I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map

Someone is coming to look at our house tomorrow (during naptime, while BW is out of town, of course), so the kids and I have been tidying up tonight, and now we are watching Dora. Does anyone else question the value of shows like Dora?

“Do you see the volcano?” Pause. Pause.


Click! “That’s right!”

Or… “Where are we going?” “Grampa’s house!” “Where are we going?” “Grampa’s house?” “Where are we going!” “Grampa’s house?!” “Where are we going!!!” “…. Grampa’s house!”

Gee, I wonder why my kids ask the same question a thousand times in a row and wait fifteen seconds before replying to my questions.

I don’t believe in the value of the formulaic plot of this show. I guess I see how life is like a Dora episode: We have a destination, there are several obstacles, the goal is in sight, we need some supplies to get there, and all of our necessary supplies are tucked away in our singing backpack. Obviously.

And my kids love it! I don’t get it. Maybe it’s just that they are hypnotized by the colors on the screen. Maybe any multi-pixelated combination of bright colors would draw their attention.

I much prefer listening to the creation of their own fantasyland in which they pretend to be Grandma Rose and Pop-Pop, or Granny and Pop, or the Mother and the Son, or the Dog and the Cat, or some other role-playing scenario that catches their imaginations. Of course, I’m the one who turned the TV on so that I could quickly finish cleaning and write this blog. And after they go to bed, I’ll turn on the computer and stare at Facebook for several hours.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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