Today, I have a guest post from Robyn of Hollow Tree Ventures, where she writes about her five kids (FIVE KIDS!!!), her grammar-related pet peeves (never say something is "literally tearing you apart," unless the thing that's upsetting you is a wild Bengal tiger in your living room) and her un-pinterest-worthy crafts.

In addition to blogging, Robyn has been rewriting some of the most popular childrens television shows so they are more palatable for parents. For instance, Max (of Max & Ruby fame) would really fare better in a show where there is logic, justice and of course, JAIL.

Then, when we plop our kids in front of the TV, maybe we will feel compelled to watch it with them…


If you spend much time on the internet, you'll occasionally hear some complaints about children's television programming – and it's no small wonder.

My school-agers love those insipid shows geared toward pre-teens. You've probably seen them – they feature painfully hip, spaghetti-thin youngsters perpetually clad in skinny jeans, ironic t-shirts, and sparkly vests. The characters live in trendy lofts, ritzy hotels, or boarding schools for the criminally artistic, and they're always on the cusp of stardom thanks to their singing/dancing/acting abilities which, as far as I can tell, are completely imaginary. They are also side-splittingly funny, or so the laugh track tells me. They never seem to have any responsibilities, a shortage of money, or parents, and I routinely fight the urge to drive to the lot where they're filming and punch them directly in the face.

Meanwhile, my youngest is largely stuck with a selection of mind-numbingly saccharin toddler shows, condescending even by a baby's standards. They either sing at her for 23 minutes about whether or not she should bite her friends, or encourage her to do stupid things I normally oppose, like yell at the television in a vain attempt to communicate with cartoon animals.

Either way, that can't be very good for her development.

I humbly submit Exhibit A, a photo of my baby viewing Yo Gabba Gabba for the first time.


You can almost hear her brain cells screaming for mercy.

All in all, there's hardly anything on television I can stand to listen to from the other room, let alone feel good about my kids watching. So I decided to do something about it; I took several popular TV shows and vastly improved their watchability, for both parents and children alike.

Okay, maybe it's just for the parents…

6:00AM : To occupy those early risers, tune in to this reworked classic, now fortified with previously missing concepts such as logic, consequences, and sweet, sweet justice.

7:30AM : Mid-morning is the perfect time to remind kids that, no matter how unfair it is that you won't let them have ice cream for breakfast or play on the iPad for more than six hours in a row, they're pretty much stuck with you anyway. The wide world is a scary place.

12:00PM : Tune in to something educational at lunchtime. Kids love dinosaurs and mysteries, so they'll surely enjoy being entertained each afternoon as scientists test various extinction theories.

4:00PM : After school is such a hectic time – you have dinner to cook, blogs to read, and kids to distract. Go ahead and let them watch this (slightly more realistic) new pre-teen offering. What it lacks in overly hip luxury accommodations, it more than makes up for in motivation to stay in school.

7:30PM : As your brood winds down for bedtime, it's the perfect opportunity to remind your kids what kind of behavior you expect – and that you're pretty serious about them staying tucked in. With the light out. And no complaints about monsters. Or requests for the other parent to come in for the fifteenth time. Because let's not forget – Mommy has duct tape.

10:00PM : With the kids asleep and/or deported, you've earned some Me Time. Settle in with your favorite beverage for a new Food Network show, a spin-off that gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at one of your baby's favorites. It addresses your love of culinary experimentation – without making you feel inadequate or getting into Pinterest-level difficulty.



Read more from Robyn at Hollow Tree Ventures and follow her on facebook.