Trial & Error- Tales From the Edge of Parenting – Saturday Morning Cartoons
It doesn't seem like that long ago that I was a cartoon-loving child that couldn't wait until Saturday mornings for my cartoon marathon. After all, it was the only time you could see cartoons in the early 1980s.
Our three channels consisted of the three major networks, and Saturday mornings meant it was time for "Snorks", "Smurfs", "Flinstones", "Grape Ape", "Deputy Dog" & the "Super Friends" to all stop by. Later on it was "Heathcliffe", "Fat Albert" and "Scooby Doo" that kept me entertained over a bowl of Cheerios.
My two boys (10 & 5 years old) have their choice of cartoons on Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon West and many, many more I'm sure I'm just forgetting. The only good thing about the cartoons in my house is that I have boys. That means I'm not stuck watching "My Little Pony" & "Care Bears". I get to watch "Pound Puppies", "Spongebob", "Regular Show" and even some of the classics I used to watch on Boomerang Network.
It's amazing to hear my children say something to the effect of, "Awww, man... there's nothing on TV". Not only is there plenty on our 200+ channels of satellite television, but there's also the DVR to record & play back those shows at a later time. That means there is LITERALLY never a time when there's nothing on TV that can keep their short attention span occupied.
Not only do we have the DVR that provides the opportunity to miss cartoons & watch them at a later time, but we also have Netflix, which gives the kids unlimited, commercial-free, access to anything (except Spongebob now) their little hearts desire. When I get on Netflix to watch a show with my wife, my "Suggested Titles" is a mess. I'll see suggestions for comedies (me), romantic comedies (wife), action movies (Tyler, 10) & cartoons (Logan, 5). Cartoons. Lots, and lots, and lots of cartoons.
Add to all those cartoon connections the fact that I watch "Family Guy", "American Dad", "The Simpsons" and other "adult" cartoons (at least in my house they're adult cartoons), and my poor wife must feel like she's running a daycare with three brats that fight over our only HD TV in the house. My wife & I hand out electronic devices constantly. "Dad, can I watch Regular Show?". "You certainly can... here's your mom's iPad".
I hate think what would've happened to me as a child if I'd had access to cartoons 24 hours a day. I'd be a lazy, cartoon-loving, waste of space......... wait, too late.