My TV watching habits have been wildly different during Violet's babyhood compared to Grace's. For starters, Grace had really relaxed, leisurely nursing habits combined with rather difficult sleeping patterns that resulted in me watching quite a bit of television. It was not unusual for her to nurse for an hour at a time when she was tiny, and it was also not unusual for her to refuse to sleep unless being held. (She would be apparently completely asleep and then startle to wakefulness and tears as I gently, oh so gently, tried to lean down and deposit her in her crib. This happened ALL. THE. TIME.) These circumstances combined so that I could often be found cozily ensconced on the couch with the TV on, nursing Grace or holding her while she slept. Employed thusly, I watched a LOT of TV in the first half of 2006. I watched every single episode of Gilmore Girls thanks to reruns on some cable channel, cooking shows galore, The Daily Show, and a whole lot of Battlestar Galactica.
(Have I told you my Battlestar Galactica story? I think not. Someone had told us we would like it, so we told Tivo to record them but we never really got around to watching them. During my maternity leave when I was home full-time with Grace for 6 weeks, I finally got around to watching the first one we had recorded and I was so blown away that I watched the whole season we had recorded [Season 2, I think] in the space of 2 or 3 days sitting cross-legged on the couch with Grace curled up on the Boppy in my lap. I got to the very end of the season with its dramatic, cliffhanger ending and my jaw dropped when they splashed across the screen, "To Be Continued-- October 2006". How could they do this to me?! I could not wait that long! My tiny new baby would be 8 months old by then! In my quasi-insane hormonal haze, this seemed the most impossible thing I had ever heard.)
Anyway, Violet's breastfeeding/sleeping habits are so different that I haven't had the same long stretches of indolent TV watching. In her early weeks, we were having some oversupply/overactive-letdown issues so each nursing session was a brief chaotic milky spluttering affair that required my entire concentration. This all evened out, thank goodness, but she still has been a really fast nurser, like 5-10 minutes fast. And I almost always can manage to put her down to sleep by herself for at least a few hours, thus, much less TV watching. This pleases Robert, who is somewhat prejudiced against TV as the mindless, empty opiate of the masses. I maintain that someone who is so devoted to playing pretend college football on the Xbox has nary a leg to stand on.
The other important difference in my TV watching now is the little-pitchers-big-ears phenomenon. There is just not much I feel comfortable watching when Grace is awake and in the house. She is at that sponge stage where she hears and understands way more than I give her credit for. She will quote lyrics back to us from any songs she hears, and brings up things from books or TV shows DAYS later. So if I want to watch something while I fold a load of laundry, I am left with, what, cooking shows? Yep, that's pretty much it. Grace divides my cooking shows into "man cooking" (mostly Alton Brown) and "lady cooking" (mostly Nigella Lawson) and will usually consent to watch them with me, although sometime she protests and insists that she would prefer her own TV shows. I know the feeling, Grace-- I know the feeling.
A recent addition to my TV diet, one that I do sometimes watch in Grace's presence, is Adoption Stories. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it's like all those baby/birth/pregnancy shows on TLC or Discovery Health except it's about adoption. Rob finds this highly amusing because when I was pregnant with Grace, I was obsessed with those childbirth shows and watched them all the time. I lost interest pretty quickly after she was born because, well, it's turns out there's not a lot of variety in them. I will admit there's not a ton of variety in the adoption ones either, but I will then also be forced to admit that yes, I think I've seen nearly every episode. I know I've mentioned our adoption plans in passing (as has Rob now), but we really are doing this. We have met with a social worker and gone to a big 8-hour education seminar and now have a big stack of forms sitting half-filled-out on our desk. We are adopting through Hope Cottage here in Dallas and are pursuing a domestic newborn adoption of a child who will most likely be of a different race. We are still early in the process so no babies are going to arrive anytime soon (which is good, since Violet is still very much a baby herself) but we are feeling excited about this next stage for our family. Hooray!