Pay Attention!

We’re in the family room and Crappy Boy has this whole show he wants to act out for me with his toys.

I use the word “show” loosely. Really, he just wants me to watch him play.

It has something to do with fighting and yelling and more fighting.

It always has something to do with fighting and yelling and more fighting.

But I make a point to pay attention because he really, really wants me to. Although I’m with my kids all day long I try to be mindful of how much quality time I’m actually spending with them. How much attention and focus I actually give them. So I sit down and promise myself that I will see this story through to the end. I will watch the whole thing. 

I pay attention.

I pay attention even though it is painful.


Painful because it is so boring.


Really, really boring.


And long!

But I still pay attention.

Ten minutes later…


It is still going!

I’m still paying attention!

We must be near the end now. Please?


Still going…


Crappy Baby jumps onto my back and tries to choke me to death by hanging onto my neck from behind.

For ONE SECOND I turn to look at Crappy Baby while I pry off his chokehold  and maneuver him down onto my lap.


ONE SECOND. Less than a second even. Probably one tenth of a second.

But Crappy Boy notices.

And gets mad.

And accuses me of not paying attention.


After attentively listening for over ten minutes I get accused of not paying attention because I was being choked to death and had to look away for less than one second to save my life?

Yep, that is pretty accurate.


What? Oh no! No, you really don’t! I saw it! All of it! I was watching! The whole time!

Crappy Baby jumps off my lap and escapes. Lucky.

Too late, I’m stuck.





Mama guilt is requiring me to write that he actually does make up brilliant (and interesting!) stories too. But the fighting and yelling kind? When he just wants me to watch him play? When all it involves is him wrestling two toys together at the same time while yelling? It just isn’t ever any good.

I’d almost rather watch Caillou. Almost.  

This entry was posted in crappy pictures, parenting, pretend, six, terrible threes. Bookmark the permalink.

286 Responses to Pay Attention!

  1. Jennifer Emberton says:

    Dear God – not Caillou. I would rather stab toothpicks in my eyes or watch the fighting and yelling and fighting than listen to that whiny, bald-headed shit! 🙂 Thank GOD my son hasn’t discovered him. However, we’re all about Toopi & Binoo…le sigh. You can’t win, can you?

    • Lisa L. says:

      You must watch Pingu.

      • amber says:

        I love Pingu!

        • Laura says:

          My toddler is afraid of Pingu

          • Sara Wallace says:

            Pingu is so less irritating than Caillou. I’ll take three hours of Pingu over 10 minutes of Caillou…anyday. My friend and I call him “Commi Caillou” I don’t know why, it just seems to fit.

          • elisa says:

            Sorry, but I can’t stand Pingu!! But, my 2.5 year old LOVES it. And when I ask him what a penguin says, he replies “Pingooooo!!!!”. Which is very cute.

        • Sarah F says:

          If you ask my son what sound a penguin makes, he makes a noise like Pingo. We have 1 episode on a winter dvd but he loves it.

        • m-noelle says:

          i love pingu too but worry does it impeed vocabulary and speech skills for the lil ones…Ditto In THe Night Garden whichI found mesmerising and fantasied being there with baby No;1 when stuck at home lots a cold winter…

        • Jo says:

          We used to watch Pingu when we were students. Usually at 2/3am. Usually very drunk. It was super hilarious then!

      • Jenny says:

        I don’t have children yet but watched all the Pingu series on Netflix. It was so heart warming and is also for adults! 😀

      • Tarina says:

        Hate! Pingu!! AAAAaaaaaahhhhh~~ lol – luckily (Not sure this is an accurate word lol) my 4 yr old has found the love and wonder of the Power Rangers. Yeah. So now he and my twin 2 1/2 yr old daughters have literal kung fu (ish) matches…. They jump off furniture with flying kicks… Maybe Pingu ISNT so bad…

      • Liz says:

        All the Pingu fans should check out Pororo.

      • connie says:

        lol i’m down with the pingu. my youngest lives it and at one point in time to him all penguins were pingus. freakin adorable. dont mind calliou so much. it could be barney bleh!

      • Teresa says:

        I also love Pingu, and why is Cailliou so annoying?

    • Melanie Forrest says:

      Ah Toopy and Binoo, that is a big fave in our house too. In fact, we get to see the live show when they come to our city in May. Yahoo?

    • Amy says:

      I’m with ya there Jennifer! I’m a big Pocoyo fan as of late – anything but Caillou.

    • beth says:

      Calliou is incredibly annoying and there is no way his parents are actually that attentive and sweet talking to him.

      • Laura says:

        It’s all about which year – I wish everyone knew! 2005/2006 episodes = no whining, no tantrums, sweet answers, and much better modeling. My son likes Caillou, so we only watch those episodes!

        • Kristin says:

          Thanks for the tip. I liked Caillou until I noticed the whining and tantruming getting him stuff from his parents.

    • kim says:

      Shaun the sheep is tolerable for all parties!

    • Erica says:

      I love Toopi and Binou! And the Backyardigans. I don’t even mind Caillou. It’s those DoodleBops and the Wiggles That I can’t stand. Ugh.

      • Janelle says:

        I’m shocked there’s no mention of PBS shows. If we have to, I’d keep PBS on all day long over Nick Jr any day. While I do enjoy them every once in a while, the educational value on top of entertainment on PBS shows far outweighs the annoying Nick Jr stuff.

        Oh wait. Caillou is PBS. Uhm. Never mind. 🙂

        But Super Why? Sesame Street? Dinosaur Train? Daniel Tiger???? Cat In The Hat?????

        • Kristin says:

          I actually don’t mind dinosaur train, except I find myself singing some of the songs to my self at nap time when the house is quiet.

          • Emma says:

            “Once upon a time, there was a mom. Her name was Mrs Pteranodon…”
            Uh oh, you got me started!!

            Dinosaur Train is awesome! (Although I’m a geologist, so I might be slightly biased). My dino-mad 3 year also loved watching the BBC Walking With Dinosaurs documentary on netflix streaming.

        • Mama Thairish says:

          I’m with you! Also, Curious George, Zoboomafoo, WildKratts(sp?)…

    • Tori says:

      I feel the same way about Caillou!! When my kids were young I used to say if I wanted to hear whining I would just turn off the tv. 😉 And I would rather listen to that any day.

    • Kristin says:

      I haven’t seen Caillou, but Wonder Pets gives me a similar reaction. Especially the duck, with the fake baby talk!

    • regina p says:

      For the longest. I thought caillou had cancer and that was the reason he was allowed to be so awful. Turns out, he is just a monster.

    • Christina F. says:

      My daughter and I love Caillou,, and watch it everyday, but I’m careful about which episodes. if you pay attention, you would notice that Caillou wearing a white shirt is really acting as if he”s 3 years old, but when he’s wearing his yellow shirt, he behaves like a four year old. Four year old Caillou is very interesting, and she’s learned a lot about sharing, empathy, and being curious from that show.

    • Kari says:

      I’m glad I have no idea what any of you are talking about! I’ve heard of Caillou, but have never watched him. My daughter is only 18 mos old. She mainly watches Mickey, Jake, and Sophia the First. That’s about it so far. I’ll enjoy hearing “Mimmie?” repeatedly while it lasts.

    • Sarah says:

      The only good thing to ever come out of Caillou is that’s 2.5 year old daughter skips around the house singing “mommy, and daddy, and Chloe (dog), and me!”

