Mom Confession: TV is My Nanny

By Brenna Jennings

So I let my kid watch TV (okay, a lot of TV). What's the big deal?

Last week my daughter Anna and I met a mom and her three kids at the playground. Not long into our conversation, the other mom mentioned that her kids don't watch television (note that people who don't own or watch television seem to always want to let you know almost immediately, like you might be carrying the No-TV Parenting Medal in your diaper bag.) I nodded my best non-judgmental nod and we continued talking, but in my head I was picturing a TV-less existence. It sent chills down my spine; DJ Lance Rock is my only reprieve some days.

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What I want to know is this: when do no-TV parents have sneaky afternoon sex? Or wash the dishes? How are they shaking their toddlers off their pant cuffs long enough to make a pot of coffee or take a shower, alone?

While I'm admittedly lacking in the parenting creativity department-lumpy homemade Play Doh was this month's coup-and might rely too heavily on "Independent Development Hour," also known as Mommy's Facebooking.

Right now, my daughter isn't being raised by our dogs, she's not behind in any milestones or lacking in age-appropriate social graces (which at this age, as far as I can tell, are on par with sociopaths and convicts. Maybe I should stop letting her watch Real Housewives). She's bright and hilarious, her attention span matches her peers', and it always takes intense negotiations to bring her in from the swing set.

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I think back on my school days and try to remember if I ever thought to myself, "Wow, there's a kid who watched too much television as a toddler." Or now, in my adult life, if I can tell the difference between friends who had no TV and friends who had some (Spoiler: patchouli is usually the tell.) As it turns out, I like my non-television friends as much as the ones who want nothing more than to discuss Idol.

For now I'm not worrying about Anna's screen exposure, she's thriving as she ought to be. DJ Lance lets me sleep a little later, gets me a little more action, and the luxury of peeing with the door closed. Principles can wait until Anna takes an interest in Jersey Shore.

Can you relate? How much TV does your kid watch?

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