When I was pregnant I was determined that my baby wasn't going to watch TV shows such as Teletubbies! Don't ask me why but I have some kind of irrational dislike for these "things" for want of a better word! Nor was he going to watch a lot of the drivel produced in the name of "children's television" - having sat through a few shows I realized that there was a good reason for many children running around screaming - that's what they were taught on television! So what would my baby be watching? I had no idea!
One day, towards the end of my pregnancy, I was reading a message board at one of the pregnancy websites, and someone mentioned Baby Mozart. She was so enthusiastic about it that I went to the Baby Einstein website and checked it out. It sounded great but was the official site's opinion to be trusted. I next went to Amazon.com and read the reviews. I wasn't totally convinced but the people who reviewed it seemed to think it was great and that their babies and small children enjoyed it. I decided that it was definitely worth gambling on, and so placed an order for a copy. Around this time my pregnancy, complicated from the beginning, went spiraling downhill and a few days later I was the mother of a 3lb preemie. Five weeks and one emergency heart operation on the baby later, we brought our beautiful tiny baby home where an Amazon package containing Baby Mozart awaited us.
The days passed quickly taking care of this tiny babe, but eventually I got around to opening the package and putting it in the video machine. I'd intended to just listen to it, but as it started, it caught my attention and I sat and watched it. It was exactly the kind of thing I'd been looking for. As Jake lay in his basket or his crib, I would play the video. He couldn't see it, but he loved the music. As he developed he'd wave his rattle round when the music was playing and move his feet. When he was unsettled I'd put the music on and he'd calm down almost instantly. When he was about 6 months, we would sit him up and he'd watch the video. He loved it! At 12 months he was on his feet and bringing the box to me when he wanted it on. We had other videos for him by then (in fact I think he was about 3 years old before he realized television didn't come on a video tape!) but when he chose one, this was always the one he'd pick.
He was still watching it, although not quite as often when I become pregnant with baby number 2. The video was now 2.5 years old and had been played on average at least once every day during that time. When Connor was born, he also loved the music. He didn't see the video from his crib, but he listened. When it started he would turn his head towards the music, and like his big brother would stop fussing when the music started.
Like his big brother, he also started to sit up and watch the video at 6 months. The magic repeated and the video played everyday. By the time he was 18 months, this past Christmas, we had to make a decision. The video had been played almost daily by then for 4.5 years. It was worn and tired. Did we replace it? Or just phase it out. We decided that as our eldest was still enjoying it, we'd replace it and so we ordered a new copy, this time in DVD format.
Buying another copy of a video you already possess, especially in a home where disposable income isn't exactly plentiful, may seem extravagant, but that first video owes us nothing! It was certainly the best money we've ever spent! .....Oh and the new DVD is still played at least once every day! If you've got babies or young children I couldn't recommend anything better to buy for your little ones. And it sure beats listening to hyperactive adults pretending to act like no children I've ever seen, or semi-English speaking Teletubbies!
Katie-Anne Gustafsson, 2005