  2. Lesley says:

    I thought I loved you before but lately it’s like you are in my house. And WTH is up with the chokehold thing? I hate that!

    • Thank you! I had one crying, frustrated child who needed help this morning, and as I’m trying to save him from his puzzle crisis here comes his brother. With the behind the back strangulation move. Yelling, “giddy up horsey!” WTH indeed!

    • rachel says:

      my kids used to jump on me and do the chokehold thing while i was bent over, trying to start a FIRE in the wood stove. grrr! yes, that’s exactly what i want to tumble forward into.

    • Shaina Stinard says:

      Yes, and they just think it is hysterical that you can’t breath!!!! Craziness!!!

      • Jacqui says:

        I have 2 boys aged 2 and 4. The 2 year old is the worst “chokehold” offender but when they both get me, I seriously fear for my life! I can seriously identify with this.

  3. Jill says:

    This is so spot on, how do you do it!! Exactly like this at home!

  4. Sasha says:

    Please refrain from using the “C” word… 🙂

  5. Lisa says:

    Yes, yes and yes! My oldest daughter, “Look at this mom, watch this…”

  6. gosia says:

    I’m laughing so hard my waters are about to break!

    Who needs drugs when you have kids? Oh. Actually, that could help…

  7. Amy says:

    Now the Calliou song is stuck in my head. Damn it.

  8. valleygirl says:

    I love Calliou…even though I can’t spell his name…or did I? I have no idea. Loved this post though. So true. LOL Fun times as moms huh?

  9. Sara W. says:

    Where do you hide the camera in my house? This is my life except I have three girls and it isn’t fighting and yelling it is dolls having tea and combing their hair.

    • Alyce says:

      I have a daughter and it is still fighting and yelling. But hey, at least I can kick her out into the backyard for that.

  10. Lindsay says:

    So. Very. True.
    Thank you once again for making me feel like I’m not alone!

  11. Lin says:

    I feel like we are living dual lives!

  12. Amy Copelin says:

    Oh My Lord.. Caillou is the most mind numbing dribble ever. That and Barney (who I think is some CULT leader dressed up like this “lovable” charachter). I am so going through this stage with BOTH my boys…

  13. Heather says:

    I almost spit out my coffee at the Calliou ending. He really is universally hated, isn’t he? So glad I’ve dodged that bullet, my daughter has never heard of him. Maybe he appeals to boys more.

  14. Jolleen says:

    I must be the only parent ever that loved Caillou =D and Blues Clues…at least when Steve was there. And yea, that chokehold thing – do they learn that in the womb? Is it some secret taught to them? Some toddler MMA/WWE/Fight Club event??

    • amber says:

      I really didn’t mind it at first, it was gentle and sweet. But now that my kids are older I have a much lower tolerance for kid programming.

    • KiwiBunnz says:

      Mmm… Steeeevvveee (is that wrong?)

      • amber says:

        Yeah, I knew I needed to get out of the house once he started being hot.

        • Micki says:

          I just spit my coffee out. It was MANY years ago (my “kids” are now 24 and 29) but I had the hots for Steve even back then!

        • Liz says:

          Lmfao!!! That made me laugh so hard!!

        • Betsy says:

          ok, Steve was a bit tame. What about the Kratt brothers from Zobomafoo? I watched every episode religiously in case one of them would “accidentally” fall in the water or the mud. The producers would throw in a teensy, weensy glimpse of one of the boys partially shirtless, throwing a bone to the mamas bored witless on the couch. Actually, Zaboomafoo was pretty cute and funny and accurate, and taught my kids to love garbanzo beans.

          • Mel says:

            The Kratt brothers are still on PBS–their show Wild Kratts is really quite good and my 6 year old loves it!

          • IHAQ says:

            @Betsy: The Kratt brothers have a new show, though most of it is animated, they’re still looking good!

            I happily avoided, Calliou, Barney, Dora and Deigo. I don’t think my kids would even know who Barney is. Sadly I’ve had my share of Max and Ruby, and Toopy and Binoo.

            I love love Shaun the Sheep and Pingu, it’s funny for all. We stick with Sesame Street, Peep and the Big Wide World and that Kratt brothers show. Also, I’m glad Thomas is a thing of the past, my husband is an engineer so train stuff becomes a thing as it is.

          • Robin Jingjit says:

            We ALL love the kratts bros around here, if you know what I mean 😉

          • Karen says:

            The Kratt brothers, YES! Glad I’m not the only one who noticed they are both reasonably attractive. 🙂

          • Kristin says:

            For those of you who *love* Dora, I discovered this video parody today starting the middle child from Modern Family as Dora, it’s great!

        • Tarina says:

          HA! omg! havent laughed that hard in a LONG time! 🙂 Definitely need to get out more!

        • Ashley P says:

          All this talk about Blue’s Clues’ Steve, so I had to Wikipedia him to see which host y’all were talking about. Now I know more than I ever wanted to, but thought I would validate the “hot” comment with this quote from my “research”. ” In 2000, People magazine included Burns in their annual list of America’s most eligible bachelors.” Maybe it was a long list. Next we’ll see Jon Beavers on the list…go ahead and Wikipedia that one for a giggle.

        • Jen says:

          I sorta crushed on Steve, too. And I didn’t even have kids yet, I just babysat. Around that time, when he was still wooing me, my then boyfriend (now hubby of 10 years) even agreed to attend a Halloween party in a couples costume of Blue and Steve. He was way cute in his green-on-green rugby. My favorite memory of that night is that he met his future father-in-law for the first time while wearing a Handy Dandy Notebook (ding!) on his belt.

        • Christina F. says:

          Have you ever seen Lazy Town? Sportacus is soooo flexible….that’s all I’m saying…

          • Betsy says:

            alls I can say is, I”m deeply grateful we’ve moved on to Dr. Who and Merlin (Prince Arthur is currently going through several episodes of losing his pants briefly).

    • My sister-in-law loves Caillou for their daughter who is about 6 months older than mine because…yeah, I’m not really sure why. Mine watched one episode of Caillou as a toddler and went from being fearless in the face of anything to being scared to death of thunderstorms. (We live in Texas. They happen. Often.) She really, *really* did not need a role model of unnecessary fear. Or whining. Because once (a year or more later) I let her watch another episode, and the noises coming out of that kid made me want to scream, so I asked her what would happen to her if she talked to me that way. Since she knew the very matter-of-fact answer, she was allowed to finish the show, but never again!

      • Erin says:

        Ugh, I know, I hate that show! Why would they advertise all that whining and tantrums to easily-influenced toddlers?? That kid is the worst. I”m cracking up over hearing other moms say this stuff. So glad I”m not alone (or crazy) on all this!

    • Fran says:

      Blues Clues is one of my favorites because it’s so — QUIET–.
      We also recently found some old Mr. Rogers, and it’s the same way. No everpresent background music or cutting between scenes. Just a person talking, with reasonable gaps for listening.

      • Andrea B says:

        DS loves Mr Rogers. And I love Mr Rogers cuz he’s not obnoxious

      • Cristal says:

        Bingo! Fran. The constant bombardment of noise and sound must drive (at least in part) our short/scattered attention spans and need for constant stimulation.

    • Rachel says:

      Blues Clues was awesome when Steve was there, I’m totally on board with that! Joe sucks though.

    • S says:

      My boy inherited a Caillou doll from his cousin. I have a soft spot for Caillou.

  15. Susan Schissel-Weerakkody says:

    Yes, yes, yes!

