I have always been that jerky guy who keeps a running commentary going with the television while watching televised sports. I have long been guilty of praising, criticizing or hurling invectives at various athletes, teams, games officials and even commentators.
However, this little habit of mine has been undergoing a dramatic transformation thanks to Maddie, my stunning 6-month-old daughter. More and more, instead of taking the deafening verbal route, I’m keeping my comments to myself or making quick little noises to telepathically communicate with all of those blind sports officials and inept commentators.
There is a funny television commercial (link at the bottom) where a guy is watching a football game on his phone while having a romantic dinner with his significant other. When she accuses him of watching the game, he asks her, “What am I, some kind of summoner, who can just summon footage to his phone when he wants?”
As the commercial continues, the gentleman keeps a perfectly straight face but keeps reacting to the game with an oooh and a yesss!
This is very much the way Maddie’s father watches sports with her in the room now. When I make any noise, she snaps her attention over to me to see what I’m up to. Just like the guy in the commercial, I focus on Maddie so there is no evidence of any real emotion towards the television.
And when Maddie is sleeping on her Dad, sports must be watched with a Zen like serenity. No matter what malfeasance befalls my team or athlete, it is not worth waking up the baby. This reorganization of thought and actions is very foreign to me, but it is also strangely calming. Sporting events are actually much more enjoyable when you can put them into the proper perspective. This is yet another item on a long list of things I have to thank Maddie for.
We made the joint decision some time ago that there would be NO TV time for the baby. We’ve held fast to this decision despite the fact that Maddie craves television like a crack addict.
There have been numerous battles with the baby to counter her attempts to gain what she believes is her given right to watch the magic box. For the most part – we just go ahead and turn it off, but when the boob tube is on, it’s game on!
In her quest to watch television, Maddie exhibits a determined ferocity and persistence that is nothing short of awe-inspiring. This girl can find a working TV like a bloodhound tracks a convict. And even when the television is completely to her back – Maddie adopts ancient ninja Owl techniques where she will turn her head nearly 180 degrees to catch a glimpse of the offending screen.
Of course turning it off is easier, but it’s actually more entertaining to see what lengths Maddie will go to enjoy the mind sapping rays of the mindless television. She is also more than content to watch the TV’s reflection in the window. Even when the television is muted, Maddie’s sensors ping off the charts as she looks for her special, yet elusive mind-numbing friend.
We have employed a variety of home made remedies to block the damning television rays from Maddie’s view including hanging jackets, fluffy towels and even view-blocking pillows. But when one of them goes down for just a moment, the baby gets a lock on the television’s jock like a pit bull!
So I want to know how the baby be so addicted to a medium she’s never even had the chance to sit down and watch? We may never know the answer, but these television gladiator games take on a greater urgency for Maddie each week. If we don’t let her watch soon, she’s liable to hire a lawyer and get a court order allowing her full access to the idiot box – wouldn’t that be something?