Let’s talk about sex … or not

I turned on a rerun of “Friends” earlier today. I don’t watch that show much anymore, since I have seen most of the episodes a million times and I have all of the seasons on DVD. However, I thought it might be a harmless way to decompress for a few minutes between finishing Max’s bottle and starting his dinner.

There were three sex jokes in the first few minutes we watched. Max probably doesn’t understand what he’s hearing and, even if he does, he doesn’t know what it means yet. But it made me really uncomfortable. Uncomfortable enough to turn it off.

What’s the problem? I asked myself. You watched “Golden Girls” with your mom and grandparents every weekend when you were little. You watched “Roseanne” every single week. It all went over my head. I was shocked at the content when I starting watching the reruns in college. They’re not that racy by today’s standards certainly, but they are family shows and were on during the family hour. I don’t think it was wrong for my mom to let me watch them, so I wonder why I felt so uncomfortable with Max. (Of course, I was school-age, not a toddler.) Especially since I watch “The Golden Girls” around him with no problem. “Roseanne”, too. (Although I have gotten a bit fidgety during that one.) Does the sitcom format make it seem less serious? It’s a joke, so that makes it seem more appropriate. They’re not actually SHOWING sex, so that’s ok. Is it? (Just a note that I am talking about whether it’s ok for my son’s viewing. As far as I’m concerned the shows can do what they want. I don’t have to watch.)

I don’t think sex or talk about it is embarrassing and I don’t want to convey that impression to my son. He is only 13 months old, though. He’s too young for it. But he doesn’t notice the racy talk yet. And he probably won’t for a long time. And if he does, he’ll probably ask questions, which means he’s ready for some sort of honest answer. (Of course, there are degrees. A three-year-old doesn’t need as much detail as a six-year-old or a nine-year-old, etc.) Is it ok if they’re just talking about sex or joking about it? Is it ok if he doesn’t seem to notice it?

And while we’re on the subject, what is UP with the racy and/or violent commercials on family channels during family shows?? Yeah, I’m talking to you ABC Family.

Thank you, Hallmark Channel

For being lazy enough or unimaginative enough (I’m not sure which.) to air “7th Heaven” five times a day. With WGN’s 8 a.m. showing, that is six episodes every day. EVERY DAY. Well, except for weekends. Oh, yes. This will get me through the hard times.
Not only do I love “7th Heaven”, but Max and I have watched it together practically every day since he was born. He turns toward the TV and smiles when he hears the theme song. And now I get to see that smile six times a day! I am guaranteed at least those six smiles everyday, even if I am too exhausted to be very entertaining to him.

The last piece of the oversized TV family puzzle

For years I have had a theory about the interconnectedness of the television series “The Waltons” and “7th Heaven”. In fact, I’ve even thought about writing a paper about it. (I used to be a grad student. I try to turn everything in to a research paper.)
First of all, both families had seven kids. Second, the big brother in each family was sort of a third parent who took his responsibilities very seriously. Third, the two oldest daughters were named Mary Ellen (“The Waltons”) and “Mary” (“7th Heaven”). Fourth, the middle girls Erin (“Waltons”) and Lucy (“Heaven”) are both insecure and only care about boys and being pretty (at first). Each (Yes, I’m dropping the numbers. I’m tired of them.) features a boy who is good with money (Ben and Simon. I’m going to continue with “The Waltons” first and “7th Heaven” second, so I don’t have to keep typing the names.) and a precocious youngest daughter who turns out to be smarter than all of the rest of them (Elizabeth and Ruthie). Finally, there are the family dogs Reckless and Happy.
Another interesting coincidence is that the dad from “7th Heaven”, actor Stephen Collins, once guest-starred on “The Waltons”. He was much younger and using a so-so British accent, but it was definitely him. I was disappointed by the fact that none of “The Waltons” actors had ever been on “7th Heaven”.
Until last week. I was watching an episode I had seen many times, where Lucy convinces her father that the church needs to have an old-fashioned church social to help the single women in the congregation meet men. She bribes her dad by saying he can get a band together and sing. And there, playing backup guitar for the Rev. Camden, was none other than Jon Walmsley, a.k.a Jason Walton (who is a musician in real life). I couldn’t believe it. I was way too excited about it. (Hey, I believe in taking joy in the small things.) In fact, I saved the episode on the DVR to show my husband (who has patiently listened to the similarities between the two shows many times). He was suitably impressed, which is one of the many reasons I love him.
So, there you have it, folks. The two shows are inextricably connected. I would almost call “7th Heaven” a “reboot” or “remake” of “The Waltons” to some extent. I would say the latter definitely provided some inspiration to the former anyway. The only thing that would make it more perfect would have been if the Camdens lived in the Waltons’ old house, but alas, Lorelei Gilmore snagged it and it became the Dragonfly Inn.

