Marc just finished his breakfast. Sesame Street will start in a few
minutes. I quickly tidy up the kitchen, pick him up and go to the
family room. I get the remote and sit on the floor in front of the
TV with Marc in my lap. He is curious about the remote and reaches
for it. I let him take it. He examines it and then starts punching on the
buttons. The TV screen lights up and grabs his attention. I quickly
take the remote from his hand and punch the number for the public
channel. The familiar opening music of Sesame Street fills the room.
Marc’s attention is riveted to the screen. We watch in silence and as
always I too get engrossed in the program.
Marc startles me by standing up and moving forward to touch the
screen. I circle his waist and pull him back towards me. He sits back and
we continue watching. The whole program is about the letter L.
I get so absorbed in the program that I am not even paying attention
to Marc. It is really interesting. Marc starts to wiggle. I shush him
without taking my eyes off the screen. He stays quiet for a few moments
then suddenly stands up, points at Bid Bird and says:
I blankly stare at him for a moment. Then jump up excitedly and say:
“Yes!! Yellow. This is Big Bird. Say Big Bird.”
“this is Elmo”
We wiggle and stomp at cookie monster’s off beat singing. We clap our
hands and laugh at Ernie’s funny hair do. Like two parakeets we repeat
everything we hear.
Soon Marc tires and turns away from the TV and totters towards the
kitchen. I know the signs. He is hungry. I fill his cup with milk and hand
it to him. He plops on the floor and drinks greedily.
I stand by the sink and watch him. This was fun. My worries were
unnecessary. It suddenly dawns on me that the key is interactive
play. Sitting passively in front of the TV is one option. The better
option is to turn it into a game and enjoy it. The programs seem
to be geared towards interactive play. They often prompt us to
It’s naptime. I pick up Marc and take him to his room.