I’m a 21st Century American Parent. I read all the experts to stay up-to-the-minute on how my baby should and shouldn’t eat, sleep, dress, play. I know that babies shouldn’t be watching T.V. But very occasionally we are watching T.V., and the baby happens to see. Usually we have it off if baby’s in the room, but Saturday was one of those rare exceptions, which, as it so happens, resulted a brilliant shift in the quality of our family’s life together.

The hubs and I have a Saturday ritual. It involves eating lunch in our pajamas and watching Bill Mahr, which we DVR’d from the night before. (If you don’t know the show, it’s a political talk show hosted by a comedian. Kind of a cross between The Daily Show and Meet the Press.)

Anyway, we’ve got a projector mounted on the ceiling of our apartment that shoots an 8 foot by 4.5 foot image on the wall. Naturally baby is super interested in these larger-than-life faces, images, and lights. Again, we try to keep the T.V. off if baby’s around, but if he is, we position his play mat and him on it such that he can’t really watch it so successfully.

Thing is, the bub’s getting pretty mobile these days. Mostly he’s been flipping onto his belly, then amusing himself greatly doing superman planks or drooling all over his balled up fists or trying to eat his blanket. When he gets tired of that, he tries to flip back onto his back by uselessly kicking and doing some flailing swimming-type motions until he cries and we flip him back over. Of course, I don’t mind flipping him back over, but it would be great if he could learn to do it himself, since we’re currently on an every-quarter-of-the-hour flipping schedule, which gets to be a lot. (I’m sure there’s a pancake joke in here somewhere.)

Well, this Saturday the hubs and I decided start our ritual during breakfast some reason instead of lunch, so the babe was awake instead of sleeping like he’d usually be at this time. And he was on his tummy. And he was real interested in Bill Mahr’s jokes about the Republican primaries.

So interested that he pushed himself up on his baby fists, craned his neck back to see the screen… and flipped onto his back. For the first time.

We, of course, got super excited and started clapping and shouting “Yaaay!” Baby had a different take on the whole experience (scared himself? bumped his head?) and started crying.

Either way I gotta thank the wonders of television for helping me and my family out of what might have been two or three more weeks of flipping. Bill Mahr, I owe you one.