Ah the best laid plans...
We hadn't planned on TV at all for the first two years. And then, on his first birthday a dear friend of ours (a teacher no less, which surprised me), gave us a Bear in the Big Blue House video. We put it in just to see what he'd do. He seemed to really enjoy it... for about 10 minutes or so and then he went about playing. It was a sweet video and did seem particularly toddler oriented.
Over the next few months, he would point to the video on the shelf. When I handed it to him, he would try to put it in the VCR slot himself. Yikes! What had we started?! Alas, he likes to watch for about 20 minutes here and there. Sometimes a couple times a day and sometimes only once or none.
I was feeling sort of strange about it at first but then realized that our days are filled with a variety of tasks: He plays, reads and "helps" me with chores. We spend lots of time outside in the yard. We go to the beach, park or playground just about everyday and DS accompanies me on almost every errand. I figure if he would like to watch a little television/video a couple of times a day that's ok--it does help an otherwise wiggly toddler to relax and wind down a bit. I do often use these times to dress him or change his diaper... any distraction during these tasks is a big help right now.
DH and I have a strict rule about NOT watching TV until Gibson's gone to bed--since the beginning. We have two shows we watch faithfully on Monday and Tuesday nights (Buffy/Angel
) but other than that, we watch a movie or other video (we do love movies and old MASH reruns) or get in bed and read. Always keeping in mind that kids learn by example... I imagine this is why Gibson doesn't get to transfixed on the tube. Well that and he isn't capable of sitting still for that long!