Let me ask you this:  Have you ever attempted to accomplish something while also trying to deal with a bored toddler?  Dear readers, it is indeed a formidable task. 

To her credit, that toddler, bless her heart, has already played with every single one of her toys, read all of her books backward and forwards (literally), eaten all of her snack and finished all of her milk.  She has also tormented the cat, pulled most of the laundry out of its hamper and pushed all the buttons on the stereo.  This is a precious child who has exhausted all avenues of entertainment and now looks to you.  She wants your hairbrush.  No, she wants your comb.  No, she wants your hairbrush.  She wants to sit in your lap while you put on eyeliner.  She wants to play with your mousse.  Eww, no she doesn’t – wipe it off, Mama!  Most of all she wants you to stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and pay attention to her.

And you swear on all of her crayons that you would do this in a heartbeat if only your boss would look at 8:30am as more of a guideline than a rule.  People are so dern picky about punctuality and the value of their time.  I mean, what is time anyway but a meaningless concept forced upon us by people in charge?  Can’t they see that time doesn’t matter?   No, they cannot and that is why your boss is your boss and you are always late. 

So, what do you do?  Well, you do the best you can.  You learn to balance a 24-lb. little girl on your lap and apply foundation at the same time.  You create songs and games about cleaning up.  You pick up and hug and kiss about 154 times before even leaving the house.  In short, you become a parent.

 But sometimes moms and dads need a break.  I know!  It’s so crazy!  So, what do you do? 

We know!  Oh boy, do we know!  You turn on the damn television!  Aaaand every childless reader’s brain just flipped to JUDGE! JUDGE! JUDGE!   Judge away, Singletons and D.I.N.K.S., for now I have Dora the Explorer, suckas!  I can emerge bathed, dressed and make-upped in half the time!  And if I am late for work it’s only because I gave in to the Chick-Fil-A breakfast menu (again!). 

Those of you with toddlers, if you have not discovered Nick Jr., let me be the first to welcome you to parent/toddler television Nirvana.  Nick Jr. is a television station programmed exclusively for younger toddlers and preschoolers.  It runs 24-7 with no commercials.  That’s right.  No commercials.  So you can still spend all the junk food and toy money on yourself.  (Didn’t think I knew about that, did ya?)

 Also, on Nick, Jr. there is no violence, no questionable content (read: hanky-panky) and nothing that could put your child in therapy later.  Just cute shows that have songs and dancing and numbers and letters and colors and smiling adults in primary-colored costumes getting paid to be goofy.  And before each show the lovely producers throw up a short paragraph for the parents describing how the following will particularly benefit their child.  So, you can feel secure knowing your little munchkin’s phonological and cognitive whats-its are being developed and her critical thinking do-hickey’s are being encouraged.  Bascially, you know her brain is not rotting.  What more could you ask for?

 Oh, I know!  Thirty minutes of uninterrupted time!  That’s what I could ask for!  And that’s what I get!

 Most importantly, Nick Jr. has exclusive rights to the mystical, magical wonderfulness that is Dora the Explorer.  Evie is absolutely in love with this animated little Latina cutie-pie.  And Dora is so happy to be Evie’s friend.  We know because she tells her every day at 10am (that includes Saturdays and Sundays).  And, for that we say, “Gracias, Dora!”

 Before you say it, we don’t park Evie in front of the TV all day while we drink martinis in our fuzzy pink bathrobes and read gossip magazines.  Well, I can’t speak for Gill, but I don’t.  Evie still loves books and playing outside.    (JUDGE! JUDGE! JUDGE! Aah-eww-gaah!  Aah-eww-gaah!)

 Yes, Nick Jr. is a beautiful thing.  Confession time:  Even I have found personal inspiration from this channel.  The other day I heard a song sung between shows by a voting adult in orange pigtails and clown face, playing a banjo.  It went something like this: 

   “I’m not perfect,

   No, I’m not.

   I’m not perfect,

   But at least I got what I got.

   I’m not perfect,

   But I do the best I can every day.

   I’m not perfect,

   And I hope you like me that way.”

 All I can say, dear readers, is word to that.

Evie and Dora = BFF