Okay, time out for a little confession.

There are parents out there whose children lead lives free of television. Their time is passed sewing artisanal bread, making papier maché furniture and turning cantaloupe rinds into objects of breathtaking beauty that will be passed down from generation to generation. Oh, and I understand they read.

Quite often, that’s us, too. But more than occasionally, there’s a TV on, airing what the broadcasters assure me is educational, quality programming. (For Canadians, there’s about to be a whole new channel of the stuff. Nickelodeon Canada has replaced Discovery Kids.

And my kids seem to be drawn inexorably to the shows that have the most cloyingly catchy themes around. Since we have a) TiVo and b) children with a startling knack for figuring out such gadgets as remote controls, those themes end up being repeated endlessly.

In some cases, I cope by getting into it; I can do a pretty decent performance of The Backyardigans‘ theme song.

In other cases, some part of my mind jumps to my defence, counteracting the carefully policed goodness of children’s culture with a little dose of darkness from the kind of stuff we watch after they’ve gone to bed.

Like, say, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

So when the theme to Mighty Machines comes on, here are the words I hear:

Skynet Machines
Terminator machines
Looking for you, doing lethal things, they’re
Skynet machines

Try to hide
From the homicide
They’ll kill humanity
They’re ready to deploy
With orders to destroy-oy-oy-oy…

I’ll catch myself wondering whether I heard correctly – did Caillou really just threaten to wish his parents into the cornfield? Or I’ll start to imagine news headlines about how a feral chimpanzee attacked and killed his owner, ravaging him so badly he could only be identified by the remaining scraps of his yellow hat.

I can’t be the only one who does this… can I?