  16. Kristin says:

    That whole bit about not just being with them all day, but taking the time to actually focus and pay attention? Yeah. At least at my house the scene always involves someone saving a princess and ends with everyone getting married. And since she’s an only, she’s also the one putting me in a chokehold from behind, so untangling her counts towards “active involvement time”. I consider myself blessed.

  17. Beki says:

    my son does the same thing but with Thomas.. I hate Thomas. I literally hope Thomas dies a fiery train death.

      • Christine says:

        YES!! i hate thomas, as well…

      • Leah says:

        Oh yes… My son would watch only Thomas for four years straight. I would plead with him–Yo Gabba Gabba? Wonder Pets? Anything? No. Thomas.

        • Deena says:

          Oh dear god no… Not Wonder Pets with the annoying lisping hamster/rodent and the far fetched stories. Why do you all hate Thomas/BluesClues/Caillou? Have you ever actually watched the dhows? They have good messages, and are not ADHD-dialogue-switch-scene-switch-bounce-bounce-crappy-background-music-switch… Like Toopy, or Yo Gabba, or most of the other crap out there. But that’s why I have the old school Sesame Street DVDS, not Elmo’s world, and the old Mr. Dress up, not Barney or 4-creepy-guys-in-tight-pants.

    • Leslie says:

      YES! The theme song for Thomas makes me stabby!

      • Kellan says:

        It is awful! I ran around doing errands without my toddler with that terrible song stuck in my head. Turns out, my toddler had stashed his “Musical Caboose” in my purse, and I was setting it off every time I got out of the car. Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo-dooooo…

    • kim says:

      My husband literally enacted Thomas falling to his fiery death in front of our 4 year old because the obsession was too much. Sniffles for about 20 minutes and then we found max and ruby. Dear. God.

      • elisa says:

        Please don’t tell me my son will be obsessed with Thomas until he is 4. He’s only 2.5 and I can’t take much more of it. Oh the indignity!

        • kim says:

          There are worse shows out there but I feel your pain!

          • elisa says:

            I know it’s pretty sweet and innocent (and quiet). And for sure there will be worse shows to come, but he talks about Thomas all day. I want to shout – he’s not real! But I don’t want to squash his imagination, so I don’t 🙂

        • Jessica says:

          My 11 year old son still likes Thomas! But he is too old for it so he pretends to be helping his 2 year old brother play with his old trains or has to stay near the TV in case Netflix messes up…. He isn’t fooling me!! I have a friend who says Thomas is creepy, but Barney is great. Really? Talking trains creep you out but a big purple dinosaur hanging out with young children and singing is ok?!?

        • Sarah says:

          Oookkk, Gordon!

      • Rachel says:

        OMG Max & Ruby is all my kids want to watch. Ruby makes me homicidal! She is such a ****** to Max!

        • MamaBean says:

          I despise M&R too! My husband and I have a theory that Ruby was a teen mom and is actually Max’s mom. The grandma is actually Ruby’s mom thereby explaining why the parents are never around and why Ruby is such a pain (she doing her best but its hard ya know!)

    • Kristen says:

      Yes!! I despise Thomas.

    • Heidi says:

      My 2.5 yo son started the Thomas obsession and I managed to switch it over to the Dinosaur Train. I kinda love that show and the mom/Mrs Pteranodon is so sweet. We sing the opening song together. and I like the message. It’s Dinosaur Train or Cars/Cars 2 in my house.

    • Erin says:

      Hahaha, I feel so much better after reading all these comments!

  18. Sophie Wolford says:

    Oh, now I know you wouldn’t rather watch Calliou… no one would 🙂 lol

  19. Jessica says:

    I think that is when I pop up and say, “Oh, did you hear that.” Gotta go do the laundry.” And I hide out in the basement. Luckily my kids like to talk whether their is an audience or not 🙂

  20. Meadow says:

    I HATE Caillou. No I really HATE his whiny little butt. But when I need to talk on the phone or rest mfrom theconstant running narrative on our lives from my almost three year old, I use that little turd. 🙁

  21. Natalie Cannon says:

    I freakin’ love you. Your stories always make me giggle. 🙂

  22. JGo555 says:

    You’ve ever seen MadTv’s Stuart Larkin’s character.

    The line is:”look what I can do!” and he proceeds to do twitching, spastic movements that aren’t the least entertaining. THAT, is what my kid does, all the damned time and she wants me to pay attention.

  23. Stephanie says:

    You are so much a better mom than me. 5 minutes is my max, then I’ve got other things I’ve got to do. There’s a dish somewhere that needs to be washed, or a toilet that needs to be cleaned.

  24. Mel says:

    This one is spot on! Amber, I thought of Crappy Pictures last night as my husband was trying to rest (early work shift) and both kids were ‘resting’ with him–which essentially meant three of them on a love seat, the kids jabbering incessantly and sitting/stepping in all the wrong spots. I should have taken a video …

  25. Brenda says:

    Hahahaha, I actually enjoy watching Caillou, my boys have a lot of the DVD’s and toys, had a Caillou Birthday Party last year, it almost cost me an arm and a leg because they don’t really have toys or supplies anymore. Now my boys are on to Kipper The Dog.

  26. Trena McCandless says:

    My 6yo son has learned how to get ‘Minecraft’ on my tablet and now wants me to watch him build and destroy. I have no idea the point of this game but all 4 of my kids could play for hours if I didn’t send them outside to build for real.

    • Stephanie says:

      What is it with Minecraft? I don’t get it, either! My 9 year old LOVES it. And, he’ll YouTube videos of OTHER people building and destroying! Is it some new Sims type of thing or something?

      • Julie says:

        My 8 year does the exact same thing! So strange.

      • Jodi says:

        Be careful with the Minecraft Utube video watching! My 6 year old son was doing it all the time & they seemed fine & I was tired of listening to them…so I gave him headphones. He would just sit in the living room while we were all there watching TV listening to his Minecraft videos. Well, one day one my husband was actually playing a video game with him he said (correctly, I may add) “Take that, b**ch!”. My husband INSTANTLY shut off the game and said “What did you just say? Where did you hear that!?” annnnnnnnd you guessed it. So…he is no longer allowed to ‘listen’ to the videos. He can watch them with no sound! My bad for giving a 6 year old headphones & an internet connection!!

        • badsfesq says:

          Aargh! The minecraft obsession. Same here, with watching the videos — I think he spends more time on those than playing the game. I too heard the language, and shut it down and took the headphones away. Come on, people, if that is how you want to spend your adult lives, fine, but don’t you realize these are little kids watching your f-word, s-word and b-word laced videos? Not cool.
          Of course, I did watch Gold Rush with my 8 year old — oops — now he says “effing _____.” Ouch.

    • Shannon says:

      I play Minecraft when I have a little bit of free time (believe it or not, a lot of adults play this game). There are much worse games for kids to be obsessed with, believe me. It’s a creative survivalist game. You have to build a shelter and find food before dark because that’s when monsters (zombies, skeletons, etc) come out at night and attack you. Everything is made out of blocks, and you can craft things to help you in the game. Because it’s played mostly on the computer some people have figured out how to tinker with the game to add extra blocks, animals, etc or create worlds to play specific games. I like the game because it allows creativity and you aren’t forced to follow a set story-line.

