Friday, May 04, 2007

Timmy and the large intestine

An odd conversation with my husband over dinner: he is able to remember plot points of the various children's programs that are on TV, particularly in the getting ready for the bus hours and the late afternoon/early evening. We plead guilty to letting the kids watch more TV than their peers of a similar socioeconomic background--Robert's disabilities have meant that when we couldn't pay direct attention to him, he couldn't do anything at all for himself, so TV gave him something to do. We're trying to get off the TV fast lane, but, at any rate . . .

I always come back to this, to a VHS cassette my kids used to watch 5 or 6 years ago, "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree." At a certain point, as I was doing whatever I was doing while the kids were watching this, I would notice that Pooh had his butt stuck in Rabbit's entrance hole. And that Rabbit was drawing a face on Pooh's butt. And I would wonder, why is that, not care and go back to what I was doing.

My husband can explain the plot, although my husband can also become fascinated with the back of a cereal box in the morning.

I find with these various programs--now, of course, we're into Sponge Bob and Fairly Odd Parents, although Dora and Maisie and Blues Clues get thrown in--that I become bored after about 20 seconds of viewing time. I can't maintain focus for any longer than that. Thus, I have this weird, fragmented memory of these programs, studded with weird images: why is Timmy in a large intestine? Why would a crab have a whale for a child? Why does Maisie need to change to a blue dress? What's the point of a talking salt and pepper shaker, and why, tell me please, do they have French accents?

Why am I still interested in fragments? Will I ever move on with my poetry? Will I ever write another word? Is my interest in poetry and the direction I've taken just indicative of having the attention span of a gnat--at least when it comes to children's programming, as well call it in my house. Is children's programming indicative of anything important in the larger culture? Does it matter? Should it matter? Should I be able to understand why cartoon characters are floating in a boat through an intestine?

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