I might as well admit now that I am a Bad Mom when it comes to screen time. I know, I know, kids under 2 aren’t supposed to have any screen time at all. But try telling THEM that. Basically my practical options are:
- No screen time for ANYONE in the house until after Olive is in bed (sometime between 8pm and 2am because she’s a maniac) OR
- Just let Olive use the damn iPad sometimes
So…yeah, my 20-month-old watches tv and uses an iPad better than many adults. But from my relatively-low moral high ground, I try to protect her from ads, at least. Which seems noble, but mostly I just don’t want her hassling me for crap I don’t want to buy her when she gets old enough to understand the ads. Luckily we live in the age of ad-free streaming, and so I turn to Netflix for most of my toddler entertainment.
Once we’d completely exhausted every episode of my current toddler tv obsession, Peg + Cat (a spunky young girl and her talking cat teach your kid math with adorable ukulele music!), Netflix decided to autoplay the first episode of British import Baby Jake. I’d seen it listed in the Kids menu before and very deliberately avoided it, based on the haunting preview image of an animated baby with a disturbing photographic face of a real baby:
The show starts, for some reason, by introducing us to a family of 12 that lives in what appears to be an actual working windmill. We are slowly and painstakingly introduced to each of the 10 bizarre children, including young Ginny who “thinks she’s a tree” and probably needs some real psychiatric help. Then the show essentially says “now forget all these kids, Baby Jake is going on an adventure all by himself.” OK then? Off we go to Jake’s 5-year-old brother’s fever dream of an adventure for his helpless baby brother, with all of Baby Jake’s “friends”, such as Nibbles the Murder Rabbit:
Anyway, from there it’s pretty much just bright colours and nonsense songs to completely hypnotize your child with. Much to our dismay, Olive is obsessed. I lie awake at night with “Yakki Yakki Yoggi”, which I suppose is a theme song of sorts that plays at the middle of every episode, running through my head.
You’re welcome. I’ll just leave you with this 7-minute video to hypnotize your child with, or just to ruin your own sleep for the next 6 months or so.