Being A Dad

 
 
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Somewhere along the line, in the not too distant past, Jackson and Griffin discovered Regular Show on Cartoon Network.

At first I didn't really notice but I became more aware of it as their obsession grew. When your 3-year old starts quoting lines of dialogue, it might be time to take a closer look at things.

As many of you know, there are many cartoons on Cartoon Network that aren't exactly kid-friendly. And so, it would probably have been a good idea to screen the show first before letting them watch it but I've been so busy with fantasy baseball drafts, Rogaine experiments and what-not that somehow I never got around to it.

Well, I can tell you this - it's pretty freaky. The show stars two slackers, Mordecai and Rigby, who happen to be a blue jay and a squirrel (don't ask me which is which, but feel free to ask my kids). Mordecai and Rigby live with Benson (a walking gumball machine), Pops (a walking lollipop), Skips (a Yeti), and a couple of other guys I can't quite identify. 

Each 15-minute episode deals with storylines like being chased by a ghost car from a scary movie, accidentally seeing an old man naked, the perils of lip synching, etc. 

The show is peppered with words such as "sucks" and "crap", which sucks but my kids were bound to hear that crap eventually anyway. 

Oh, and the show is pretty funny in a kind of Beavis and Butt-head sort of way. 

So, appropriate for young kids? Probably not. But is there any long term damage to be wrought here? Gee, I never considered that, but I guess we'll find out eventually.

 

 
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There are things that are good. There are things that are bad. And then there are things that are good for kids but as an adult, you'd rather be hit in the face with a bat (baseball or mammal) than to be in their presence. Hence, the new category.

There were many contenders here but, at the moment, the thing that saps my parenting powers the most has got to be Wonder Pets.

If you've never seen the program (and don't worry, I'm pretty sure it's playing on a continuous loop on Nick Jr.), it's kind of like getting root canal by a drunken dentist while simultaneously being kicked in the groin by an angry mule.

What's the problem, you might ask. Is it the theme song that drills itself into your head and stays there for days? Possibly. Is it the saccharin sweet character names like Linny, Tuck and Ming-Ming? Could be. What about the weally, weally annoying speech patterns? Sure, why not? How about my long standing intolerance of Guinea Pigs? How about all of the above?

Technically, there's nothing wrong with the program. It might even be, I don't know, educational. And what-not. But the next time the phone... the phone is ringing? Head for the hills. Or the liquor cabinet. Whichever is closer.

 
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I tend not to have very popular tastes. My favorite musicians don't top the charts, I don't read a lot of bestsellers, the movies I enjoy aren't generally blockbusters and the shows I enjoy watching with my kids are usually the obscure ones.  

Which brings us to Maggie and the Ferocious Beast.  It's actually a little surprising this show is still on the air since they stopped making new episodes several years ago (it's kind of like the original Star Trek but with less velour).  The plot involves a little girl named Maggie (you could see that coming, couldn't you?) and her adventures in Nowhere Land with her friend Hamilton the Pig and Beast, who's not very ferocious at all but does like to exclaim "Great Googly Moogly" from time to time. There are other supporting characters including a mouse, a rabbit, a trio of cows and some jelly beans (I've never seen it, but I've heard that's where they got the idea for Jersey Shore).  

In a time when we're all inundated with Dora, Diego, Backyardigans, Wonder Pets and the dreaded Yo Gabba Gabba, Maggie and her team make for a very pleasant viewing experience.