No Cartooning

“Here, watch Doraemon while I finish some cooking”.

“Okay”, chime the two.

I hurry to the kitchen, to finish preparing lunch.

No Cartooning

It’s a Saturday and since everyone gets up late on Saturdays, breakfast was delayed and subsequently, so was lunch.

Within minutes of my entering the kitchen, my 4-year old twins give me company.

“What happened?? Why aren’t you watching TV?”

They don’t bother to reply. Instead, my daughter Lui asks me which vegetable I’d like her to give me from the fridge.

“Tomatoes please”, I reply and add,” Would you like songs?? Shall I put on some music??”

“YES!!”, they yell, totally kicked about  hearing their favourite Dhinka-Chika (or ANY Salman number, for that matter). So I wander back to the drawing room, flip through a few music channels and there, indeed to my delight, plays a Salman number. The kids are immediately besotted.

I rush back to the kitchen to wrap up the cooking.

“Mumma… you too come and watch”, little Shobby, my son, pleads.

“I can’t dear. You go ahead and watch. I’ll wrap up and join you”.

“No Mumma… you also come”.

When I insist that I cannot, Shobby runs out to the drawing room and complains to his sister that their mother has refused to join them!

Lui, indignant at this slight by the mother, thunders into the kitchen.

“Why you are not coming”, her little nose quivers.

“Sweetie, I need to finish cooking dear. You go and watch, I’ll join you”.

“Then give me colours. I want to draw”.

“Me too”, chirps Shobby.

So I give them blank sheets of paper and crayons and the two are busy doodling, sitting on the kitchen floor, while I’m busy cooking.

And for the umpteenth time, I wonder why my kids don’t like television.  Before you get me wrong, it isn’t because the twins crave my company. 🙂 They do, but not all the time.

We aren’t a very television-loving family. None of us at home (5 adults) follows any program or serial. If in the mood, we switch it on for a few minutes, watch whatever comes on screen and then switch it off again. When the kids were younger, I was strictly against them watching TV, cartoons or otherwise. For nearly three years of their initial life, the kids were TV deprived. In their fourth year, I started showing them Animal Planet, something they delighted in, especially programs on deep-sea marine life . Now, when they are about to step into their fifth year and I try to distract them with television, it backfires on me. There are times when I want to spend some time by myself, reading a book or just lazing around. The kids, unused to being stuck in front of the TV, insist that I participate in their games, that I sit with them and draw or sometimes, just talk to them as they go about their ‘work’. Frankly, I wonder why my kids can’t just watch the cartoons for a while and give me a breather!

And then, when I visit relatives and friends and see how their kids are glued to the television set, I send a thankful prayer to the one above, for giving me the sense to limit the TV watching for the twins. They aren’t charmed by it now, but it won’t be long before they too get addicted to it. But till then, I don’t have to worry about them turning into couch potatoes or wearing spectacles with soda-bottle glasses!

Sure, I need to devise ways to keep them busy. Heck, everyone at home has to chip in, to keep the twins occupied.

The one good that has come out of this is that my children like books. They can’t read yet, but they sure love going through picture books, science books and sometimes, even my novels which don’t have pictures in them. They like figuring out the alphabets and sometimes, they pretend to read a story. 🙂

I think I will get them comics. That way, at least they would get to know the cartoon characters! I mean, my kids don’t care for Tom and Jerry!! Tom and Jerry!!! That’s sacrilege, isn’t it?!!

Noorulayn Syed is a full-time wife, professional, daughter-in-law and an all-time mother (that’s because she wanted to be a mother since she was knee-high). Find more posts on her twins at

  • Thank goodness they don’t like Doraemon – that programme gives me a headache! And kudos to you for getting them interested in so many other things other than TV – as for me – I have succumbed. After a long tiring day of keeping up with Kidlet’s activities and demands, I must confess I do switch on the TV! Mea Culpa!

    • No No.
      Taking out time for yourself (in any way that relaxes you) isn’t wrong!!
      Your watching TV for a few minutes is not going to scar your child 🙂
      Its when children are addicted, that we have a problem!!