Just Finished Watching

The Waltons Movie Collection (A Wedding on Walton’s Mountain / Mother’s Day / A Day for Thanks / A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion / Wedding / Easter)

What can I say? I love anything Waltons. I think my exact reaction to hearing that the movies were going to be available on DVD after years of fruitless searching and a useless Wishlist on the Tivo was: “SHUT. UP. No way!” (Very un-Waltons, but no one ever said I was consistent.)
Anyway, despite breaks in the continuity (Hello? What happened to John Curtis?), these are pretty solid for TV reunion movies. However, I am a huge fan of that genre (And that includes “A Very Brady Christmas”, so consider yourself warned.

Stellar parenting day

Chris, Max, and I spent most of the day on the couch watching Sex and the City reruns and eating cookies. Hey, the kid is teething and I have PMS. Plus, our coffeemaker is broken. My motherly instincts told me the only way to salvage the situation was with an SATC marathon.

BTW, I love hot tea, but it just doesn’t cut it in the morning. Gots to have the coffee. It’s going to be an interesting week.

The TV is your friend

That whole “no screen time for children under 2” thing? Not workin’ for me. Luckily, I talked to my mother-in-law on Wednesday and she said she let my husband watch lots of TV when he was little. Actually, she thinks that’s why he learned to talk so soon. He is super-smart and definitely not a TV addict, so I feel much better now about letting Max stare for a few minutes here and there while I take a breather.

Proud legacy

Today, my three and a half month old son laughed when he passed gas and almost rolled over for the first time while trying to get a better view of the TV. Oh, yes, he is definitely my son.

Later tonight, he did roll over for the first time (front to back), but luckily, the television was not involved.

Day in the life of a mommy

7:30 a.m. Wonderful husband bottle-feeds son, so I can get some extra sleep after my horrendous Saturday night.

7:35 a.m. Realize that my Mommy radar won’t let me sleep when the baby is awake and in the immediate vicinity.

7:45 a.m.-ish Go back to sleep with baby after he has been duly fed and burped.

11:30 a.m. Awaken next to squirming baby. Rush in to bathroom to test milk on Milkscreen to make sure glass of wine consumed 12 hours ago is safely out of bloodstream.

11:32 a.m. Rush now-screaming baby in to be changed after Milkscreen’s thumbs-up.

11:35 a.m. Am now feeding baby, who falls asleep after one side. Right boob, which has not been feed or pumped off of in over 12 hours starts to pulseĀ  ominously.

Noon: Place smiling, giggling, but totally uninterested in eating and relieving Mommy’s discomfort baby in swing. Silently curse the Fates for making me have to put him in the swing when he’s happy, yet deal with him when he’s screaming his bloody head off. Realize will have to pump while having breakfast.

12:05 p.m.: Find pumping equipment still dirty in sink and vitamin container empty. Breakfast moving farther away.

12:30 p.m.: Finally start making breakfast after cleaning pump, filling cats’ water bowls and disseminating Fancy Feast and about a thousand cat treats. Hear Nature calling just as toast pops up.

