Little Girl’s sleepover at college was great! She was so excited that she hasn’t stopped chattering about it since we picked her up. The evening apparently involved laundry, running around the dorm and a brownie sundae at 9:30. (The brownie sundae was not my sister’s idea. It was brought to the room by some well-meaning young men who either have no regular contact with 3-year-olds or wanted to give my sister a rough night). There was also Dora the Explorer.
For the record (because people are starting to ask) I am not morally opposed to television. I think that age-appropriate programming is fine when it doesn’t take the place of attentive parenting. So, I’m not the parent who is going to march to Little Girl’s friends’ houses and demand that they hand over their remotes when she is present. I just don’t want it to be part of my kids’ everyday home life. (Besides, getting rid of Netflix is another $7 a month we can cut from the budget).
However, the reminder of the existence of Dora made for an experience I will refer to as the Great Dora Battle of 2012, in hopes that there will not be more like it. Actually, it was a one-sided “battle.” Little Girl’s anger and frustration over not being able to watch Dora crashed over my husband and I like waves on the rocky shores of Maine. Finally, she tired herself out to the point that I was able to rub her back until she fell asleep. Being that this is only the second nap she has taken in the last 6 months, I am pretty pleased. Maybe I should get her all riled up more often. Or she should have brownie sundaes and stay up until 10?
Do you like “background noise” at home? Here are some other TV-free ideas that can set you up with the sound you crave, provided you have internet access (and they are all free!):
1) Librivox – If you don’t know about this service, you should. You can listen to audio books that are in the public domain for free. All day, every day. I am a commuter and this site made my hour-long drive to work much, much better. Adult books include authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. There is a vast children’s collection as well, including L.M. Montgomery and Beatrix Potter. You can download the files onto your computer or put the mp3 files onto a portable player.
2) Pandora – there are advertisements, but you can listen to streaming radio for free. (The paid version eliminates advertisements). You choose the artist to build the playlist around, or there are channels to choose from. It’s a great way to discover new music. My favorite stations so far are based on Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Ravi Shankar and Enrico Caruso.
3) Spotify – I am relatively new to Spotify, but it seems a lot like Pandora except more integrated into facebook. I’ve never heard an audio advertisement, however, which I am grateful for.
If you know other free audio services, please let me know!