Sunday, December 19, 2010


(Penned in 2010!)

Disney offers millions of parents Baby Einstein video refunds

Disney is offering millions of parents refunds on its best-selling Baby Einstein learning videos in an apparent admission that they do not boost infants' intelligence.

My son had forwarded the link to this news with his comment, “Now Dad will feel vindicated”. As we savored every word of the news item, my husband and I burst out laughing. And not without reason.
We had become proud grandparents for the second time two years ago with the baby boy born to our younger son. We were very excited to see him – he was four months by then and indulged in activities babies of his age did. How did we remember what babies did when? Well, we had seen it all just two years before that when our grand daughter was born! Strictly speaking, the little guy ought to be rolling over by then– he’d oblige only if we gave him a gentle nudge! He could turn over if he wanted to but he simply didn't care – he was having a good shot at the world around him lying on his back – he could pull the various animals dangling at different levels from his play mat, he could enjoy watching the fan, the light, the curtains, people’s faces and their tomfoolery… and also pocket more cuddles and hugs and kisses for sending them in raptures with his cute toothless smiles, gurgling laughter and baby-blabber. Why would he want to be a spoilsport and turn over? Of course he’d be able to hear the elders go gaga over his feat but he wouldn't get to see them – he’d just manage to study his fingers – sometimes clutched together in an irretrievable (for him, of course) clasp! Anyway we labeled him ‘Lazy’.
As for his mental faculties, he was very alert and surged way ahead of his age – he loved to be read to, he’d turn the page at the right point during story-telling sessions! He’d know how to shake his legs if he wanted his favorite song to be replayed when it just ended. He knew to look in the right direction when we asked him “Where is so-and-so?” As grandparents we simply adored his cute antics.
Usually when we’d be watching TV in the family room, baby would be left in such a position that he’d be away from the TV. His mommy didn't approve of TV for him yet. But then when he was five months, the parents felt they should expose him once again to Baby Einstein video set – they had tried once when he was two months old without any result – he simply wasn't interested. This time they hoped he was grown up enough to watch the first video and learn to roll over, sit, stand, dance….. watching the babies at it on the TV screen! After all, a lot of research had gone into the making of these videos which claimed to be highly educational! He ‘saw’ it – we don’t think he thought much about it! Nor did we grandparents as we believed that babies pick up a lot through interaction. But then with the advancement of science and technology, may be learning methods are revolutionized – even in the case of babies! But soon the Einstein videos were shelved or shoved away from memory – they were hardly played – either for lack of time or mood or because they were forgotten in the whirlwind of day-to-day activities but the little one was progressing jolly well in his physical, mental and emotional activities.  Good for the baby and for us we thought. And never did we mutter a word about it lest  my son should be reminded about those videos.

And now, when the little fellow is two, comes the above news about Baby Einstein videos! Ha, ha, ha….. both of us had the last laugh!!
 © Copyright 2011. Brinda Balasubramonian.

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