WCK has been sick several times this winter, twice with strep throat and once with a three-day stomach bug. Every time she is sick, all she wants to do is lie on the couch and watch sitcoms on the Disney Channel. And I always let her because
I am a lazy mother they seem to make her feel better.
But here’s the thing about sitcoms on the Disney Channel: They are terrible. Do you hear that sound? It is Walt Disney rolling over in the chamber where he is cryogenically frozen.
There are probably half a dozen “different” sitcoms on the Disney Channel, but really, they are all the exact same show, and that show should be called “A Bunch of Smart-Mouthed Kids (Some of Whom Play in a Band)”. The majority of episodes end in a dance-off. Sometimes there’s a smart-mouthed talking dog. This show is on pretty much all day and all night on the Disney Channel.
But during the last stomach bug, I let WCK watch hours and hours and hours of “A Bunch of Smart-Mouthed Kids”, all the while worrying that she was going to get brain damage. But I still let her, because
I was trying to finish a really long Stephen King novel I had really important things to do around the house.
Last Saturday morning, she woke up saying she had a sore throat, and she really wanted to spend the morning watching “A Bunch of Smart-Mouthed Kids.” Of course, seasoned mother that I am, I saw right through this obvious ruse and I made her go to swimming lessons and drama class. When I dropped her off at drama class, she seemed fine. When I returned to pick her up 90 minutes later, I saw all of the other perky children standing in a circle, sharing what they felt was the “Wow Moment” of the class. I doubt my own child experienced her own “Wow Moment”, as she was half sitting, half lying on the floor, looking like one of the Walking Dead.
Actually, she was one of the Lying On The Floor At Second-Grade Drama Class Dead, which is a tier below Walking Dead, as far as wellness is concerned.
So we returned home, where I discovered she was running a 101 fever. She was actually sick, just as she’d been trying to tell me all along. Attention Mother of the Year Committee: I’ll send you a private Facebook message with my address so you can send my trophy.
WCK went straight to the couch, but this time we turned on Animal Planet, and she spent the afternoon watching a marathon of “Too Cute”, which is a show about kittens frolicking to and fro. Ha! I did something right! I steered her away from “A Bunch of Smart-Mouthed Kids” and I found a show that is not the least-bit brain damaging!
Fast forward to that night, when WCK woke up screaming hysterically. I bounded into her room, where she was screaming and crying enormous tears.
She said she’d just had a nightmare about being attacked by a horde of evil kittens.
Yeah. Animal Planet damaged her brain.
The next morning, WCK seemed better but her throat still hurt, so I took her to the children’s urgent care to be tested for strep. Seasoned mother that I am, I was sure it wasn’t going to be strep. Of course, it was strep. As soon as we sat down in the waiting room, we looked up at the big-screen TV and saw, you guessed it, “A Bunch of Smart-Mouthed Kids”. Next to me on the table was a Hannah Montana novel.
As much as I hate living in a world where a Hannah Montana novel is an actual thing, I’m starting to wonder if “A Bunch of Smart-Mouthed Kids” has mysterious healing powers. I mean, medical professionals were obviously relying on it to soothe the sick children in the waiting room. Maybe I’m not a terrible mother after all. When I get that Mother of the Year trophy, I’ll let you know.