    • Lisa says:

      My 9 year old loves Minecraft. I don’t mind the game at all. He is creative and he really likes it. However watching him build a tall tower and then blow it up is hard to find entertaining. Definitely watch the You Tube videos, we have run into a few…

  27. Karena says:

    I cannot agree with this anymore than the rest of the gang. With ALL of it. We have banned Calliou in our house. Bring on Super Why and Martha Speaks.

    • Jorie says:

      I really like Martha speaks, and she is on at the ungodly hour when my kids are awake but I’m not really ready to get up yet. But they both decided they hate Martha.

      But Straw-ba-ba-ba-berry Shortcake? Oh they’ll watch that crap.

      • Devan says:

        Oh MY Strawberry Shortcake is so annoying!! I liked her as a kid, I appoligize to my mom now!

  28. Stephanie says:

    We have a whole list of banned shows but only a few are the type we, run scream and turn it off immediately as if it were a murderous scary movie, and that’s one of them. Calliou, Max & Ruby, Oobi, Higgly Town Heroes and Spongebob are a few examples of shows I hate enough to ban forever.

    • Laura says:

      So glad to know that someone else hates Max & Ruby! My husband thinks I’m insane because I loathe that show!

      • Liz says:

        Max and Ruby is horrible! I really hate it because Max is always always up to something awful, messy, destructive, or just plain disobedient, and it always turns out to save the day. And even through he’s supposed to be at least 3, he can’t even manage a two-word sentence.

        • erica says:

          No doubt. Max’s one word method of talking is ridiculous. My middle child started doing it and max and ruby was banned for good. Not to mention Ruby is incredibly bossy and WTH are the parents?

      • Lisa says:

        I also hate Max & Ruby! Anyone else ever wonder, where the hell are their parents?!

      • Shannon says:

        Max is plain naughty, Ruby is really bossy, and her friend Louise is a huge brown-noser. The show drive me nuts too!

    • Leah says:

      Dora is my all-time most-hated show. I told my son, I have to be honest, it’s annoying.

    • Many, many people hate it. I can’t stand to actually watch it because of Ruby’s voice and stubborn (clueless?) insistence on not actually listening to Max or paying attention to what *he* likes, but my nearly-five-year-old daughter has learned how to patiently deal with her non-verbal two-year-old brother from that show, so I will welcome it (and all its paraphernalia!) into my home any day of the week!

    • Lisa says:

      Spongebob? That show is actually funny if you watch it. I will gladly watch Spongebob over Thomas anyday. I didn’t think we would survive the Thomas and The Wiggles phase.

  29. Jenny says:

    Love this – my 4.5 yr old daughter makes we watch her do shows while she really just spins or sort of dances and hums to herself. She usually wants all the lights in the house off too – how am I supposed to watch her when it’s pitch dark? At least she can’t always see me falling asleep.
    Oh and Caillou – Nana is the only sucker who gets stuck watching that one!

  30. Monica says:

    My son (now 18) used to fight dinosaurs all the time and sometimes I’d try to stay engaged and watch. It was so so boring. All they did was roar and sometimes for inexplicable reasons there would be explosions. This went on for YEARS. I now occasionally tease him about it.

  31. Oh man, that’s hard. I hear ya on the with them all day but trying to spend quality time. That’s hard too! My 5 year old would love it I could sit next to her allllllllll day long watching intently at everything she does and says. I just can’t. And the mama guilt gets me. Can’t win!!!

  32. Valerie says:

    Do you have a camera in my house? This exact same thing happened at my house this week….only with Potato Heads

  33. sara says:

    im seriously laughing so hard at this right now

  34. Fern says:

    Why oh Why must we start over? That is the worst! I honestly thought my kid was the only one who did that.

  35. Sara says:

    oh no – don’t you mean Cry-lliou?? That show should be banned.

  36. Shanon says:

    Caillou!! HAHAHA!!!

    My son used to do this to me with his monster truck shows. And he would look up like every 5 seconds to see if I was watching. DROVE ME INSANE!! 🙂

  37. Woolies says:

    This is when I swoop in and start playing with the green guy and make him do and/or say other things. If that doesn’t make it more interesting, then I steal the orange guy and make him stomp on the green guy. I like interactive; can’t sit there and watch. Or hand a guy to crappy baby and watch the fun from there. 🙂

    • amber says:

      I really wish he was into that. Interactive would be WAY more fun. No dice, he is just putting on a show here and I’m strictly audience status.

      • cassie says:

        Sometimes I purposely abandon my post as audience member and starting messing with the production, I always get a laugh out of it even if it pisses my daughter off slightly.
        Daughter-“Mama!! You’re ruining it!!”
        Me-“muahahahahaha” 😉
        This is especially effective if you’re on the tenth ‘wait let me start over’
        (I know, I’m a terrible, evil parent)

  38. Beth says:

    What mine does is make me watch the long, dull “story” or listen to an exceedingly long and somewhat tuneless song. When he is fiiiinally done and I am patting myself on the back for managing to have kept my eyes open the whole time, he says, “okay, now you tell it back to me the exact same way!”

    Uhhh. . .

    • amber says:

      Yes! This too! I fumble and say, “But I can’t possibly tell it as good as you did, sweetie.” Sigh.

    • Ginny says:

      Oh, mine does this too with little songs she makes up. It is cute until she wants me to sing them back to her. Then it becomes like an impossible game of Simon.

      • Devan says:

        Yeah, I say – well, I don’t know that song and she will say – well, I just sang it to you…

  39. Emily says:

    Ok I’m going to be the odd mom out but I actually like Caillou more than most other things my kids watch. They like to get on netflix and watch sean the sheep and timmy time. I HATE those shows with everything in me. My kids have given up with trying to get me to watch them play they know I have no attention span lol.

    • JAN says:

      See, that’s the opposite. I HATE Caillou. He whines, he throws tantrums, he takes his toys into museums when his Mom warns him not to and they rush to find it. Not lessons I want to reinforce. Whereas I find Timmy Time and Shaun the Sheep may not have good lessons, at least they’re hilarious. Also love Wallace and Grommet!

  40. DeAnn says:

    I’m laughing so hard I’m crying. My son does this to me ALL THE TIME. So glad to know I’m not the only one!

  41. Michele C. says:

    bwahahahahaha dying. this is SOOOO true. If you blink for too long they notice and start all over again!!!!

  42. Holly says:

    Thank you for being so fantastic! I had serious road rage and parking lot anger from the morons I had to follow to get to the dentist’s office and reading this during my wait totally de-stressed me!

  43. Nicole says:

    You know what kid show drives me up the wall? Yo Gabba Gabba. I despise that show.

    • Lisa says:

      Even my now 9 year old hated that show when it first came out. I’d flip through the channels and he’d see it and say “NO! I don’t want to watch Yo Gubba Gubba!” Win for me!

    • Leah says:

      Ha! I loved Yo Gabba Gabba! I was sad when my son outgrew it.

    • Suzanne says:

      I hate Yo GabbaGabbba with the intensity of 10,000 fiery suns!!! What the Hell is up with that warty dildo??? What kind of crack are those people smoking???
      Needless to say I have parental blocks on all of my TV’s for that show, the screen goes blank when it comes on, but not soon enough because the kids always see the “coming up next” UUUGGGHHH!!!

      • elisa says:

        OMG, Yo GabbaGabba is cra-zay!! We decided to prescreen it after hearings so many friends rave. Immediately, we were against it. Way too much flashing and noise. What are those people on?? It was like watching a hallucination.

