Let the sanctimommies pour on the “No TV for babies!” speeches on me, because I’m gladly committing a sin and have been for over a month.
I think it started because my husband, who works in digital video production and animation, couldn’t wait to
have a valid excuse to watch share his passion for animated movies with his kid. One day he popped in “Happy Feet 2” and watched with amazement how his daughter reacted as he cuddled her in his arms.
There’s something magical about the music and dancing penguins that grabs her attention every time, whether she’s just calm and playing or in the midst of a fit. I admit, the medley is great; being former musicians ourselves, my husband and I appreciate the mix of Janet Jackson, LL Cool J, Queen, etc. throughout the movie. We’ve been playing all types of music genres for our daughter (she has a thing for Stevie Nicks, too!)
Where playing this movie for my daughter could make me a Bad Mommy is that, yes, I use it as a pacifier and babysitter at times. She normally doesn’t have the patience to last more than 20 minutes, which is completely more than enough for Mom to empty the dishwasher and clean the counters or make the phone calls necessary to run a household that I wouldn’t risk doing when she’s taking a nap. And it’s hard not to fall in love with her reaction in front of the movie: I pop her in her bouncy gym and fast-forward to the intro and there she goes dancing and jumping around, a huge smile on her face, chatting back to the movie whenever Erik the baby penguin is on screen.
I know, she’s only 5 months old. And she’s been reacting that way since she was 3.5 months old.
“Happy Feet 2” even saved my babysitter/cousin when she came over to care for her for the first time. After suffering through my baby’s “where’s my mommy” crying fit, she heard my husband’s voice in her head reminding her “If ever you’re having a hard time just pop Happy Feet 2 in”. And, just like magic, Baby Girl stopped crying, started smiling and let my cousin feed her a bottle and proceeded to being the happy baby I know and love.
We must have played the movie for her over 100 times since then and it never gets old for either of us. Now, hopefully she continues enjoying the movie this summer when it’ll be time for us to hit up a huge road-trip into the States for a family reunion… We’re already stocking up on a few backup options.