Just another day, show reviews, and The Rash that Ate San Francisco

We knew that this injury was going to change all sorts of things in our lives, but no matter what we thought, we weren’t prepared for the reality.  Maybe, I’m working on this idea, you are NEVER prepared for the reality.  I wasn’t prepared for children, I can tell you, and we had 9 months lead time to work on that.  But that’s probably a post for another time.

Gabriel is not a sedentary child.  He runs around everywhere, like a lot of two-year-olds.  Sitting still is hard for him, but he’ll do it – fortunately he likes TV, especially basketball and kids shows on KBYU.  Apropos of this, in the hope that it will be of benefit to other parents, here are some short reviews of a few of the possibilities:

Word Girl: Cute show, animated in that style that you see so much of these days, where people use computers that could launch the Space Shuttle to make animation that looks like it was created by a 4-year-old.  It’s not heavy on words, despite the title.  Reminded me a lot of Power Puff Girls, and I don’t mean that in a good way.  We use this one to put Gabriel to sleep on hard days.

Word World: Gabriel’s favorite.  I like this one entirely because of that.  It IS clever.  Everything in the world is made up of words, and the main characters, a sheep, a duck, and a pig, with assorted hangers-on like bear and ant, go around having adventures and fixing things by changing letters around.  I find it unwatchable, myself, but as I say, this is the favorite.  Episodes available on Netflix streamed over the web.  Thank goodness.

Super Why: I don’t even know what to say about this show.  Part of me appreciates the cleverness of the concept, taking little animated kids (this show’s animation is actually quite professional 3-D) and turning them into the Super Readers, so they can go solve problems by learning to read.  Part of me thinks the show is the single most annoying thing I’ve ever seen, because it’s one of those incredibly patronizing shows that asks your kid to “interact” with the kids on the screen, where they pause, ask you to say your name, look at you and ask you questions, all that.  But I hear my four-year-old talking to the TV and naming off letters and reading words along with the show.  That’s not nothing, as my favorite TV character once said.  Watch out for the jingles (of which there are several hundred).  They will get stuck in your head.  This is not something to wish for.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That: I’m confessing.  I love this show.  Most Seussian knockoffs (this is even worse for Milne/Pooh knockoffs, which are universally awful in almost every respect) don’t work because the writers aren’t capable of being even half as clever as Geisel was, but they imitate the style, and that gives me a rash, sort of like Vanilla Ice rapping.  But this one does it the other way around, going for clever first and style second.  It doesn’t try to rhyme all the time  – face it, Geisel was a master at this, and there are few to match him – but it preserves the whimsical style without attempting to make the show as if Seuss wrote it.  They do learn interesting things, and if I don’t hold much with adventure being the point of existence – a Jedi craves not these things, if I recall correctly – it’s entertaining and I find it eminently watchable, a significant bonus.

Dinosaur Train:  I’ve never been able to get through a single episode of this (“one, two, three toes!  It must be a Therapod!”  Seriously?).  But my kids love it.  It’s not offensive, I just don’t get it, except the part where the real-life paleontologist comes out and explains that we don’t actually know anything at all about any of the creatures we’re animating during the show.  I like that part.  And the jingle is catchy, but doesn’t grate.  A real bonus.

Sid the Science Kid: Cannot. Watch.  We turn it off.  Maybe the kids would like it, but we’re not going to find out.

I’d love to hear yours.  I know my sister loved Phineas and Ferb, but we don’t get into Disney or Cartoon Network shows here.  Except for Boomerang, because of Tom and Jerry, which for some reason my kids could watch all day.


Gabriel has a flaming “diaper” rash, which is not in the place his diapers go.  It’s in the surrounding area under the cast, where air doesn’t circulate and the cast is wet and slimy.  As hard as we try to keep it dry, it’s just impossible.  We have been doing the following:

  • augmenting the diaper with a dry washcloth to add additional absorbency
  • using two kinds of diaper rash ointment in alternating 6-10 hour shifts
  • drying the cast as best we can by aiming a cool hairdryer into the open parts
  • praying
  • letting him lie on his stomach for a half hour a few times a day

This seems to be helping.  It’s getting better, though I doubt that it will come all better until the cast comes off.  He’s not in any pain from the broken leg anymore, so he can lie on his stomach without pain, but not without eventual discomfort.  Keeping crumbs out of his cast is a difficulty as well, though not as difficult as we thought it might be, because he hardly eats.

And that’s a problem as well, that we’re not sure how to fix.  Gabriel doesn’t want to eat much.  We get a few bites of things into him, but he’s done fast.  He’s eating less than half what he used to (although he was always a picky eater).  He has good energy, though, and seems good.

He is also actually sleeping.  Two nights in a row, all through the night.  He won’t sleep in his bed upstairs, so we end up with him down in his spot on the couch (now fortified with a plastic mattress pad), but at least he’s sleeping and Jeanette and I are feeling a bit more normal.  I’m pretty sure the rash was the thing that was making him sleep poorly.  We couldn’t see it, because for two weeks he couldn’t really move at all because of the pain from the leg.  So I suppose it was inevitable, but it still made us feel like horrible parents.

