Sunday Night TraditionsMeebs is almost 11 months old and we’ve never resorted to the TV-sitter; we’ve never had to. On one hand Meebs is extremely curious and wants to be involved in whatever we’re doing, but then she’s also very self-sufficient and satisfied with a toy or book to figure out.

We’re thrilled with how inquisitive and tactile she is (most of the time)—she’s learning so much watching us and we involve her whenever we can. Lately, though, she’s been a challenge when we’re making dinner. Where she used to entertain herself in her swing or exer-saucer or watch the culinary magic take place from the sidelines, she now wants in on the action. I don’t blame her really, what little kid doesn’t love being in the kitchen and help out with dinner. But she’s getting really heavy—yes I’m whining—it’s tiring for one of us to carry her around for an hour so she can watch what the other is doing: chopping, sautéing, spilling, and dropping tidbits for Pork Chop to scoop up.

And, tonight she seemed particularly difficult. We were making an impromptu gourmet dinner: sautéed scallops, pea-shoot salad and shrimp-leek risotto. Yum! We both needed our hands free and Meebs was being a fuss-bucket; so we became the parents we said we never would become. Bad mommy! Bad daddy! We positioned Meebs’ exer-saucer in front of the TV and turned on cartoons.

Wouldn’t you know, The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show was on. For both my husband and I, as kids, it was a Sunday night tradition to sit down with the family and watch Bugs Bunny. We’d forgotten about that! And neither of us was marred from extended exposure to Sylvester’s futile pursuits of Tweety Bird. Plus, Meebs was mesmerized, completely preoccupied with the adventures of a little yellow birdie. Even better, dinner made its way successfully to the table. No harm done, in fact we were all a little happier and relaxed. So, I guess we’ll let ourselves off the hook, especially for old-school cartoons that hold childhood nostalgia—I mean, we watched cartoons and we turned out ok. Right?

Of course, TV has its place and we have no opposition to kids watching TV; we just didn’t want to resort to it as a distraction for one so young. But, I suppose so long as TV remains a periodic helper rather than a full-time HD nanny then it’s not so bad. Maybe we’ll even start our own Sunday night toon tradition!