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I miss the ‘Wild Kratts’ days

What I’m about to say may seem impossible if you’re deep in the trenches of little kids, held hostage to their favorite TV shows. But it’s true: I long for the days when we – my husband and two young sons – sat together in front of the TV watching Wild crates. It started for us when my youngest son was 3, and my oldest son was 5, or thereabouts. And it started with the PBS show (which we streamed on Amazon) and quickly turned into a love for their books. There I felt a deep kinship with the Kratt brothers for a while. And I miss them very much.

It helps that they got us through the pandemic. Sure, our love for the show started before COVID, but man, we watched it a lot of during those early days of spring 2020. For weeks all we talked about was the damn tortuga – what otherwise Was there anything to talk about that wasn’t extremely depressing? – or my husband and I would inexplicably have “Big Yellow Taxi” stuck in our heads because an episode vaguely referenced it. I even gasped, much like Donita Donata’s fashion sense (girlfriend has a very strong earring game) and said so repeatedly, causing my husband to deeply roll his eyes.

As a parent, I loved that the kids learned something – and I mean really, really learned – from watching TV, and I also loved that I got 25 minutes to get some work done. But I am also deeply grateful for the love and curiosity of animals and the conservation awareness this has inspired in my children.

Chris and Martin, bless them, taught me so much about animals (most of which I have forgotten). When the world opened up we took the children to their traveling exhibition to much excitement. It was cool to love animals; it was cool to be curious. We took the kids to the Bronx Zoo – honestly, every outdoor zoo we could find in the nearby tri-state area – to look at red pandas and African wild dogs and all the other not-so-obvious animals they were introduced to. the brothers. My youngest son played for hours with his completely random, second-rate zoo stuffed animals in his room. That certainly helped us through the second wave of COVID.

I look back on this time fondly, obviously not because of the pandemic that swirled around us, but because of the closeness it brought to our family. It was something my kids agreed to watch. We watched the show, of course, but also the longer specials and even online videos about the places they visited on the show. It brought us together.

That’s something I really want now, four years later, while my kids watch Fortnite videos and idiotic YouTubers (I know, I know I can and will tell them to switch videos, but on some somehow they always come back to those rich idiots) on their individual iPads. Now they’re a teenager and an 8-year-old, deep into the sport. My oldest son would definitely rather watch something inappropriate (he’s asked to watch some real doozies of TV shows) than watch anything all together.

During that very scary time, the Kratts were a silver lining. Their show gave us a teachable moment when educational TV was still cool for them. So do yourself a favor if you have young children, look Wild crates with them. You’ll have a lot more fun than you think. And to Chris and Martin – thanks guys.