"Mommy, Daddy and Me" (8:30 tonight, Channel 26), WETA's half-hour "special" on changes in the American family, is a trivial little production with some darling kids, a couple of poignant moments and too little of Dr. Benjamin Spock.
Somehow the program never gets around to making any point beyond the stated facts that there is a lot of divorce around, that latchkey children exist, that single mothers have a hard life. I think we've been getting that message for some time.
Dr. Spock, the ultimate baby guru of our century, who is promoted as a major feature on this program, talks for a total of about two minutes about how day-care centers can be bad for kids and lay a guilt trip on parents. But the bits of day care we get to see are no more ominous than a cute little girl forgetting to wear a smock and getting her dress paint-dappled, and Spock is essentially wasted because reporter Sheila Banks fails to evoke any substantive responses.
As has been the case with WETA specials before, the examples are sanitized, squeaky-clean-living, middle-class folk whose lives may not be easy, but who do seem to be free of cold, hunger, drugs, child abuse or any of the other, all too prevalent dangers of our age.
There are some lovely and poignant answers about families and divorce from Washington elementary school children, but they don't come soon enough or last long enough to save this half-hour from its chief fault -- terminal boringness.