Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I dare you to click on all the links in this post.

It all started so innocently. In our apartment, the computer is in the dining room, which is between the kitchen and living room, all open. We really had no choice, given the size of this place. I've always had an aquarium screen saver on my computer, but it wasn't until after the move that Oliver really began noticing it. Soon, anytime the screen saver wasn't on, he'd point and whine and make the fish sound (kissing sound), so we'd set it up to turn back on. Sometimes, he'd be playing in the living room, and he'd just look over at the computer to make sure his fish were still there. Cute.

Then we visited some aquariums and he was really into fish, so we found this video on YouTube that he is just mesmerized by, so we'll put it on sometimes when he needs distracting, as I mentioned in this earlier post. I didn't really mind, because it's soothing and beautiful, and I love fish too.

Then one day, a friend on a message board posted a link to this video, saying it was like instant tantrum relief. Warning: don't click on it unless you want the song in your head all day. Seriously. Ok, I warned you! So for fun one evening when I needed to distract Oliver out of a tantrum, I played it for him. He loved it. Of course he did, why wouldn't you, right? It's classic silliness!

Then I started clicking on "Related Videos." Don't ever do that unless you have a lot of time to kill. Marty loves to do this, especially for Japanese Game Shows or Japanese Pranks . . . but I digress. Who doesn't love the Muppets and vintage Sesame Street, right? So we watched Kermit and Animal and Beaker and of course, Cookie Monster, and so many more. So much fun. Oh, and one of my all time favorites, R.E.M. singing Furry Happy Monsters! ("Come on monsters, you don't have to cry! You can be happy!") So not only was Oliver entertained, I was walking down memory lane remembering all these characters from my childhood.

Since then, we've done various searches on other occasions. Usually while one of us is cooking or cleaning up after dinner, the other one sits with Oliver to keep him away from the stove or out of the dishwasher. So, yes, Marty does it too, his favorites (aside from the aforementioned Japanese game shows) are the Swedish Chef and Statler & Waldorf, you know, the two old guys in the box seat at the Muppet Show. We don't just watch the Muppets though, one time we searched to find all the animal sounds--wouldn't you rather hear (and see) a real cow moooooing rather than mommy? Or to look at lions and other animals. See, YouTube can be very educational. There are lots of benefits. You can see little bits of things, no commercials to interrupt, and if it's boring, you can click on something else. Then you turn it off and go play.

Well, ok, it is kind of like tv. Ideally, we'd like to keep him from watching tv until age 2, and only selectively after that. I said ideally. Really, he mostly ignores it if we have it on to watch something ourselves. Until recently, that is, and I think YouTube is to blame. One night when he was fussy, I was a lazy momma and put on some nature show with lions or tigers or something and he loved it. But he didn't understand why the lions went away every 12 minutes or so. So while the commercials played, he'd scream at the me and the tv for them to come back. Of course, he doesn't understand that it's not YouTube. I can't just hit "Replay" or click another link to get the lions back. Maybe they learn that at age 2? Oh, the challenges of the internet generation!

But that isn't the only negative result of our YouTube explorations. One day, I clicked on a link of a cartoon I didn't recognize but looked cute. This one. He liked it, I thought it was a bit boring, but whatever. Every once in a while, it would come up as a "Related Video," so I'd click on it since he seemed to like it. I don't even know who the characters are, I think they are popular in another country, anyone know? Well, I have created a monster. He is obsessed. He doesn't want to watch any Muppets or lions anymore, just some cartoon hippo and dog singing and dancing. He loves it in any variation; apparently they've done a number of songs, including this really annoying one. So now anytime we sit at the computer, or one of us starts cooking or washing dishes--he starts yelling over and over again, "Ba-ba! Ba-ba! Ba-ba!" and isn't happy until we turn this video on. No, I have no idea what Ba-ba means (both pronounced with a short 'a'). At first I thought he was saying "baby," because the hippo looks sort of like a big baby, but, he actually says "baby" correctly in context (ba-bee) so I think this is something different. We know hippopotamuses (hippopotami?) from some of his picture books, but we don't shorten it, so I don't think it's a variation on 'hippo.' Who knows? All I know is he doesn't say "Momma" or "Dada" with such frequency or fervor!

 It's a phase, right? It will pass? Do you think we've ruined his chances to get into Yale? Maybe I'll have those songs out of my head by then.

1 comment:

  1. I love that grin of his. He just keeps getting cuter and cuter.