The few times Eli and Jack have caught sight of a moving image on a TV screen, they went full zombie: emotionless expressions, lax muscle tone, eyes gone rheumy too soon. My wife demanded we adopt a strict policy: No TV around the children.
I agreed. Research suggests it is best for our boys, nine-and-a-half month old fraternal twins, to avoid the brain zapping properties of the TV till they are about three. Still, I look forward to the more easeful times the four of us will spend together, snuggled on the couch or floor, watching children’s shows that will allow my wife and I to stare at our children, for long minutes at a time, undetected.
Recently, however, I decided to bring a little TV to them. I’ve long hoped to be a Cosby-like dad, always ready with a story or a joke and some wisdom. But the television father is a sit-com staple and examples of dads we might aspire to be range from the buffoonish “King of Queens” to the saintly “Father Knows Best So,” over the last few weeks, I’ve done my best to imitate various television dads for the boys, figuring the exercise might at least keep us all engaged during another round of drop that rattle and snag dad’s eyeglasses right off his face.