How Jimmy Fallon Saved My Morning Milk: A Pump Story

Jimmy Fallon
Photo Credit: NBC


So, we *might* have started a bad habit around here.

Pumping and toddlers don’t really mix, so I’ve been trying out different shows to see what E will watch so I can pump in relative peace. And by peace, I mean not chasing him while trying to keep all the milk in the bottles and the pump attached while redirecting him with one hand and carrying my pump in the other.

Pro Tip: Toddlers love to be chased, especially when you are doing something that is completely inconducive to running and hopping about.  Like pumping. 

The thing is, my son doesn’t like television in general, and possesses a special loathing for children’s TV.  Dora the Explorer? Nope.  Calliou? Oh, hell no.  Sesame Street? Ask me again and I’ll cut you.

E actually turns the television off, and then violently shakes his head no while simultaneously shouting “all done”.  Apparently, when you’re 20 months old, you have strong feelings about the kind of media you are willing to consume.  And kids’ shows just don’t work for him.

So, I turned on Jimmy Fallon one morning out of sheer desperation.  To be clear, this was for my sanity, not E’s. I know. I was breaking ALL of the good parent screen rules.  But great golly, my boobs were like fully loaded water balloons and they were about to burst. Jimmy is typically pretty clean, and is a big kid himself. Plus, The Roots is his house band so I know my son would be exposed to quality music. I wasn’t particularly proud of this parenting choice, but I HAD TO PUMP.

I fired up Hulu, and from the first jazzy strains of  The Tonight Show’s “Hey hey hey HEY!” theme song, E was transfixed.  He danced while The Roots played.  He clapped with the rest of the audience when Jimmy came out on stage. He laughed at the funny jokes, and smiled during the silly games and skits Jimmy did with his guests.  He even pulled out his pink ukulele to play along with the musical guest. And as soon as it was over, he turned the TV off.

Now E wakes up, gives me a big smile and sweet cuddle, then points to the TV as soon as we come out of his room.  He wants Jimmy.  I’ve created a monster. A tiny, Jimmy Fallon-loving, The Roots-dancing creature who wants to start his day with a diapered-booty shake and belly laugh.  I can’t blame him, really.

Maybe I should feel appalled and ashamed that my toddler starts his day in front of the TV. Maybe I should feel guilty as any decent mother would because I’m breaking The Rules.  But I don’t.  I’m crazy thankful for the opportunity to pump in peace while we are both entertained and share some giggles together.  We have plenty of time for play later when the milk is made and Jimmy is over and the TV is off.  And if watching 40 minutes of TV is the worst thing that happens today, I’m okay with that.  In fact, I’M GREAT WITH THAT.

Thank you, Jimmy Fallon. You are toddler magic.

Love and Milk,
Pumping in Portland

PS~ If you want a really great belly laugh, watch this.


  1. Christina says

    We just had twins with a 2 an almost 4 yr old at home as well- talk about pumping! Our saving grace has been American Idol. I’ve never been a fan but I was so tired of cartoons and it’s a clean show. It is incredibly entertaining to my 4 yr old and fuels his imagination all day! I am so thankful for our tv and hulu in this stage of our lives… No shame!

  2. says

    Ha! First post of yours I’ve seen and I’ll be coming back. In parenting, now I say: Whatever works, as long as it’s decent. Jimmy is a great idea. My 2 preschoolers watch YouTube on my phone most mornings during the baby’s first nursing. I don’t pump then so don’t have the portability excuse, but I’m just too tired to play or even really talk with them yet. Worth it.

  3. says

    My nine month old loves Jeopardy. When she hears the theme she stops what she is doing and crawls over to my husband’s chair so she can watch it with her papa.

  4. Katie says

    Mine has been a sci-fy buff since birth. Stargate, Dr. Who, Eureka, Warehouse 13, etc. All time favorite is Ghost hunters.


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