The other day, I had a revelation: I'm a bad mommy! Okay, maybe not fit for the World's Worst Mom award, but still. For some reason, I just recently noticed that I've been letting LO watch TV almost non-stop, all day long, every day, for months. Now, granted, she doesn't always sit there, staring at the TV, completely enthralled with the programming 24/7, but I seem to keep it on for background noise, entertainment, etc. throughout the day. And I think I recall reading, somewhere along this road of parenthood, that TV watching for 18-month-olds = BAD. But I did it anyway! I mean, seriously, we even keep a portable DVD player that installs on the back of the headrest in our vehicle, and each time we leave the house -- even if just to go 2 miles down the street -- LO would point and it and say, "Elmo!"
That's right. It was that bad. The other issue I've found is that sometimes I get engrossed in the TV and just haven't been spending the time with LO doing the things that I should be doing. You know, like teaching her about shapes, colors, numbers, the alphabet, etc. She has SO much to learn and at this age, she's totally a little sponge ready to soak it all up! But NOOOOO, mommy's too interested in seeing the latest on Ellen's "George will be mine in '09" campaign (which, she finally DID get him on Monday... but I digress).
SO, about a month ago, I decided to make the actual decision that LO will be limited to ONE DVD per day. That's it! No more Playhouse Disney every morning. No more Elmo DVDs on repeat. AND I removed the DVD player from our vehicle, so there will be no more DVDs unless we're on long road trips. Enough is enough!!
Miraculously, I've found all sorts of time to spend teaching LO her shapes, letters, etc. In fact, I had been working with her so much that I realized she needed a lot more help with her colors. For some reason, every color to her is "yeyy-o" (read: "yellow"). So rather than spend money on some fancy "teach-your-kid-their-colors" kit on eBay, I decided to make my own! I used card stock and markers, put a blob of color on the paper and wrote the color underneath it. Then I laminated the individual cards and put them up on the wall so we could practice with them all the time. SO fun!!!
I also decided I want LO to know the entire alphabet before she starts a 2-day morning program in the Fall (God willing!). SO, we've started with one letter per week, and I post her artwork on the wall so, again, we can refer to them often throughout our days. Yes, it's true, I just started last week with "A" and we've made our way to "B" this week, so I realize I have a ways to go. But we're learning, and that's what really matters!