Thursday, April 22, 2010

TV really does make you stupider

So, I finally decide to get in shape, and what happens? I gain seven pounds, and my thighs grow an inch. Now, I truly do not mind my thighs get larger. If anything, it'll make my waist look smaller. It's all about the pants. I hate pants. Pants suck.

And don't suggest dresses and skirts. I have my reasons for hating most of those, too.

I'm beginning to understand mom jeans.

Someone needs to make mom jeans that don't look like mom jeans. Like, they still go up to your armpits so all that weird skin (TMI! Sorry!) is contained and doesn't hang over you waistband, but put the pockets nice and low so they look normal if you're wearing a shirt. Will they look totally bizarre on the rack? Yes. I do not care.

(Yes, I've tried Gap curvy fit jeans, and while I don't know what planet they are getting their "curvy" women from, I do know it's not Earth. Maybe planet America's Next Top Model.)

Speaking of shirts, who decided that women's shirts all had to be really short? My torso is about the same length as my toddler's, and I still have problems finding shirts that are long enough. I'd like to be able to do yardwork without sharing intimate details of my backside with the neighbors. Men's shirts are an option, of course, but I also like to resemble a woman more than a tent, even when I am getting all grubby. How do you people with normal proportions find shirts that aren't cut just below your ribcage? Am I missing something? Shopping in the girls' section by accident? What?

A friend from church gave us a CD of kids' music. I like it. It's cute without being obnoxious, which sets it apart from 99% of all other kids' CDs out there. Then there's this song:

Five little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack!"
But only four little ducks came back.

Four little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack!"
But only three little ducks came back.

Three little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack!"
But only two little ducks came back.

Two little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack!"
But only one little duck came back.

One little duck went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack!"
And none of the five little ducks came back.

What kind of mother does that? I can kind of understand if she'd sent her kids out once after the first one went missing--I mean, you can't spend your whole life in fear just because something bad happens once, right? But after the second kid disappears, maybe it's time to change things a little. Maybe move to a better neighborhood, or perhaps go with your children when they go out to play. Stop smoking weed while they play in the street.

PBS programming. Does anyone ever watch this? It makes me want to bleed from the eyes. I turn on the TV to distract Grace while I nurse Emmy in the morning. For a while I stuck to PBS Kids, but it's got to be the most mind-numbing, awful TV ever in the universe. There is this sciency program that might be interesting, except that it's exactly like the videos we used to watch in 8th grade biology, down to the yellow subtitles and Casio keyboard soundtrack. While the subject matter is interesting, the delivery system just kills it. I keep having flashbacks to Mr. Titus and his habit of sending me to sit by myself in the back of the room every time I'd start talking.

Oh, wait. That would have been my fault, not his. But still. It was only because with the lights down and the narrator droning on in a monotone, the only way I could stay awake at 2:00 in the afternoon was to bug my neighbor. Man, I was annoying.

But then, after that, there's Dragon Tales. There are these two idiotic children who have a magical stone that take them to Dragon Land. I guessing the magical stone is really a giant crack rock, but don't tell PBS Kids. The other magical thing about it is that all these dragons don't eat these brain dead children alive. Max and Emmy, they're called.

One of the dragons has two heads. One head is a girl, one head is a boy. I can't even begin to understand how they think that works. Can you imagine how awkward it's going to be when one of them gets married?

One of the dragons is almost as brain dead as the children, and he even talks in this doofy voice that will drop your IQ three points for every minute that you watch (come to think of it, this explains a few things...).

One of the dragons has what sounds like a Mexican accent. No idea why. I mean, nothing wrong with that, but it just seems so random. Like he's their token nod to multiculturalism.

The dragon that annoys me the most is the shy pink one. She's supposedly the smarty pants of the bunch, but I'm pretty sure if she were any dumber, she'd be licking doorknobs.

The worst part is the plotlines. Now, I realize these are geared toward kids and their tiny, underdeveloped brains, but I don't remember being this dumb when I was that age. In fact, they're so dumb that I've completely forgotten the one that prompted me to write about the show in the first place.

I'll just put it this way: Instead of watching Dragon Tales, I now turn on America's Funniest Videos (hey, it's either that, infomercials, soap operas, or Spanish-language soap operas, which, come to think of it, are pretty awesome).

Does anyone have an iPad? I do not know what all the hype is about, but even if it were a bar of gold filled with everlasting chocolate, I do not think I could bring myself to buy one. It's the name. What a terribly unfortunate name. Every time I hear the word, "iPad," I imagine an electronic box of Kotex. I am pretty sure a man came up with the name. An older man who has never cringed through a commercial for feminine products.

Speaking of which, I have had the Summer's Eve jingle stuck in my head for about a week. Please shoot me.

And while we're on the topic of commercials, I have two that just kill me every single time.

All the Activia commercials are just awful, but my most favorite is the one with Jamie Lee Curtis (bless your heart, Jamie Lee, and I hope I look half as good as you do at whatever age you are) and the mom and daughter. And they're all standing around this gorgeous kitchen, eating their Activia, talking about their bowel movements and irregularity as if it were the latest celeb gossip. I looked for a video of it online, but couldn't find one. It's utterly bizarre. It's impossible to pinpoint exactly what about it sets me off, but I think it's the daughter's breezy openness about her irregularity problem and the way she pats her tummy.

Then there's the Life Alert commercial. It opens with this lady:

And while that's funny (not that old people fall, but the way they stage it), what is most hilarious to me is that they then put a bubble around her, and do the zoom-out and shrink thing, with an arrow pointing to where she is on a floor plan of a house. Like a "You Are Here!" pop-out on a map. You are here! Far from any telephones! Let me draw you a diagram!

Hm. I guess you have to see it because it's not as funny in writing. That's all. I have children who will not nap. Which is odd. They ALWAYS nap. Maybe it's the fresh spring air or the catnip in the yard or the ghosts in their closets.

Oh, but one last thing: a lot of you suggested just letting Grace cry, and then usually said something about being bad moms. First, I don't think you're bad moms. Second, that's what we've been doing. For weeks. We had an epiphany the other day, though, and tried moving her nap up an hour. She's slept like a rock every night since. I hate how dumb we are sometimes. I blame it on bad TV.


  1. I know exactly what you mean about the length of women's shirts. I actually wear maternity shirts for a few months after birth until my stomach has gone down as far as it's going to go. There are *some* regular shirts that are a bit longer, but it's definitely an annoyance.

    After getting tired of listening to a CD of nursery rhymes in the car and having my little one ask constantly what they meant (because what does "Hey, Diddle Diddle" mean, anyway?) I bought a couple of Donutman CDs of Bible songs. They're actually really good, and when she asks what they mean at least I have something to say! The version of the song you mentioned that I know, though, has, on the last day, no little ducks go out, and then when the mother duck quacks they all come back. A *little* better, and you don't start to suspect that "over the hill and far away" means "in traffic."

    Glad Grace is sleeping better! I've never been able to make changing naptimes do anything for nighttime, so I forgot that it works for some people. On the plus side, I just got the little one (interesting that my "little one" is a month younger than your "older one" and you already have a new "little one!) to sleep a bit later in the morning by putting a blanket over her crib tent.

  2. The little ducks version that I know ends with "but then the daddy duck said, (shouting this part) QUACK! QUACK! QUAAAAACK! And 5 little ducks came waddling back."