in the garage and go 'Oo OOOO!" when the baby was in the house, a couple hundred feet away, taking a nap. So we turned Blue off for awhile.