    • Jennifer says:

      Awww, we LOVE Gabba in our house 🙂

  44. Heather says:

    I Love Caillou – because I never watch him but he keeps my three year old busy while I shower.

  45. Cyndi says:

    My 12 year old insists on reciting entire cartoon episodes-but his delivery is awful. I try to act interested but it’s never as funny to me as it is to him. Sigh.

  46. Madeleine says:

    Oh dear! We went through a long phase of having to play “wicked queen” which was a modification of the bit in Snow White where she bites the poison apple. We are out of that phase now and, thankfully, I was able to do it without paying attention quite often and she didn’t object (too much) to any improvisation – like the prince encouraging Snow White to call the police to inform them that the Wicked Queen tried to poison her.

  47. Lisa says:

    Caillou is banned in this house, we aren’t havin’ it! And totally relate to this post! But I find it worse when they want you to participate in the process. Like when he is playing with cars and hands me one to play with. Nothing can be more boring than driving a Hot Wheels car back and forth for 20 minutes.

  48. Heather says:

    I always figure they’re never too young to learn that sometime what’s interesting to them is boring to some others. I find way too many kids want to anesthetize you with their in-depth accounts of their awesome video game moves, or whatever. Learning not to bore other people is a social skill. At the same time, yes, you sometimes do have to feign an interest in what’s important to your kids, even if it bores the pants off you.

    • Elizabeth Beckman says:

      yes, the intent listening is sometimes necessary, but by the time my 11-y-o was four, we were (lovingly) teaching her how to “summarize” her stories. it is indeed a social skill…

    • Tan says:

      Yes — though I suppose there’s a generation gap here; I would probably listen until my ears bled, if I had the time, but actually I can’t imagine my parents putting up with this. They wouldn’t have had the luxury of paying attention for that long anyway, and as a result I learned not to take their time for granted.

      Now if only I was disciplined enough to be more like them…

      • Liz says:

        at some point though, i don’t think it’s a discipline, but that it perpetuates self-absorption in older kids…

  49. Robin says:

    When I was pregnant with twins I had a crush on Diego…I know he’s just a cartoon, it’s not like I think he’s REAL or anything. I NEVER got out of the house then. 🙁

  50. Andrea says:

    When I am in that situation lately I find myself saying “would you like to watch TV for a while?” And then feel disappointed if he says “no”! And then I feel like a horrible mother but can’t even have a drink to make myself feel better because I am pregnant. Oh crap.

  51. Ashley says:

    Do you know who is worse than Calliou? Olivia. She is a bitch. And then there are Pig Will and Pig Won’t in BusyTown (Thanks NetFlix). I would really like to fry those two up for Sunday brunch.

    • Hannah says:

      Yes! Thank you, I HATE Olivia! She is a horrible obnoxious character and I have to switch it off. My 2nd old loves peppa pig instead. Thank god…

    • Rachel says:

      The Busy World of Richard Scarry is totally a show I’d let my kid watch…there’s that episode where Pig Won’t doesn’t have any fun because all he says is “I won’t” every time someone asks him if he’ll participate in the activity, and then he’s sorry that he wasn’t nicer because he missed out on everything. I thought it taught a good lesson…

  52. joanne says:

    it never stops. when they get older, they quiz you to see if you were paying attention–even if it’s just listening to their run-on drivel about their day that you can’t possibly understand or follow because you weren’t there, nor would you care about petty elementary school nonsense.
    then they want to put on “shows” (for holidays with captive-audience relatives who’d rather chitchat with each other) or just because, with their friends. and then they spend the whole time arguing about who is going to do what. did I mention I have girls?

    and then you really just want to go pee, and never come back.

  53. Fran says:

    My 3-year-old girl made us watch a “puppet show” with little ballerina figurines yesterday. They danced and she sang “La-la-la-la-la, and then the Lions go to jail. La-la-la-la-la, now the dinosaurs go to jail!” I still don’t know what that was about but it was the most entertaining puppet show so far.

  54. Ginger says:

    I love Caillou! I’m kind of sad that my daughter has outgrown him because he has been replaced with Spongebob. Gag.

    • S says:

      Spongebob has taught me so much. Like enjoying my job. “I’m ready! I’m ready!”

      One of our best jokes is doing an impression of Patrick being Squidward, singing: “I’m Squidward, Squidward, Squidward, Squidward. I’m Squidward, Squidward, Squidward, Squidward.”

      I like the episode he decides he’s too old to enjoy his Grandma’s special knitted jumpers, cookies, milk, and kisses. And becomes jealous when Patrick receives all the trappings of love.

      • Ginger says:

        I can appreciate Spongebob’s positive attitude, but I’m too much of a Squidward to want him in my house!

  55. laura bauer says:

    My daughters (5 and 8) like to put on “shows” that are always ad libbed and open-ended even if they’ve spent half an hour “rehearsing.” My bad-mommy response is often “Can’t you hear I’m ? Do you want me to just throw what I’m doing on the floor and come over there so I can watch you play??” Oddly this does not faze them in the slightest, though I’m sure their therapists will hear about it some day.

    • Devan says:

      Yeah, I use sarcasm alot too….it does not work on mine either…I feel bad, usually. 🙂

  56. Jenna says:

    Dear God, not Caillou! I openly mock him all the time, but not from the actual show, from the promos for it, where the announcer says, “He’s an athlete!” and he barely catches a gently bouncing ball. What. In. The. World. Give me Curious George or the Octonauts any day.

  57. Dawn says:

    I’ve blissfully been able to avoid Caillou. My mother saw it one day and warned me about it. I remember her saying something like, whiney, bald headed, cry baby…

    We do have to watch endless episodes of Team UmiZoomi and Word World. I don’t mind those as much because they’re educational.

  58. laura bauer says:

    Oh, and I highly recommend Shaun the Sheep, if you have Netflix. Seriously funny for all ages. Since we found that, I rarely have to watch Dora and Diego or Team UmiZoomi or LazyTown or Bubble Guppies. Backyardigans is on Netflix too.

  59. Raven says:

    We have a special version of this insanity in our house. A free app on my Ipad allows one to create animated stories. Sounds wonderful, right? Except that it HANDS DOWN my 5-year old’s favorite thing to do. He gets to draw some amorphous blobs (could be a pirate, could be a dinosaur, could be King Tut…hard to tell), move them around the screen against a colorful, but again kid-designed background, and narrate their adventures. We get endless stories, complete with kid sound effects (sounds of swordfights, pow! pow!, screams, etc) and dubbed dramatic music such as the ride of the valkyries. The first few were utterly wonderful, and now…on the 600th or so, I want to gouge my eyes out rather than sit through another new “story”. I love my son, and his creativity, but…….

  60. Laura says:

    I hate Caillou as well. It’s like that meme–it could be worse, you could be Caillou’s mother. Imagine the conflicted feelings–he’s your kid, but yet possibly the most annoying person ever in existence. And she can’t even hear the narrator (good god woman, clear your throat)! I’m glad Barney isn’t really a “thing” anymore either. We sort of watched part of one episode because my movie-style, slow-mo dive to the TV was ineffective (“nooooooooo, not Barney”). I had to turn it off when the song lyric “yum yum pumpernickel” was sung. Thankfully, B didn’t seem to care.

  61. Chrissy says:

    I swear we have the same kids.

