By in Parenting

Don't Blink

When my son was a toddler, he was quite fond of an abomination known as Barney the Dinosaur.

He wanted to watch Barney videos incessantly.

He wanted to watch Barney videos with his father and I.

But most importantly, he wanted to watch US watching Barney videos.

It used to become a joke between the two of us. We’d pop in a Barney and sit on the couch with him. Immediately, instead of watching the screen, he’d turn laser-eyes directly at our faces, to make sure we were watching. Sitting between the two of us, his head would whip back and forth, to ensure we were paying close attention to this purple eyesore.

If either one of us made the fatal error of turning our eyes away from the TV, he’d bellow, "WATCH BARNEEEEYYYYY!!"

Sometimes, just for yuks, we’d turn our eyes away for a nanosecond, just to hear that yell. We’d sit there laughing so hard our eyes would water at how bizarre it all was. Two grown adults, watching Barney, being guarded over by a tyrannical toddler who wanted to make sure we didn’t miss one moment. Our son, thinking that we were laughing at Barney, would laugh along with us.

During nice weather when the windows were open, neighbors must have thought we were a house of madmen, the three of us laughing hysterically while Barney babbled inanities in the background.

After a while, the quality of our watching started to disappoint him terribly. In particular, that we had the audacity to blink.

If we blinked, we might miss something very important.

So he’d watch us intently, and at some point, one of us would be chastised:


While this happened decades ago, it feels as if it were just yesterday. This intense toddler is now a grown man.

When on earth did that happen?

I see young mothers with their toddlers in the grocery store when I’m out. They have that familiar, exhausted look I remember having back then. Sometimes I get teary watching them, and remembering when I had a toddler of my own. People would tell me how fast it all passes, but when you’re in the midst of it, it’s so hard to believe.

I want to tell them, before you know it, they’ll be grown.

Don’t blink.

Image Credit » by PublicDomainPictures

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VinceSummers wrote on December 18, 2015, 7:18 PM

Barney wasn't all THAT bad. Now Teletubbies... I can believe this story. Kids get so (what's the word?) obsessive with a character.

LeaPea2417 wrote on December 18, 2015, 7:40 PM

I can totally relate to you. My 24 year old son , when he was a toddler, loved Barney and he had two VHS videos he liked to watch and he had a stuffed Barney he slept with. And , yes , it was just like yesterday. I remember the day he was born, my Mother told me "you will blink and he will be grown" and at the time that seemed so far off, but she was right, it went so quickly! I have true sweet memories of those days!

Last Edited: December 18, 2015, 7:42 PM

LeaPea2417 wrote on December 18, 2015, 7:41 PM

My older son loved Barney. My second son loved Teletubbies. Both are grown men today. It is hard to believe how small they used to be.

crowntower wrote on December 18, 2015, 8:56 PM

yeah! I am not married yet but I see my Aunt's who married late and see their kids are growing up I know that years really fly and make them all grown up, some of them are now in college and some of them are just graduated last year and right now they are having their first job in different companies.

cmoneyspinner wrote on December 18, 2015, 10:43 PM

Yes. Tell those mothers you see that the time is short. Enjoy it while you can.

Brenda wrote on December 18, 2015, 10:49 PM

Well I was thinking the same thing while reading your article don't blink. All our children are grown with their own children and I think again don't blink. My children loved all the cartoons like scooby do and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. When I was growing up I liked the three stooges and the lil rascals reruns. I also like Mickey mouse club. Barneys creator was from our former town Allen we lived there for years before down sizing and retiring to the lake here but Color dynamics Studios in Allen on Bethany drive is where shows were taped . Our house was at the corner of Bethany and our street. So we would pass color dynamics every time we went to the store. I was told that one of Allen's former teachers was the creator of Barney. Its a small small world.

CalmGemini wrote on December 18, 2015, 11:16 PM

What a nice post!You are right.They grow up so fast.When they are small,we wish they will grow up fast.

Dawnwriter wrote on December 19, 2015, 6:43 AM

What a LOVELY post. Your son sounds exactly like my youngest daughter who at 2/3 is quite a tyrant. She'll hand out her wooden puzzle pieces to me or her siblings and watch us like a hawk as we complete jigsaw puzzles for her. And she keeps on saying, You're doing awesome. Good Job! She makes me watch Dora and Tom and Jerry and I have to laugh at all the right moments emoticon :smile:

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 19, 2015, 9:36 AM

Teletubbies came after, so I've never seen it other than just passing images. They do get obsessive!

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 19, 2015, 9:42 AM

My son is only slightly older, so chances are high you and I were watching the same VHS videos! :)

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 19, 2015, 10:24 AM

Yes they do fly by!

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 19, 2015, 10:29 AM

Yes, I'm glad I have these memories

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 19, 2015, 10:35 AM

Yes! L'il Rascals! That was my favorite! I loved Mr. Rogers as well. That is a great 'small world' story about Allen's former teacher!

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 19, 2015, 10:38 AM

Thank you very much! It's hard to believe how fast it goes

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 19, 2015, 10:52 AM

Thank you! I honestly laughed loud at the "You're doing awesome" !! What a riot. But it's very telling too... it seems to me if at her age she's complimenting others, it means she's so cherished, loved and complimented herself :) So -- "You're doing awesome! Good job!" :) :)

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 19, 2015, 8:07 PM

Our baby boy is reading on the couch while my wife and I watch a movie. He will be 20 years old in a couple months. He's home from college for a few weeks.

FreebieJunkie wrote on December 20, 2015, 8:35 AM

I hope you have a great visit with him!

cheri wrote on January 17, 2016, 9:34 PM

My kids also loved Barney when they were toddlers. I had to watch with them though I did not like it.