"Da da da da da da!" (Polish for: "Look, Daddy! It's a cow!")
We're not as backward about Baby Einstein as we are about Breakfast at Tiffany's! We love it, just like everyone else.
And don't forget to notice those cute feet. He's always rubbing his feet together or at least resting the toes of one foot in between the big toe and second toe of his other foot, like in these pictures. He got that from his dad. From me he got his posture. Ug.
As I say, we're Baby Einstein fans. My dear sister sent us a bunch of hers after Aaron was born. They're great. I don't use them properly, though. According to the instructions for use (as recorded by Julie Clark*in her honey sweet voice) you're supposed to:
use the videos "as multimedia blackboards. Point to objects and actions on the screen and name them for your child. As you watch the music videos, play musical instruments together or clap your babies hands together. Dance, sing and have fun!"
I figure, if I have a solid half an hour to spend with my baby, I'll use it to read him books or play with his own toys with him, or tickle him or chase him up the stairs or something.
Of course we don't have so many awesome toys like the ones you see on the videos, but we have more than our share, plus lots of other exciting objects around the house. For example, socks. Almost daily Greg pulls off one of Aaron's socks and sticks his fingers in there somehow and makes it talk to Aaron. This is very likely the reason Aaron pulls them off himself, numerous times a day, and chews on them (maybe his way of responding to the sock puppet's comments?) Either that or he wipes the coffee table with them. Very thoroughly. Then there are tissues. I'm sure all parents are aware of the joy a box of tissues brings to a one year old. But besides the pulling them out one at a time (which we don't actually allow, but he sometimes sneaks it like a cookie), and the ripping them into the tiniest imaginable shreds, Aaron loves to use them to wipe the kitchen floor. (Oh, this is good! Maybe you guys are thinking that he does this to mimic me, and that I therefore must have a clean kitchen floor. I won't undeceive you). Or a cell phone that can be put to one's neck and shouted at. Apparently all of Aaron's friends and acquaintances are hard of hearing, because he never shouts as loud as when he's on the phone.
No, I am a breaker of the code of parental conduct while a Baby Einstein is playing. Sure I always sit by him and get excited with him when the Walt Disney logo appears, and then poke his tummy twice when the caterpillar blinks his eyes (with those cute noises). But after that, I'm racing to the kitchen to see how many dishes I can get washed or if I can get dinner in the oven in 31 minutes and 27 seconds. Besides the occasional check-up on him, with a "Look Aaron! It's a ducky! Quack, quack!" a few times during the show (or a "Get it, Aaron? The chickens kept saying 'Bach, Bach'!!"), he's On His Own. And he doesn't seem to mind.
I believe baby Einstein is heaven sent for parents of babies who are teething. Or parents who ever want to get stuff done. Whatever hypnotic techniques they use really work! Babies will just sit and stare (and possibly rub their feet together). Or stand and point and babble. Either way, they're occupied, and not covering your entire floor with tissues. The expensive kind with lotion. And you can get something done without a little elf yanking on your pants (and possibly pulling them down, if your underthings are made of the wrong material, and causing you to soak those pants with your sudsy, wet, dish washing hands, as you try to get them back up.)
So while these videos could easily be recreated by any average Joe with a video camera, some toys and a classical music CD, I think they deserve the acclaim they have earned. Not so much because of their brilliance, but because SHE did it first and sold the idea. And the rest of us are too lazy to make our own, and so fork out piles of cash to get them. (Or have really nice sister's who give them to us for free!) So, for all the clean dishes and dry pants, completed meals, saved tissues and saved sanity, I thank you, Julie. And I thank you, Su!
* Lee's: she is quite the opposite of the Julie Clark from two trailers down, don't you think?