In a prior missive, I mentioned that we were reinforcing potty training using stickers to bribe our little guy into peeing in his Elmo potty rather than his pants. He quickly got into the spirit and within a few days, he covered the small piece of cardboard we taped to the wall with dozens of stickers. His favorite sticker was another TV character, Brobie, a beloved green monster from Yo Gabba Gabba. One day, as he was sitting on the potty, Walker shocked me when he looked at me and said, “Mommy, can I have a sticker to put on my Facebook?” (And of course, Walker’s only Facebook page remains on our bathroom door, a she clearly can’t have his own social network until he’s at least three.)
The poor kid didn’t have a chance. Media is a prevalent part of our household. Larry and I are both professionally and personally interested in technology and pop culture. Walker is clearly picking up on our interests and embracing them. Hmmm, is nature or nurture at work here?
Each morning we arise early and have a good amount of time to play together. Sometimes we play “hall ball” which entails doing anything with a ball and more often than not, some form of hitting implement. Sometimes we read stories. Sometimes we watch TV. And sometimes we do a combination of all of them. Recently, Walker has been requesting to watch “dot com.” In his world, dot com is the place where we play games or watch videos on www.pbskids.org or www.nickjr.com. Mommy and Daddy work the keyboard while he tries to move the mouse by touching the screen (the same way he moves things around on the iPhone) and I must say, he’s quite adept at the games.
Daddy recently acquired an iPad — OK, Mommy was fascinated with it as well — and we’ve taken to watching some fun videos on YouTube on the large, crisp screen. It didn’t take long for Walker to get in on the action. Everything you ever wanted to watch has been posted. Walker loves to watch Spiderman, IronMan, and Speed Racer cartoons. He’s very interested in the superheroes and enjoys pretending to rescue anyone who needs it for any reason. It’s really fun to snuggle up on the bed and watch the “Little TV.”
As you may know, we are also big fans of Star Wars and Larry found a hysterical set of videos featuring the Star Wars characters dancing to popular music as a part of Disney’s Star Wars Weekends. Walker LOVED the clips and asked to see them over and over. Seizing the opportunity, Larry produced a Storm Trooper action figure from a box of toys we’ve been saving for Walker. He immediately loved it. There were more requests to see “my guys” on the Little TV. More Storm Troopers came out of the box. And more dancing videos. The box is now empty and we have six Storm Troopers to play with. They go with Walker everywhere. He sleeps with them, brings them along to school with his Bunny and gets cranky if we don’t play with them as he instructs. In Walker’s world, Storm Troopers are good guys and so is Darth Vader (but Walker is seriously deprived because he doesn’t have that action figure). Bad guys would never dance to MC Hammer.
Walker’s media immersion isn’t restricted to television and movies. Larry is indoctrinating Walker with a love for loud rock-n-roll (defined as all the music I don’t like). As a part of the Iron Man movie marketing blitz, Larry succumbed to purchasing the CD of the soundtrack (primarily AC/DC) and by accident, also purchased AC/DC’s Back in Black. While in my car we listen to sweet songs about dinosaurs, rockets, ninjas and submarines by Laurie Berkener, Barenaked Ladies and The Beatles, Larry’s car is equipped with music that blares “Shoot to Thrill!” Walker pleads for Larry to turn up the volume and then performs his air guitar and keyboard solos as he make the “rock” sign with his fingers.
My little boy will be three in two weeks. I’ve joked with Larry that I get him now while he’s cute, full of snuggles and sweet-smelling. I realize I’ll have lost him to classic rock, superheroes, and building movie props sometime around age eight.