“Oh no, Baby. Oh no.”
Little Legs stared intently at the small screen in his hands; he hit all the buttons and shook the monitor with one hand and then with both hands. It was like watching a monkey trying to shake coins from a piggy bank. With each unsuccessful attempt, he grew more frustrated.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
He handed the monitor off to me in tag-team style, his duty done, and returned to Daniel Tiger, his occasional babysitter/constant friend.
“He’s gone!” I said with a gasp, trying to get a rise from my fellow couch-potato.
Staring straight ahead, Little Legs said in agreement, “Baby all gone.”
Apparently, learning about Snow-Flake day was more interesting than the sudden disappearance of his only sibling.
There is a terrible transformation that takes place in Little Legs every time the tv is on; his eyes turn gooey, his jaw drops open and his brain melts into mush. A silvery trail of drool escapes from the corner of his mouth every so often, an indication that he all but forgets to breath when in the presence of a glowing television.
It is no wonder that the AACAP recommends only one hour of non-educational programming per weekday for this age group, here I will paraphrase, to prevent/reduce toddler brain rot.
I readjusted the camera from the floor to the crib.
“He’s not gone, the camera was just out of focus, silly.”
Still, no sign of concern or active life, just a little drool and the wave of his hand.
The Brother Project has a very, very long way to go and in the meantime, I have to figure out what to do about the zombification of screen time.