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From early on in our parenting journey, Noggin was our friend. The “It’s like Preschool…on TV” cartoon network ran 24/7, included quality programming that was age-appropriate for our daughter and was commercial-free. When Noggin became Nick Jr. a few years later, nothing changed except for the name.

It wasn’t until Kate, our oldest, began preschool that I realized how she really never asked us for things. There was never any begging for toys, she was blissfully unaware of so many of the toy trends that her new classmates collected, and we could go in and out of Target without any “Oh please, oh please, buy this for me!” whining.

I knew there wasn’t anything I had specifically done to prevent the standard-issue begging for toys behavior. Though upon further reflection of Kate’s daily life, I realized that she really hadn’t ever been exposed to commercials to see and hear about the latest, most amazing toy at the store.

It was through the grace of Nick Jr. that those savvy advertisers never stood a chance at clawing their way into my child’s mind.

Kudos to Nick Jr, I thought. This network is all we’ll ever turn on for our kids. We’ll breeze through the Begging Years, feeling victorious with our accidental parenting excellence.

Then right when I thought we had reached an age where we’d be in the clear with Kate, this conversation happened.

So much for commercial-free, eh?

Now I need to visit to give my name and email address to a TV network in exchange for coloring pages and a t-shirt. Both things that we have in excess at home.

Well played, Nick Jr. Well played.