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Post Feb. 22

Barney — Friend or Foe?

Last night I went to watch an episode of Californication only to find that my DVR was 100% full. As I looked through the list of recorded shows I realized that half of my DVR was taken up with Barney shows for my daughter. That’s right, Barney the big purple dinosaur. He is a staple in my household. “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family,” c’mon people you know the words. If you don’t, just stop by my house for a few hours and you are sure to be singing them by the time you leave.

I have to be honest it’s a little embarrassing that my child is addicted to Barney. When I hear friends talking about their kids watching Yo Gabba Gabba, Dora the Explorer or some of the other shows I’m a little jealous. Hell, Sesame Street has guest stars and is at least somewhat cool because the characters have been around forever. I find myself lying awake at night wondering what’s so appealing about a big, purple dinasour. I mean my kid is scared to death of Santa Claus; so what’s up with this guy? What’s his magic? To be honest I have no clue. Since I’ve seen about a thousand episodes and pretty much all of them are painful, I’m at a complete loss.

So, why do we keep putting it on? Before I had children I swore that the amount of time that they would actually watch television would be limited. Yeah, that was a pipedream. Try waking up at 7:00 on a Saturday, only to be heckled by a two-year-old while you are half asleep trying to make oatmeal. A little peace and quiet is a hard thing to come by. It’s not like I’m George Jetson and can jump into a happy machine and come out the other side with a martini and cigarette. This is real life, people, and if you want to get anything done you DVR Barney in HD and tolerate the pain.

In fact you start to embrace the pain, rationalize the good that Barney contributes to your life. Every night we sing the clean up song and she puts all of her toys away. She was the hit of a party a few weeks ago, because she could follow the family doing a line dance. Where do you think she picked up that skill? That’s right, following the Baby Bop Hop. Sure, we watch 10 episodes a day but guess what? I get a hug and a kiss at the end of every episode. That alone is reason enough for me to declare that Barney is my friend.
comments  1
Alyce Wilson
1149 days ago
So far I've managed to keep Barney off the tube, but our little guy is a fan of Sesame Street. Mainly, he seems to like the muppets, especially Elmo. Sometimes, if he's cranky, you can just sing the Elmo theme song, and he'll smile. I know there's a school of thought that says no television before age 2, but I've found he doesn't pay attention to our sit-coms and dramas. His face will only light up when he hears that familiar strain: "Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away."

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John Dean

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“My dog ate 10 loaves of bread!”