  • raodivya

    I share your view too and I restrict my daughter’s TV viewing. Watch out for my post on TV, coming soon 🙂

    • Yup!!
      Looking forward to it 🙂

  • Sirisha

    Way to go! Keep it up! TV in it’s current
    form is the worst I feel! I cannot make out what sense do Doremon or Shinchan etc make! My nephew was constantly watching this two serials. That when I decided No TV till 2 for my girl. Now that she is two, I show only 15 mins of CBeebies once in morning and once in evening.
    I make her my little helper with all things I do around the house! She loves that..
    I see my TV at night after she is tucked into sleep. Little compromise but it goes a long way!

    • Thats a wonderful approach Sirisha.
      Little kids don’t need parents who can’t drag their eyes away from the TV while the kids are clamoring for their attention.
      Also, parents shouldn’t have to drag the kids away from the TV.
      TV is just a temporary entertainment…..better to limit it to just that and nothing more 🙂

  • Fab

    My son was, as you say, ‘TV Deprived’ for more than three years. But then he did watch Barney and Baby Einstein DVDs. Nowadays, however, he is hooked onto CBeebies!! I find myself humming songs from CBeebies now!!

    • Ceebeebies has some good educational programs. I do believe some kids benefit from that particular channel.

  • Would definitely be sacrilegious to not like Tom and Jerry! 😀

    • I know!!!
      🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Rushi

    Thanks for sharing this. Your account was inspiring. I can understand how difficult it is sometimes to get time by yourself/ keep inventing games/ work for children but I know it is worth it!

    I have a 10 month old daughter. From a year before pregnancy me and my hubby got sick of things at TV and decided to quit watching it altogether. We have a TV but the Tata sky connection goes live only when either of our parents come. It is such a relief not having TV. We all talk to eachother more. There is no constant noise and we all love reading too :>


    • This is exactly how it should be!!
      Family time does not mean only watching TV together.
      There is so much that a family can do together.
      Kudos to you for resisting the temptation 🙂

  • wish I could reign in a little more TV discipline in my kids; I too succumb to the ‘watch tv, I will wrap up’ line. Nice article noor

    • Thanks Priya 🙂

  • I am that way too. I don’t watch TV but my husband switches it on during weekends to catch on some movies. But on our regular routine the’s no TV. I even forget we own one. TV is very addictive and even spending 3-4 hours watching it, you feel you have not done anything. So I rather use my time doing simething else. Besides, even when you ar watching TV, you get distracted and little children get hurt. My son is 15 months right now, and neither I nor he knlws anything about any cartoon. I even hate cartoon character merchandise. Actually it is a vicious circle, first cartoons, then merchandise and then theme parties…ughh!

    • Theme parties!! Goes right up spine, I tell you!!
      And I hope someone puts a stop to the shameless plugging of merchandise for children !!
      The last I saw, there was a ‘Perfume’ specially for kids!
      Now really!! Why do kids need perfume?? They don’t even have properly developed sweat glands 😐 !!!

  • thats good that lui and shobby dont like TV, hugs to darling wanting to be with you.. Bunty too doesnt like watching TV, but likes to be around me what ever i do, she like to be outdoor most of the times. she needs people around her . i too tried putting cartoon for her to escape from her, but its all vain.

    • LOL!!
      Enjoy this time, when she loiters around you…because pretty soon, before you know it, kids will want to maintain distance from their parents 😀
      I got my kids Dora books and they are pretty useful. The kids like the nice bright-coloured pages, plus, they learn from it .
      So, all’s well 🙂

  • Honestly, I don’t know how you do it all, Noor! Bless you for keeping them away from the habit, and bless them for not getting addicted when they did watch the telly. I know that it can be a pain to constantly keep them entertained, but it kinda keeps us away from the telly-habit too, na?

    • LOL!!!
      Nothing difficult about it Pal.
      Frankly, everyone at home is so busy throughout the day that we have very little time for television.
      My in-laws are least interested, unless watching news and the rest of us adults catch up with anything interesting, on the net (Youtube Zindabad 😀 ).
      The twins got used to the blank TV screen. Even when we do switch it on, there is no regular program that they watch, so the interest levels are low 🙂

  • Always a delight to read about Lui and Shobby! 🙂

  • Great post Noor. Have to admit your kids are always in character. 🙂 It really is great to keep them away from the television. Mine get restricted time but they never tire of begging for it at every opportunity. It’s a struggle.
    PS: You’re pretty.