Picture this: you’re with your child, having a jolly time playing with Little People and that precious face looks up at you with her big eyes and huge grin and says “Mommy, watch Einsteins!” Time stops…your heart skips a beat…and in that moment you quickly realize you need to remain calm.  You take a deep breath and look lovingly at your beautiful daughter and say “Ok sweetie!” while simultaneously squelching your need to scream “NOOOOOOOO!”

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Cartoons can be a helpful tool when you need 30 minutes to get dinner made or do a quick dusting session.  Yet, in those times when you don’t need your child to be occupied and they ask to watch, what do you end up doing?  Watching with them of course!  Between the songs, repetitive dialogue and bright colors, it’s enough to make you go a little nutty.  So much so that your go to shower song goes something like this, “Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog!”

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Here are some tips for surviving your child’s mind numbing favorite shows:

  • While Barney is singing about loving everybody, work your brain. Can you name all of the states? If you can, how about their capitals? Go ahead and go through the multiplication tables! We all can sing the ABC’s, but can you sing them backwards? List the primary colors, secondary colors and what colors you get when you combine primary and secondary. Really, who wouldn’t want 30 minutes to expand your intelligence? Look at that, your kid’s favorite show just made you smarter. A+ Mom!
  • When Dora is off exploring, teach yourself to crochet. Think of the possibilities! You could make some comfy hats and fun scarves for the entire family. Heck, you could make so many pieces that you could stock a booth at a craft show. While you’re at it, open up a shop on Etsy. Look at that, your kid’s favorite show just earned you an income. Cha-ching!
  • As Mickey and the gang hang out at their clubhouse, grab your soup cans and work those biceps! Every time Mickey calls for Toodles, get on the ground and hold a plank until they figure out what Mousekatool they need. You’ve got lots of options like using the couch for tricep dips and doing lunges back and forth across the living room. Just think, you could get really toned, maybe even get some definition or better yet, you’ll be totally ripped! Look at that, your kid’s favorite show just made you stronger and healthier for swimsuit season!
  • With Caillou whining incessantly in the background, get yourself a pair of scissors, your Sunday newspaper and clip yourself some coupons.  50 cents off of yogurt, sure!  75 cents off of pasta, score!  You could be saving yourself some cold hard cash that you could spend on your child or yourself.  Why stop there?  Invest that money and earn interest.  Look at that, your kid’s favorite show just saved you hundreds of dollars.  Vaca!
  • While the Chuggington trains are chuga-chuga-chuga-chuga-chugging along, take that free time to meal plan.  Start with a few days and go from there.  You’re up to a week now?  Well, since you’re this far you should probably do the whole month.  While you’re at it, plan your meals for the entire year.  Throw some weekly grocery shopping lists in there for a complete package.  Look at that, your kid’s favorite show just made you the most organized dinner planner ever.  Bon appétit!

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So the next time your son or daughter asks you to watch yet another episode of Caillou, remember these tips to survive and thrive.  Make the most out of those 30 minutes and when the Little Einsteins applause each other and take their bows, dance happily and congratulate yourself for making it through!

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Photo Credits: The Art of Making a Baby | Ashley Sisk Photography

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