  62. Trey says:

    I was at a friends house listening to music when her youngest daughter decided she wanted to put on a “show” for us. She whirled like a dredel set on warp speed, then she jumped spastically around, the whole time facing away from us. For the first couple of minutes the adults indulged her, pasting fake smiles on our faces and muttering occasional encouragement. She finally stopped “dancing” long enough to realize that three of the seven adults present weren’t paying complete attention, she stomped her foot and shrieked, “YOU’RE. NOT. WATCHING. MEEEEE!!” I swear it was the best birth control I’ve ever seen.

  63. Zinna says:

    Oh my goodness! This is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. I have three boys and the middle son (turning 5 in May) is absolutely OBSESSED with war and guns and battles. He wants his Lego guys to all battle, his drawings are all about battles, he wants me to help him build a catapult and a cannon out of Legos or sticks (whatever is handy), and I feel like a total shmuck of a mom when I say, I don’t want to play battles with you today and there is the sad sad face of my little precious boy…who wants to shoot things with a crossbow. We are a no-gun household but we indulge his love of war with children’s books about the Civil War, the War of 1812 (loves the star spangled banner), and lately, the French and Indian war. I don’t mind the history lessons but I can only watch him “play war” for so long before my attention span wanders. It’s hard balancing my kids’ interests and my ability to sit through those interests.

  64. Laura says:

    Okay, is it just me or does it sound like Caillou is saying “sucks when I’ve had enough…”??

    BTW-great post, Amber! Can totally relate to the chokehold. My first two have done that to me and I’m wondering when my third will!

  65. Marcia says:

    My bullet proof excuse to not have cable is avoiding Calliou. It’s just so terrible.

  66. ughhhhhh Caillou! I listen to my own kid whine all day. Why would I want to watch one on tv?

  67. Oh my lord yes. Nuff said.

  68. Kim Rogers says:

    My 16-year old son recently said, “Remember when I used to make you listen while I talked about video games for hours? I’m really sorry about that!” I am glad he remembers that I listened, because it was truly painful at the time!

  69. cassie says:

    At my house ( I have a girl) it’s endless dance shows, sining competitons, top ten lists, news casts, fashion shows and pet shows followed by a zillion scraps of paper that I need to read, sign, order from, cast my vote or otherwise participate in…

  70. Rachel Blackett says:

    I have never heard of Caillou, but one program that my children are never aloud to watch again is Wonder Pets, that program drives me insane!! And Barney is starting to head there too…. I wish they would bring back the wiggles to our morning tv! lol

    My daughters Fav ones though are Pepper Pig and Pingu, and most recently Raa Raa and Huff. Those four I can tolerate ^_^

  71. Rachel Blackett says:

    Oh dear, I just caught my 2 year old daughter “death Holding” my 8 month old son lol

  72. Rachelle says:

    Love all the Caillou bashing. My hubby and I are in marriage counseling but he made me promise we wouldn’t turn into real versions of Caillou’s parents. Don’t they ever get pissed at that whiny brat? Right now my almost 2 year old is on a Dora, Max & Ruby, and Peter Rabbit kick. Ugh!!

  73. Kelly says:

    I have a 3 and 5 yr old. I wish I could pay attention to one child at a time. If I start paying attention to one, the other is screaming for my attention also and wanting me to “watch me” or they are fighting telling each other to stop, it is their turn and even if we do take turns it never works out and everyone ends up in timeout for trying to push, hit or “whatever” each other………sigh, but I do try…………All though I love both of my kids I wish they were just a little further apart then 22 months. Like possibly three years?

    • Nicole says:

      My two oldest are NINE months apart. They were supposed to be twelve, but then the second one decided to come three months early. But I know how you feel. Mine are the same way. Give one love and then the other one feels left out and starts to shove the other one away. Sigh . . .

    • J. Haven says:

      Heh, my 2-year old granddaughter and 17-month old grandson get jealous of each other and both insist on sitting on or by me… and then the cat gets in on the act 😉

  74. tara says:

    Hahah oh man sorry Amber! “Now I have to start over” sounds like a nightmare.

    Maybe you should put on a show for him and see how well he listens and then get mad when he interrupts 🙂 haha kidding!

  75. april says:

    My little lady wants to demonstrate “yoga” moves, which are just random flailings. Watching this is truly entertaining, for about 1 solid minute…and then comes the dreaded, “Can you do what I do, Momma?” Now two people throwing their bodies around the living room. Inevitably, I am a horsey giving a horsey ride. She, having a blissful time. Me, longing for a real yoga session. :/

  76. Rebecca R. says:

    What I want to know is..why is Caillou bald? Seriously, what 4 year old is bald headed? Kinda creepy.

    • amber says:

      Hey now, I draw Crappy Boy bald and he is 6. Course that is only because I’m too lazy to draw hair.

  77. Jennifer says:

    I actually don’t mind Caillou but my daugther doesn’t care for it. She did for like a day but now she’s over it. Which, judging from these posts, I guess is good. Haha! But…she absolutely LOVES Barney. We are STILL watching Barney’s Christmas Star and It’s March *sigh!

  78. Nora N says:

    LOL 6 yr old doesn’t do this that much anymore but when he was about 3 he would go ON AND ON. Not only did he want us to watch him play, but sometimes he’d have these stories he just Had to tell us. One time he went on for a full 30 minutes telling me a story about aliens. Luckily for me he was in the back seat on our drive home so all i had to do was say “uhu….oh yea….coool…uhu…” every few minutes when I’d hear him pause. Ha.

    • Leslie says:

      My kids (3and 8) are in the car with me for a half hour commute each day and that’s how I deal with it too. Works for both. And thank goodness.

    • Devan says:

      Yeah, the car is not that bad….they are strapped down and I HAVE to look forward.

  79. Megan says:

    I haven’t seen Caillou in years, but I don’t remember all the whining that everyone talks about. I do remember that it moves slowly, without all the crazy back and forth angles and scene changed. It’s also one of the few shows that I is reality based, with no magic or talking animals/objects. I’m Montessori trained so I think it’s really important to only offer reality when kids are trying to figure the world out, (before 5 or 6). Does anyone know of other shows like that that don’t have whining as a staple?

    • It’s been a long while since I’ve watched it, but Sid the Science Kid is pretty reality-based, and my daughter loved it for a while. I actually think the kid might attend a Montessori preschool (although it’s never identified as such). If I remember correctly, he *does* imagine something, a “what if?” situation at the end of a show, that is animated as a sort of really brief dream sequence. The show has actual clips of young kids doing the experiment or whatever they’re doing in class for an exploration that day as well. Have you seen that one?

      • Darbi says:

        Actually, I’ve begun to think Sid the Science Kid is “unschooling” propaganda. However, aside from everyone being in a pod people-level good mood all the time, it has good science in it, good things about tolerance (the first episode I said took a direct shot at sexism, which was awesome), and is not full of unnecessary flash-bang.

    • S says:

      My 2yo kid likes dinosaurs and dragons. There’s no hope for him.

  80. vickola says:

    It is all about the ‘bed time circus show!!’ in our house at the moment. I have managed to introduce the word ‘finale’ as something *really* exotic and amazing and no you can’t have more than one finale.

  81. jen says:

    Hilarious!! And so true! So what is it exactly that those darn kids love about Caillou? My now 14yo HAD to watch it daily when he was small…my now 5yo insists he cannot do ANY.THING.ELSE. while Caillou is on and is sure this next episode is a NEW one. I’m pretty sure there hasn’t been a new Caillou episode in the last 10years!!!

