I spent a couple hours at the dentist yesterday (new crown, two fillings: lucky me). They have a little flat-panel TV you can watch while they grind and fill. Before they asked what I wanted to watch, I got to watch about 20 minutes of Scooby Doo. The hygienist wondered whether most kids would even know who Scooby Doo is, which led the dentist to point out that Scooby is popular again. The one I’d been watching was actually new.
You’d think I’d know this, given that we have two kids in the prime Scooby demographic. But no. It’s not that our kids don’t watch TV, they do (though not as much as I watched as a kid). It’s just that their tastes are a little different. Sure, they watch some shows aimed at them: The Mr. Men Show and Word Girl are recent favorites. But most of the time, they prefer to watch shows like Build It Bigger, Extreme Engineering, and How It’s Made. Recent out-of-the-blue questions from Charlie have included “what is a wiring harness?” and “what is a metal template?” (The title of this post shows his actual sentence construction.) Our boys are clearly destined to be poets or artists, I’m sure.
What got me thinking about this is that Henry stayed home sick today. He slept most of the morning and is now watching a little TV. He’s watching a National Geographic show called “Impossible Bridges: China,” which is right up his alley. The first bridge on the show is the Lupu Bridge in Shanghai, which is currently the longest arch bridge in the world. When Henry heard this, he very excitedly called out to me in his sick croaky voice, “Dad, this bridge is in the same place as the Shanghai World Financial Center.” See, his hero Danny Forster did a Build It Bigger about the SWFC. Want to know how tunnel boring machines work? How roller coasters are built? How they built the world’s largest cruise ship? Ask Henry.