I've talked before about how I planned to be a TV free parent. Such disdain I had for the "electronic babysitter"! The source of so many judgmental thoughts.
I've swung in the opposite direction. Naomi may not watch much actual TV (except for Sesame Street and Oobi), but she watches plenty of movies. When Naomi wants to watch something, I almost never say no. The only time I say no is when we're on our way somewhere. When I want to watch less TV, I take her out more.
In conjuction with this I've developed a laisse-faire attitude about the content of what she's watching. I care much more about the quality of the film than I do with what's actually in it. So, over my dead body will she watch a Disney direct-to-video sequel, but E.T.? The Yellow Submarine? Sure! Naomi watches the first scene in Finding Nemo, she watches the scary parts and the sad parts of all of her movies. Frankly, I have a much bigger problem with happily-ever-after, and the Disneyfying of life. Beauty and the Beast is especially disturbing, with its "if you love a man enough he won't be a jerk anymore" message.
It's the one thing I didn't really expect of myself as a mother. I really thought we'd throw out our TV when we had kids. But as my friend Kris said today, "sometimes we just need the company" of the noise of the television. It's sad that mothers and children have to deal with that level of aloneness, but there it is, and it's the reality of many people's lives. TV can become the substitute for the tribes we humans used to have.