  82. Fallon says:

    *mommy guilt activate*
    I feel this way, too. Especially during reading homework (first grade). Like…. Right now…

  83. Julieta says:

    I hate that I know this but Caillou was first conceptualized to be about a much younger kid but the show was revamped but somehow his head wasn’t. That being said, Caillou is a verb in our house as in (mean mommy voice) “Do not Caillou, me young lady, use your words and explain xyz to me without the whining!”

    Thanks for the giggle today. My version is being made to officiate 10,000 Barbie/Princess/Toy Story weddings, also be accused of not paying attention and subjected to chokeholds.

    I think naps should last until 16.

  84. Tarina says:

    So Amber, what do you do when they BOTH want to show you something? I have 3 toddlers who always want my attention at the same time (or as soon as they realize I am focusing on one…) We try the take turns thing, but three 10 minute performances without interruption…. I may as well be trying to take a shower.

    • amber says:

      Yeah, taking turns is all good and stuff but there is usually lots of screaming involved. “He interrupted me!”

  85. Alice Rudin says:

    I try not to visibly yawn in front of my 8yr old son when he starts recapping a Power Rangers episode, or one of his epic length “what if…” stories that make absolutely no sense and no one would ever think of doing what he is asking “what if” about….but I feel like watching Caillou would be a gift in these circumstances.

  86. Lene says:

    I can only say, be thankful you have boys and is spared the whole Barbie, Princess Lilifee, Pink-brain-numbing thing…. believe me, the orange and green guy screaming Aghhh is so much better

    • wendy says:

      Oh no! Don’t say that! My girl is 2 and I keep thinking that the tea parties and shit are going to be better!

      • S says:

        Work with your kid to make a real tea party. Homemade biscuits, etc.

      • Devan says:

        No! Mine are 3.5 and almost 7 (girls) and it will never end…dance “recitals”, princess shows, ballerina plays, fighting about who gets to “be” Belle today…..I call it princess purgatory. I am glad its not boys though, I am way more tolerable to girly stuff than boy stuff and my hubby adapts very well. He can fashion an awesome braid!! 🙂

  87. Laura says:

    Damn u mommy guilt! I have to do all sorts of boring things because of it.

  88. nickol says:

    Ugh! Thank you for hating Calliou. Who ever thought that a whiny little bobble head was good child edutainment must have been a man who never never ever had to listen to childrens programming. I strongly feel that most childrens programming is stupid and unbelievably boring. Boring to the point of inducing rage.

  89. christina f says:

    My younger kid is at “look at me!” age, but my older one just wants me to listen. Fake listening is easier, because I can just say “oh, I see.” But I did get busted recently.

    I do try to listen, but it’s hard to have the endurance.

  90. lori says:

    UGH! I really, really do not like children, or their antics. Or their tiny, whiney voices, or the dumb stuff they do. No, this doesn’t make me a horrible person! Further keeping me out the horrible-person category is that I KNEW this about myself, years and years ago, and chose consciously NOT to have children, because they would think I was mean. (although truly, I would love them and take care of them…I’d just hate my life. A lot.) If I ever get really old and think “damn, I blew that one…” I’ll just look at this kinda thing and know for me, that WAS the right decision!

    • Linda says:

      So you wrote this self-congratulating post – why? And you read a blog about children and the stuff they do – why? So you can sit there and be thankful/regret you don’t have children?

    • Devan says:

      The good outweighs the bad by about 180,000,000%. It’s just way more fun to laugh at stuff like this than “…my guy gave me the sweetest hug this morning…” We moms have to laugh….have to.

  91. JJ says:

    Save your sanity and start listening to Talk Radio or Audio Books, with one earbud during your day! You will get to “read” AND attend to the tiresome activities that surround you!

  92. wendy says:

    Oh THANK YOU!!!!! I could cry with gratitude for this post. It really is sooooooo painful. If you ever wonder to yourself, “what good am I doing for the world at large, just writing this blog and making up crappy cartoons?” think again. Reading this post was like 5 hours of therapy.

  93. JJ says:

    Can you videotape them doing their “spectacular shows” and sit them down to watch Home Movies of themselves, their playdates, their Grandparents, a nice segment of you reading aloud to them?

  94. Rachel says:

    I’m a 25 year old new mother with one child, a 5 month old daughter. I just wanted you all to know that you’re making me SO SO SO SO SO SO happy that my husband and i do not have regular tv channels, not even PBS. All we have is netflix, and while she’s a baby and presumably doesn’t care about TV, I’ve been screening all the little-kid shows on there so that I know what to avoid when she’s old enough to be interested in it. Spongebob Squarepants will never ever ever EVER be allowed in this house. Ever. Nor will that Bratz show, or the Bratz dolls. And based on what I’m seeing here, neither will Caillou, haha, although I should probably watch it for myself first.

    • Monica says:

      You can keep the shows and characters from the kids, but you can’t keep the kids from the shows and characters.. 😉
      We never.. never EVER ever never watch wrestling shows, we’re not interested in it, and I don’t think a toddler should see all the chair breaking, jumping on opponents etc. stuff..But for some reason, since my son was 4/5 yrs old, He knew names of a handful of wrestlers and their signature moves/quotes etc. He still, to this day(8 now) hasn’t seen a wrestling match on tv, but I guess alot of the information is shared between the kids in school 😀

      • S says:

        Yes, yes. The children have a way of passing on information. Which is why caregivers should teach their kids properly, or else their classmates and friends will teach them improperly.

    • Devan says:

      Yeah, we are strictly anti-sponge bob but my kids still know about him and many of the things on the show….it happens, but not in my house. 🙂

  95. Beth says:

    ooohhhh, I LOVE animation of all kind, but I feel so validated for loathing Caillou!!! I have tried with two kids (now age 10.5 & 3.5) to watch Caillou, and it makes me want to go batshit crazy. Luckily, my kids have never taken to it. I think my 10 year old daughter once said as a puzzled toddler, “Why isn’t the picture finished?” I have a much greater tolerance for pppp, pppp, Pingu, Pingu. My husband and I will even “talk” to our kids a la Pingu’s parents, and our kids will penguin talk back to us. We try to see who can do the better version of the penguin language.

    Oh, and Pocoyo. Both very sweet shows.

  96. Evelyn says:

    I nearly peed laughing. That is sooo right on the mark. A “show” really is just watching them play. My 3 year old son often says “Watch what my car can do”…….and you know all he means is “watch me drive my toy car from one end of the lounge to the other using my hand” (Like I didn’t know that was going to happen!)

  97. Jenni says:

    This is where having an autistic child has its benefits. When my daughter does this, it’s a “puppet show,” so she gets behind the couch and the dolls are on the back of the couch for their stage. But she quickly forgets to hold the dolls up where I can see and soon she’s just doing the whole show behind the couch. I can sit and fold laundry and make an occasional “mm-hmm” noise and she feels sufficiently paid attention to!

  98. Kelly says:

    I’m so glad it’s not just me, but since I have girls it’s dancing or singing songs that they’ve already sung 20 times and then they want me to stop everything and listen. Good news – I just won a copy of your book on Good Reads…the same book I already bought from Amazon last I’m going to gift the second one to a friend who introduced me to your blog. Thanks for the laughs.

