Sometimes I rely upon the Internet to help me raise my child. I actually don't read parenting message boards very much, but sometimes I use Youtube. Specifically, I have discovered that certain music videos captivate my son long enough to get him to sit quietly on my lap for three minute segments. Since he is a perpetual motion machine, and a shouty, talky, singy, sometimes-whiny one at that, those three minutes can feel like little miracles sometimes.
This works for me because I like music videos and have heard enough about horrible children's programming to know better than to risk getting stuck inside a "Caillou" vortex (we have one show: "Rolie Polie Olie," which I praised to Rob Walker here.) The trick for me is curating a collection of music videos that are both captivating enough to keep his attention (a live performance video is too boring) but also something that feels appropriate for a one-and-a-half-year-old. I don't mind Katy Perry's boobies, for instance, because her videos are basically live-action cartoons (and boobs are not bad, either, don't forget that), but I felt weird screening "Timber," because it's basically just a stereotypical beer commercial featuring anonymous sexy women in video form and I feel like Paul is going to be so bombarded by that type of stuff throughout his life, I feel like he can wait a few years at the very least.
Below are the videos that work for both of us on a regular basis. But it's not a very long list. So tell me below in the comments: what music videos does your child enjoy that you can stand and/or feel okay about watching at the same time?