Don't you just love watching the same episode of "Modern Family" over and over? I don't mean two or three times. I mean for a month straight. Back to back, every night. Talk about fun!
And how about reading that one page of your book 20 times in a row? It just keeps getting more interesting!
False. Such repetition can drive an adult insane. But that is not the case for a toddler.
CeCe has what I am hoping is a healthy obsession with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She reacts to Mickey's face like a 12-year-old girl to Justin Bieber. At first I enjoyed the Mousketools song and was grateful that Mickey and the gang could distract my baby long enough for me to fold some laundry or brush my teeth.
But as time went on and the rewind button got plenty of action, the thrill is gone. For me, at least. CeCe is still rocking and rolling with the Clubhouse. How many times can a child watch the same 24 minute sequence and be entertained? The answer is: as many times as they want.
The same is true for books. CeCe loves to turn the pages as we read to her and claps each time we finish a book. And then she wants to read that book another 16 times. The problem is, baby books average about 20 words. For the entire book. And the plot lines are usually thin, with very little character development.
Suffering through the continual rotation of Mickey and dramatic readings of "Moo, Baa, LaLaLa" are tedious, but I realize the importance of these actions.
Repetition gives toddlers a sense of empowerment. They know what is coming up next and that is a big feeling for a child experiencing new things so often. It is a personal victory that she can predict what is on that next page of the book. She feels secure in our routine of playtime, books, Mickey, then bed.
I see many more nights of the same TV show and same stories in our future, and many more nights of plotting to "accidentally" lose the Sandra Boynton books for a few weeks. Maybe if I keep reminding myself of the benefits it will make the "Groundhog Day" feeling less intense each evening.