  99. Rachael says:

    At our house it’s generally the “dance performance,” which means my 7-y-o daughter jumps around the room spastically for 20 minutes while her father and I have to sit and watch attentively and clap at all the right places. She went through a phase at one point where she wanted me to help her act out scenes from her Rainbow Fairy books (yay it’s books and not tv, but seriously, those things are all basically the same story told with different faries and slightly different events from book to book, and we have about 60 of them…). The problem is that I haven’t read them all, so she gets mad when I don’t know my lines. And yes, if you mess up the whole thing has to start over.

    Also, I can’t believe no one has mentioned Rugrats. That’s the show that makes me want to run screaming from the room. We love Shaun the Sheep and Pingu, and I have to admit that I tend to get mesmerized by Yo Gabba Gabba, but probably mostly for the “what f’d up thing is going to happen next?!” aspect.

    Oh, and the choking. Ugh.

    • Devan says:

      My daughters dance too….my 3 year old is now into making us say “GRAPO” (bravo) when they are done. 🙂

  100. jessica r says:

    We call Caillou “the Canadian Charlie Brown.”

  101. Jas says:

    I love this post. My son does this to me ALL the time, but his “story” is with cars…crashing, jumping, flipping, drifting, etc. And, I don’t like Caillou either – whiny!

  102. sandy says:

    My hubby calls Caillou “Cry-you”. What a whiner!

  103. Jennifer J says:

    I love the story, I love the comments! But I have some advice to give: Set limits! Tell them you will give them five minutes (or three) to do their play or dance or whatever. Then tell them the five minutes are up, and walk away. I had six children, and when six kids all want to do their little thing, a person could quickly become crazy and begin bashing their head against the floor or the wall or whatever is handy. Further advice: When they get to be eight or ten, that listening time becomes VERY important, and it stays that way well into their twenties. They will be pleased as punch that you know the names of friends you have never met, that you remember the story about the mean teacher they told you three months ago, and that you remember the food or drug reaction that they didn’t realize they had. They will trust you with their feelings and ideas, and, sometimes, you will feel like the two of you are friends.

  104. Mary Ann Burfield says:

    Hello Àmbe, (So fresh…like I know you?)

    I was and am, a mother, like you and your readers. engaged. interested.

    Back in the day, I wished to be a different kind of mom-different than my own mother was to me.

    I can only say with my son, this approach, ‘PAY ATTENTION’ worked.

    My son is 29 years old, he has traveled the world, he is confident, has a good job, is a good person, living in NYC and we, his parents, are on West Coast.

    Hang in there momsanddads. Just wait…down the line it will be icky music that you cannot relate to’ that you need to take an interest in…it will be all worth it in the end.

    So your best. Be strong. I never had this blog, this understanding, this support from others.

    I visit here to remember. Thanks Àmbe. You are the coolest among the cool.

  105. Patricia S says:

    DD3 has recently discovered chickenbutt jokes. At least 20 times a day she randomly says “Mommy, I have a question” and the question is always “Chickenbutt!” Which I must laugh at. As well as “Chickenchair!” “Chickencar!” “ChickenMommy!” along with the 500 variations she comes up with. Hilarius…absolutely hilarious. (it’s actually quite cute the first time, but rapidly loses the cute factor)

  106. Carolyn says:

    Ha ha! I had a laugh out loud at the Caillou part. I hate him too because of the baby talk. I actually don’t like Elmo either — for the same reason. (Sorry to any Elmo lovers!) My 3 yo talks and acts more grown up than Caillou, who is supposedly 4.

  107. Ali says:

    Caillou = WORST CARTOON EVER!!!! At our house we called him “Whiny Caillou”. UGH!

  108. Bee says:

    My children are attention vampires. Look at meeeeee. Watch meeeeeeeee!! Be my constant audience!

  109. karen downes says:

    You are a really great mom!

  110. Crappy fan Lucy says:

    Gorgeous story Amber. A girl version of this at our house seems to occur with made up songs “made up especially for you mum!” How can I not look, listen, smile, nod etc.? I’m a sucker, I can’t, so I pay attention. And I get yelled at too if I dare try to multitask before a song is finished… sigh. The long songs are ever so boring but occasionally the lil one strikes gold and comes up with something so hilarious and entertaining she makes my day 🙂

  111. Monica says:

    It is always such a relief to read about these moments and to know I’m not alone!! 🙂

    My son(8yrs) does exactly that.. most of the time it’s the annoying fighting ‘shows’ that needs my utmost fullest attention. On some rare occassions he gets so angry with me, for losing half of a tenth of a second’s interest, that I’m ordered not to watch anymore!! aaah.. I love those rare moments.. heheheh

  112. Gracie says:

    i hate caillou! that grandma’s narrating voice gives me the shits!
    it is better than the night garden though.. and if you don’t know what that is… google it..! i get this a lot with my kids on the swing set. so frustrating but i persevere…secretly bashing my head into the wall..!!

  113. Linda says:

    The shows I like involve characters that don’t talk…like Pocoyo and Pingu. My three-year-old LOVES Caillou. Kill me now.

  114. Kandess says:

    My 2 year-old daughter just started making us watch her play. Mostly with her kitchen set. Being pregnant with our new (last) baby, I thought that she would like playing for her new baby brother or sister. I now see the error of my logic. Total fantasy. Thank you for clearing that up for me in advance.

  115. AparnaM says:

    My son plays exactly the same way.We were thinking, tht something is wrong with him- enacting fights between toys n screeming. I feel so relieved

  116. Jennifer says:

    Caillou is the worst!

  117. Jen C. Mom says:

    I was directed to this blog for the first time last week, and now, I’m a brand new devoted fan who’s clicked through a gazillion old posts and pre-ordered the book. It’s like finding my doppelganger family illustrated with hilariously “crappy” pictures! I have 2 sons (5 and 1/2 and 3). We used to have 2 black cats (our original “babies” who way pre-dated the kids, but lost within the last 2 years). Elaborate stories full of violence and chokings by hanging toddler (“piggy-ride-back!”) are as common at our house as hotwheels-sized cars. I’d go back and comment on all the other posts I could relate to, but that could take 2 years. Thanks for helping me see the humor in our lives. I really need it to balance the days I worry that my son will tell a story so violent, we’ll get kicked out of our peace-loving Montessori school.

  118. julie says:

    You are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO funny. I dig the whole choking to death.

  119. Candice A says:

    I seriously love your blog. Whenever I read your posts, I also make sure to read the comments, because doing so will always lead to me laughing more and feeling so much less alone in my feelings. For the record, my 2 year old daughter and I LOVE Pocoyo and Pingu. I screen shows for my daughter, so I am pretty lucky in that she doesn’t yet know other shows exist. However, she does go through moments of obsessive movie watching (I blame the grandparents) and I can tell you right now, my adoration of cute Disney movies quickly faded with the umpteenth screening. For the love of god, do not let your child watch Madagascar, you will want to burn the animals in a huge firepit, and I swear, if I hear I like to move it one more time my head will explode!

  120. Sheli says:

    Haha!!! Awesome….and soooooooo relatable. Although, I would still watch that 200 times over before suffering one minute of Caillou!!

  121. Lana says:

    I just tried to watch the show caillou because I have never seen it. Narcotic is right. So is vomit inducing. I can’t imagine sitting through more than the 1:45 of the episode I just watched. THANK GOD my children took no notice while I subjected myself to that shit.
    We are a no tv for under twos household and after their 2nd birthday we watch Shaun the sheep, play school and sesame street. And we watch old style Disney movies. Thats it. And from the children’s television content these days that’s the way its going to STAY.

  122. Tara says:

    Yep! Been there!!