Tunette Powell is one of four top blogger candidates hoping to join the momaha team. We’ll have blog posts from each of the finalists this week. Tell us what you think of Tunette’s post by leaving a comment at the end of this column or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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My 17-month-old son, Joah, is…well, he’s a little mean sometimes.
And believe me that was not easy to say. I’m no different than any other parent; I want bragging rights as the mom with the cutest, smartest and most well-behaved children. And for the most part, my children are just that. But there are those days when not even a favorite toy or lullaby can calm Joah. On those days, in between singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and the “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” I whisper old church hymns and recite short prayers.
But a few weeks ago, my prayers were answered. The answer came in the form of a purple dinosaur and public broadcasting. Barney and Friends, according to PBS, is an Emmy Award-winning show for preschoolers. According to me, Barney and Friends is the dimple in Joah’s left cheek. It’s the bright in his smile.
Last week, during a presidential debate, Joah’s left dimple and bright in his smile were threatened. During the debate, Mitt Romney called for cutting federal funding to PBS, according to the Omaha World-Herald on Oct. 5 and anyone who watched the live debate.
“I like PBS. I love Big Bird,” Romney said. “But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”
Immediately after Romney’s comments, thousands of Big Bird tweets and Facebook posts surfaced. And while the country focused solely on Big Bird, I was home thinking about my child. For Joah, who first tuned into Barney and Friends because his 3-year-old brother was in a “dinosaur-only” phase, the PBS-syndicated show has become a household favorite. In just three weeks, Joah has gone from biting and slapping to kissing and hugging. He has gone from standing in front of the TV to sitting on the couch with his eyes glued to it.
Joah has also found one show he and his brother both like watching. So more than a 30-minute show and more than 30 of minutes of peace for me, Barney and Friends offers 30 minutes of bonding for my children. Nothing satisfies my heart more than hearing my children mumble the words, “I love you; you love me; we’re a happy family; with a great big hug and a kiss from me to you; won’t you say you love me, too!”
And while I know if elected or re-elected both presidential candidates will have to take funding away, I hope they do so without taking Joah’s smile.
Tunette Powell, 26, is an inspirational speaker, writing coach and a military mom. The 26-year-old recently graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is the author of “Tunette’s Baby Steps,” a blog offered by the San Antonio Express-News.
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We’ll have blog posts from each of the finalists this week. Make sure to read blog posts from our other candidates, including Lisa McFarland’s “Getting creative with discipline,” Cathy Keck Adcock’s “Give a kid a chance… foster a child” and Chris Donnelly’s “Stop judging how large of family I have.”