Now that Busy Philipps is mom to 3-year-old daughter Birdie, she is choosy about which TV programs she allows her to watch.
“This will make me unpopular, but I can’t stand SpongeBob SquarePants,” the friendly Cougar Town star, 32, tells OK! during the Huggies Hawaiian Luau benefiting Baby2Baby event in Beverly Hills. “It drives me crazy. I hate it. I hate everything about it. It’s funny because Birdie will see SpongeBob somewhere and say ‘Mama does not like SpongeBob.’ It’s just a character out in public, and she knows that I don’t like that.”
What is it about “mindless” SpongeBob that drives her crazy?
“It’s the cartoon, the way it’s drawn, the voices — I’m totally alienating any hope of getting a voiceover job from those people, but it grates on me. I cannot deal with it.”
Instead, Busy keeps Birdie occupied with educational programming.
“We’re really into Super Why and Umizoomi, which are two educational shows that they show on PBS and Nick Jr., but you can get them on Netflix and iTunes,” she says. “Umizoomi is all preschool math-related things about patterns and numbers, and Super Why is letters and reading.”
She adds, “Those are two shows that we love, and then, she loves the Winnie the Pooh movies. We always make sure we have that, and she likes the Disney thing. But the Disney movies get a little scary in parts for her, so they’re not the best thing because it’s more for me to watch with her. We fast forward through the gruesome chapters.”
Now that Memorial Day has passed and summer is fast approaching, Busy looks forward to vacationing with little Birdie and her screenwriter hubby Marc Silverstein, whom she wed in 2007.
Thanks to her Cougar Town co-star and “mothering guru” Christa Miller, who has three children, Busy will have an easier time preventing mid-air meltdowns.
“Don’t let them watch TV or videos for three days before your flight,” Busy says. “Then, they get on the airplane, and they’re so excited to watch a video that you don’t even have to talk to them for hours. [Laughs] You can handle a flight to Hawaii.”
How does that help, and what are her other traveling tips?
“It certainly helps because you don’t want your kids to get bored on a plane,” she explains. “Good plane activities are stickers, coloring and there are these sticker books called UsBorne that come with a bunch of stickers, and then there’s outlines of the things, and you have to match the stickers to the outlines in the books. We do projects that take time and effort. If we’re going to visit someone, we make cards for the person we’re going to see, and then the DVD player is like my best friend when I’m traveling with Birdie."
She continues, “Also, you have to be prepared with snacks because all airlines are so screwy with whether or not they offer food or beverages. When Birdie was a baby, I was denied milk on a plane, which was literally the most horrifying thing that ever happened to me, trying to get her to nap with no bottle. She was a year and a couple months old, and they would not give me milk at all.”
Of course, we couldn’t interview Busy without getting the scoop about her daughter Birdie’s name.
“I don’t know if it’s important, but I think your name somewhat shapes your personality and who you become,” she says. “Being named Busy at 6-months-old is certainly putting a lot on a kid, so I don’t know that I’ve always felt this drive to always be doing something, but I do. I’m always doing something. I’ve always got 47 different things going on. I've always got my hands in 47 different charities that I’m trying to help. A friend of mine asked me the other day, ‘have you always been this way, where you have to be involved with all these different things — you always have to be moving, you always have to be busy.’ I was like, ‘yeah, that’s why my parents started calling me that.’ I don’t know which came first exactly — but I think that I was a busy kid, and then they named me appropriately, and I’ve lived up to it.”
And how is the name Birdie shaping her personality?
“She’s a very unique kid,” Busy says. “We loved the name Birdie after Lady Bird Johnson, and I didn’t want to name her Lady Bird and call her Birdie, because since I grew up with a nickname, I know how difficult it can be. I wanted to name her the thing we were going to call her, so that’s why I named her Birdie.”
Busy supports the Huggies Hawaiian Luau benefiting Baby2Baby. For every pack of Huggies Hawaiian Diapers and Wipes purchased, the brand will diaper a baby in need for a day through the Every Little Bottom program, which helps get diapers to families in need across the county.
For more on Busy, pick up OK! on newsstands now. The cover line is “Russell Begs Katy: Take Me Back!” And catch her tonight on the season finale of Cougar Town, which airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.