There's a good side and a bad side to letting your child watch a half hour of television a day.
Christina Montoya Fiedler: The good? It buys me 30 minutes of peace and quiet, while the little guy seems to enjoy every second, dancing and signing to every poppy tune and laughing at the characters' funny faces.
Our show of choice? "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan" on Nick Jr. I figured this was a good one. It teaches kids moral lessons and Chinese. What a twofer!
Now here's the not-so-good. Strangely, I seem to have picked up some Chinese, and am blurting it out at inappropriate times. Yesterday I told our elderly neighbor "Ni hao" (or hello) without even skipping a beat. She just looked at me, confused. I brushed it off as a mere coincidence, seeing as we had just watched an episode before heading out. But as the days went on, it happened again and again. I showed my husband a cute stuffed animal in a shop window:
"Look at the dinosaur, honey! Or, as they say in Chinese, kong long."
That's not the only issue. I find myself singing her sugary sweet tunes all day long. I hum them in the shower, while driving, while cooking, while doing pretty much everything. Could Kai-Lan be sending me subliminal messages? I better play those songs backwards just in case.
I went to my husband for help.
"Andy, I think I have a problem. A 'Ni Hao, Kai-Lan' problem."
"A Ni-Who problem?"
I rolled my eyes ... "Duh, only the most popular girl on TV ..." Then he rolled his. Long story short, I told him how I was suddenly speaking Chinese, and how I couldn't get the songs out of my head. He suggested other invasive tunes for the latter problem ("Hotel California," "We Are Family," and "The Chicken Dance") and reminded me that being bilingual was great, but that I should bulk up on my vocabulary because dinosaur, hi, bye, and grandfather could only get me so far.
It worked for about half a day, and then I was back to my Kai-Lan obsession. Is there a happy medium? Can my son have a favorite kids' show without it warping me for good? Would this ever end?
Then I had an epiphany. I'd just change shows. Simple solution. My son and I are now on to "Yo Gabba Gabba." With songs ranging from "Don't Bite Your Friends" to "It's Fun to Brush Your Teeth," I think I'll be longing for "Ni Hao" days in no time.
|Christina Montoya Fiedler resides in Los Angeles, CA, with husband Andy and her son Joseph. She juggles baby and work from home as a freelance publicist and attributes her strong love for life and sense of humor to her loving familia.|