Operators are Standing By

So, we recently got cable TV. Before this, my kids had to subsist on a healthy diet of Netflix and library DVD’s. Neither of which have commercials.

They don’t get it?

DVDs have auto play and Netflix gives you an instant streaming fix of Dora or Curious George directly into your veins with the click of a Wii remote. But with cable? My kids nearly combusted the first time their show was interrupted mid-adventure and they still get upset when they can’t just immediately select ‘Next Episode’. Instead, they’re forced to sit for what seems like an eternity. They’re also learning to subject themselves to the programming schedule instead of picking from the smorgasbord. Hard phrases like, “That’s not on right now” or “We don’t get that channel” are slowly starting to sink in.

Another bonus since they started watching TV, my kids have had their foreheads stamped and branded. Pax will almost certainly only use Clorox to clean his countertops when he gets older, and Ella is a huge fan of ABCmouse.com for her brother. She keeps reminding us to enroll Pax so he’s ready for preschool.

Meanwhile they both have lots of fun ideas of what mom and dad can buy them for Christmas, like an iPad for Ella. Pax says he would prefer a Kindle Fire HD. (I’ll take that under advisement, son.) And Ella has doubled her efforts at coming up with ways to make money so she can afford all these new toys that she never knew existed before. Now when they see these toys at the store, Pax describes them deftly. “It has pockets to store things and keeps you company on trips in the car” he said after picking a “car buddy” off the shelf at Walmart, turning it over in his hands the whole time.

He’s never met a toy that was a movie star before…

One downside is, they both have learned the somewhat cringe-worthy phrase, “Mother Funny” which Pax blurts out at inopportune times. (Yeah, thanks Nickelodeon.)

I’m hoping something good will come out of it though. Like maybe we’ll get rich? You never know, because yesterday Erica heard Pax shout across the room to Ella after one of those infomercial-injury lawyers came on, “Ella! If we don’t call now, we won’t CASH IN!”

Operators are standing by, Pax!



4 Replies to “Operators are Standing By”

  1. Absolutely spot on. I struggle daily with my 8yo twin boys being fodder for the mass marketing machine. Also, as they move on in school, they are beginning to hear about stuff they have no familiarity with because I limit what they can watch. “Dad, what’s a Spongebob” one son asked me. I didn’t know what to answer but, I’ll be damned if I will let my sons watch a show set in “Bikini Bottom.” It’s a great piece, well done.


  2. I loved this entry – made me laugh. My 4 y/o watches TV, but she isn’t bombarded with too many commercials. She either watches DVDs or shows that are recorded from PBS which doesn’t have a huge variety of ads.


  3. I hear ya on this, Lee. Our favorite is the Jenny Craig ads in the middle of a kids show where women claim to now feel “sexy.” their words not mine.


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