Most nights, while I make dinner, my wife watches the MonkeyBear. Normally he leaves her in the living room to try and climb up me while I'm cooking to get at whatever it is that I'm making for dinner that night.
Monday night my wife was gone at her weekly master's class so it was just me and the MonkeyBear for dinner. First we spent some time wrestling and playing with his trucks. Then we started an episode of Sesame Street and sat on the couch. Once he was enjoying watching "How many hats can you wear on your head day" I slipped into the kitchen to make dinner (sneaking back to check on him).
I'm going to stop for a second and say I am not a parent to let the TV babysit while I get to do other things. But I'm also not a TV nazi, forbidding more than 30 minutes of TV a day. Normally if the TV is on Skippy Jr. is not sitting there zombiefied while I surf the internet for funny videos on youtube. Nor is the TV on adult programming for me to watch while he plays in a corner. That being said, yes, the TV is on a decent amount on the time in our house. I often try to change that by playing music instead of watching TV, but normally we leave the TV on either children's TV, news, or game shows when Skippy Jr. is in the room.
OK so he's on the couch watching "the Street" while I start making dinner in the kitchen. He sat for 5 minutes on the couch watching Elmo and crew laughing, clapping and squealing when the dreamy Abby Cadabby came on the screen.
Then I said something to him and broke the spell. He came in signing "eat" so I gave him his snack trap and he went back in, sat in the floor and watched 5 more minutes of the show while I finished making dinner. Then we sat and ate while listening to music and dancing in our chairs in the kitchen. No crying, no whining to be picked up, no burned food.
Who says TV is bad?