Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Learning: 1, Crass Commercialism: 0

On days like today when my daughter is a bit on the tired side (freaking out over nothing and then not calming down) we put her to bed a good half hour or so before her brother. On these days, when he's the only one watching TV, I usually let him watch an episode of Transformers Animated with me. Of late though he's been hooked on this show called Super WHY! on PBS. It's about this kid named Wyatt who goes with his friends into books and then they find letters to help spell the answer to some pressing problem such as which toy to buy.

Tonight, I gave him the choice of watching either Transformers or Super WHY! and I was extremely surprised to see that he wanted to watch Super WHY!. I guess it's not completely unexpected as every day he tells me that Wyatt turns into Super WHY! that he's Wyatt, that he wears a green mask. Like Wyatt. You know, the guy who turns into Super WHY!. He also tells me about how he tells all of his friends at school that they can play Super Readers at school, but they can't be Super WHY! because he's Super WHY!. Magnanimous to a fault, that's my kid.

I also think that he knows that watching Transformers means he can't stay up as late because it's jam packed with commercials that we just skip through. In fact, the last time we watched it, when it was over he turned to my wife and said that the show was pretty short. He's not wrong, it is pretty damn short, clocking in at just over 20 minutes per episode by the time you cut out the opening and closing credits.

I'm not unhappy that he'd rather watch a show about spelling and reading over a 20+ minute long commercial for toys that, most likely, he won't get. After all, once I'm done buying them for myself, I have very little money left over for others. Hey, I have two jobs, thank you very much. I was surprised though as I would have thought that giant, fighting robots would win over reading any day. Far be it from me to discourage it though. Hell, I'll buy him all of the books he wants, including books about Transformers. I'll even buy him a green mask as I understand that Wyatt wears a green mask. You know, the guy who turns into Super WHY!.

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