So shoot me

Two weeks ago, the toddler discovered television. And I am so happy. I know it’s not good for him, I know at twenty months he is too young for TV, but my happiness outweighs any anxiety or guilt I might have about this.

For the first time in six years, I can make dinner in the evening. SIX YEARS.

My three kids were all “armsy” babies, a lovely term I heard recently. They didn’t like bouncy chairs or playmats or swing chairs or any of the other paraphernalia that we bought or borrowed in the vain hope of getting a few minutes to throw together a chicken casserole.

I would visit friends and gaze enviously at their contented babies relaxing in their rockers or kicking on their playmats, while I walked around the room with mine in my arms.

At home I would gaze woefully at the pile of laundry or unpeeled potatoes and wonder at what  point the baby would be happy to be put down on the floor without subsequently grasping my leg and clinging like a limpet (a cute limpet of course)

And over time, each baby became a child, and eventually gained the confidence to be apart from me, if only in the next room. But by then, another sibling had come along and was up in arms, so no gain for the wannabe-cook, still looking forlornly at the unpeeled potatoes.

My two older girls are allowed three programmes for their evening “telly time” – they love it a little too much, and three programmes are about two too many but we are where we are and there’s no going back now.

The toddler had ignored TV all this time, but two weeks ago, his attention was caught.

“Mouse!” he said, pointing at Micky Mouse Clubhouse, and at that moment, my third child was won over by Disney.

And I finally peeled the potatoes. Well actually, I wrote this post. But the potatoes are next.

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18 thoughts on “So shoot me”

  1. Love it! I had “armsy” babies too. And telly is my au pair. I also wonder, if the quiet, content baby on the floor, is only quiet and content because they are busy watching the distraction walking around with a baby in her arms – you! If you’re not there, they are prolly screaming their heads off as well.

    1. I never thought of that before, the quiet babies were being entertained by my pacing – I should be on commission.
      Love that your TV is your au pair – I might stop my current search for a childminder and just use TV with a bit of ipad thrown in 😉

  2. Brilliant. I think every mother, when pregnant, thinks “my child will NEVER watch television”. I certainly did. I don’t know how I’d have kept my sanity without it. Peppa is the daughter I never had.

    1. Ok that’s my quote of the year to remember – Peppa is the daughter I never had, love it!
      Yep I thought I wouldn’t let my kids watch TV and also used to say about my eldest when she was around 18 months “she just doesn’t seem interested in TV” in a pretend-not-smug way. Of course I just hadn’t weaned her onto TV yet…

  3. Mine were armsy too – nice phrase. Or else they were crawling round getting into trouble, which still required me to be right there. And right now they’re… watching tv.

    1. Well if Mabel and Dash are watching TV, I’m feeling even less guilty than before. Though I have to say, tonight it was slightly worrying to see how excited Sam was about watching “Mouse” It really is baby-crack

    2. Good grief, do people think I’m some sort of exemplary parent? They’re watching it now too. They watch way too much tv, for the sake of my sanity. Mabel recognized Dora the Explorer (and yelled “Dora!” in the bookshop, supermarket, wherever) from an embarassingly early age.

  4. I have a 21 month old little girl who loves sophia the first on Disney Channel, she is aloud to watch an episode a day of that our Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I used to feel guilty but otherwise i would never get a shower or get the dinner ready! Thanks for posting glad to know i’m not alone 🙂

  5. I’m glad you’re able to make dinner again! I have one of those babies who doesn’t like to entertain themselves and at 6 months he’s far too young for the tv too so I have an armsy baby! But hey hopefully I’ll be able to lose a few pounds from the lack of being able to make a meal for myself! 😉

    Fiona @

    1. It’s funny how you think you’ll do things like cook dinners while on maternity leave and then over time realise that it’s more impossible than ever!

  6. oh I had such dreams for maternity leave too. I would write a book, cook proper meals, nutritionally balanced and perfected so I could do it in my sleep. Armsey baby meant I had to forget about all that. but oh, the cuddles! well worth it now that I have to beg to be hugged.

    1. You’re so right Muuka! I was cuddling my toddler to sleep today, thinking about the kitchen not cleaned, staring at a pile of laundry in his room and even my phone was just out of reach. But the cuddles were worth it – sometimes I’m (almost) OK with not multitasking 😉

    1. It’s a blessing and a curse! My three are addicts so I have to control it. I wouldn’t be without it though – there’d be no tea in this house ever

    1. Hey Meeshie, good to hear from you! Yep my Ergo saved my sanity with number 3 – wish I’d known about it for the first two kids. I am not good with back-carry though – fair play to you!

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