I wouldn’t trade this.  I get great time holding Gabriel while Jeanette does his diaper and washes him.  It’s a blessed time for me, in spite of it all.  Or perhaps because of it all.  Have to think about that one, too.

8 Responses to “Just another day, show reviews, and The Rash that Ate San Francisco”

  • Lorri Randle says:

    We LOVE word world-they have an iPhone app and thats how we found out about the show. Scoots knows how to spell simple words because of this.
    Super Why-Pig is our favorite. And now the regular alphabet song sounds so boring… Scoots doesn’t interact, but when he plays with his cars or lego men, they act out the situations and solutions that come up in Super Why.

    You should try some clifford-we bought a dvd pack for like $15. It has 52 episodes-we got it in January and are on disc 3 of 5. One new disc a month.

    Its different, but scooter got blister rashes when he was a baby on antibiotics for his pneumonia. The ONLY ointment that helped was the Country Comfort Herbal Savvy Comfrey Aloe Very-sold at the harvest fresh stores or here for $1 cheaper on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Herbal-Savvy-Comfrey-Aloe-Vera/dp/B0001ZZK0O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=beauty&qid=1299690264&sr=8-1
    We have a few in our emergency supply store if you’d like to try some…

    Try smoothies-and put some yummy carrots or corn in it so he gets some hidden veggies. Will he do smoothies. Milk with some fresh or frozen fruit and a little almond or coconut extract…

    I hope that everything heals properly and the time-while cherished is short for Gabriel’s sake…

    • chrisjones says:

      Here’s why you need a Pepper Potts, like the one I have: Jill saw your comment, did some research, found the stuff, went out, bought it, and it’s now on our son’s butt. I’ll review that, and other creams, down the road here. But the point is that Jill is absolutely incredible, and when she goes off and does Mom things it’s like having my right hand cut off. The end.

      Pig is also our favorite, Lorri. Love his little toolbox.

      And we’re doing the smoothie thing. I cannot believe I didn’t think about that. When Jeanette was pregnant with Nicholas and not gaining weight, she was put on bed rest and I fed her thick vanilla shakes fortified with egg and cream cheese and fruit. If you haven’t tried this, do not do it. You’ll never be able to eat regular shakes again. You’ve never tasted creaminess and flavor in a shake until you’ve done this. And only 2400 calories a glass!

  • Catherine says:

    Funny, Cat In The Hat is one of my least favorites. The kids are shouty (a la Dora the Explorer) and I can’t figure out that they really learn anything. My boys like it though so that has to count for something. They also love Dinosaur Train, which I hate. Curious George is a good one, and I actually like Word Girl. It is funny to me how much I value PBS Kids programming and yet contribute nothing financially to the station (aside from taxes). But I don’t have to. They will be there whether I do or not because of tax supplements. If the federal government does manage to get out of that racket, I would absolutely give PBS money. Probably more than they would expect me to give during a fund drive.

    • chrisjones says:

      Yeah, my next post is going to be about Medicare, why we won’t take any, and other government stuff. We’re weird, and I’m not advocating for anything. But I need to explain, given the comments I get.

      I did forget about Curious George, which I actually like. It’s incredibly dumb, but then, it’s a kids show. They can’t all be Bugs Bunny. And it isn’t offensively dumb, and I did learn how to build a metal detector the other day. So there’s that.

  • Sara says:

    It won’t make it easier to bear, but remember, Gabriel’s activity level is essentially now at just what he needs to “be” rather than what it was before, which was what he needed to walk and run and tumble and all that.

    In order to “be” right now, his body needs to heal, and that will take some energy (gas in the tank) but since he’s immobile, he isn’t expending much more than that. So, it’s not surprising that his appetite is satiated quickly.

    Keep hitting the smoothies w/ hidden veggies and fruits and even some protein powder if you can mix it up creamy enough so that he won’t taste the grit. Once he’s out of that cast, and back to moving around, I bet his appetite picks back up.

    Glad to hear that you’re establishing a “new normal” with regard to sleeping. Peace and patience to you!

  • Gordon Jones says:

    Stassano yogurt, oatmeal, cocoa powder and sugar. Eat with a cornet of frites, sauce pickels. Of course you have to go to Belgium to get Stassano yogurt (or yoghurt, as they spell it there).


  • Leslie Christofferson says:

    There is an essential oil called lavender. Molly cuts it in half with olive oil. They make a spritzer or you can use a dropper, etc. Should cure the rash quickly and smells fabulous. Call Molly and ask her.

  • Phineas and Ferb, I’m telling you. It’s not educational but it is entertaining and clever. And the music is great. Also it’s available streaming on Netflix.

    Glad the blow dryer is helping.

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