12: 40 p.m.: Finish spreading soupy butter on room temperature toast.

12:45 p.m. Realize all of my nursing and baby paraphernalia still need to be moved from bedroom to living room in case the baby wakes up hungry or cat plops itself on my lap, rendering me unable to move.

1:20 p.m. Finally sit down to breakfast. Baby starts to stir. Start wondering whether to pump or wait.

1:30 p.m. Baby asleep. Must pump before boob explodes and obliterates Tokyo with typhoon of breast milk.

1:40 p.m. Crisis averted. Tokyo safe.

2:20 p.m. Baby awake. Finished all of breakfast except yogurt. Place yogurt on mantel to protect from cats. Change and nurse baby.

3 p.m. Tummy time.

3:30 p.m. Try to place baby in bouncy seat, so can pick out husband’s birthday present. Baby suddenly hates bouncy seat.

4 p.m. Discover all birthday ideas are not available until after birthday.

4:30 p.m. Baby asleep in swing. Rush to finally dress and brush teeth and hair.

4:45 p.m. Eat lunch.

5:20 p.m. Change and nurse baby.

5:45 p.m. Attack poor, unsuspecting husband for being late and calling while my phone was in the back and I couldn’t answer it (due to nursing).

6 p.m. Make up with husband after we catch each other smiling at Friends.

7 p.m. Eat dinner from Baby Greens, watch season premiere of 90210.

8 p.m. Nurse baby, watch series premiere of Melrose Place. Already looking forward to next week. Good sign.

8:45 p.m. Discover yogurt still on mantel.

10 p.m. Shower.

11 p.m. Nurse baby.

12:30 Blog, eat ice cream, go to bed. Start all over again tomorrow.

Meredith, shut up or speed up

Does anyone else have trouble following Meredith’s monologues at the end of Grey’s Anatomy? I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person. I have a Masters degree in English, so I know I can comprehend fairly complicated ideas. I think the problem lies in the timing. Her comments are spaced WAY too far apart and there are actual scenes occurring during the pauses in her speech. I end up getting caught up in the action and forgetting a monologue is even happening. By the time she starts talking again, I have forgotten what she just said and have to back it up. Which usually doesn’t help that much.

The Wonder Years knew how to do a voiceover properly. The narrator would talk continuously and scenes without dialogue, which were still perfectly easy to comprehend, would take place simultaneously. You always knew what was going on and you didn’t feel irritated when the action was constantly interrupted by a character’s pseudo-philosophical musings. Meredith’s monologues are usually apropos and even quite touching, but they are going to be ineffectual if no one can follow them! Shonda, with all due respect, it has to be either the narrator or the actors talking. It’s too confusing to have both.

Guerrilla envelope

I am an avid supporter of animal rights. Mostly my activity has been limited to groups helping domestic animals, although I am learning more about the plight of the polar bear and the wolf lately, to name just two. I donate both money and time to several different groups, such as Bideawee, the ASPCA, and the Austin Humane Society, when I can.

As a consequence of my charitable activities concerning animals, I have been added to other mailing lists, which is how I began to learn about the wolf and the polar bear. Today I received a mailing from PETA. I applaud their efforts to end animal cruelty, but I really did not appreciate being confronted with horrifying descriptions of animal cruelty before I even opened the envelope. I could barely skim the contents; the descriptions of the situations and the pictures were that graphic and sad. I understand why they do that and I will probably send them a donation at some point, but I just can’t stomach that sort of thing. I have always been incredibly sensitive. Scary, violent scenes on film or described on paper have a way of sticking with me forever. I have also suffered from anxiety and depression in the past and reading stuff like that doesn’t help. Believe me, I already know enough about the terrible acts perpetrated against innocent animals in this world. I don’t need new images to sadden and haunt me. That may be what’s needed to motivate others and goodness knows, I want to do that. However, if the envelope could just be an envelope, that would really help out sensitive souls like me, who are already willing to do anything they can to help the animals of this world.

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