Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pulling The Plug

Last week, while we were all sick and dying a slow death of boredom due to the severely cold temps outdoors, we relied heavily on our favorite babysitter. Maybe you you've heard of him.

His name is television. You can call him TV for short.

It was easy and, in all honestly, it was necessary. Even though Brian worked from home on Thursday to help out, he still needed to be on the phone and on his computer for a lot of the time.

I, on the other hand, could not move a muscle without bellyaching profusely. And Lucy joined me in that camp.

Three-year-olds aren't generally known to be the most quiet or the most independent-playing creatures on earth so to make it work, we flipped a switch and viola! An instantly hypnotized little boy. Like magic. Only magic, in this case, turns your brain (and behavior!) to mush.

Things got bad. Tantrums. Whining. Talking back. Yelling. Thrashing. Crying. More whining. Sleeplessness. Rudeness. And even more whining.

It was ugly.

And I can't say I blame the kid. I would probably be the same way if someone made me watch hours of Handy Manny, Super Why and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It's like chewing the same piece of gum for days. Ugh!

So on Sunday, when we were all feeling much more chipper and healthy, I declared there would be no TV this week.

Yesterday William woke up at 8:00. We ate breakfast together. Then he helped me feed Lucy breakfast. He danced while I nursed her. When Lucy went down for her morning nap I carried the big toy box up from the basement. Content for hours was that kid.

At 11:00 I said we could have a snack in the basement while mommy did some computer work. William LOVES snacks. Mostly because I hardly ever hand them out because I'm trying to make him a better meal-eater first.

Once in the basement with our cup of graham crackers I pulled out another long-lost toy box. He was so consumed with all of his forgotten toys that he actually FORGOT to eat his snack.

During lunch he was the most pleasant three-year-old on earth. Lucy was still sleeping so he and I ate together and had ourselves a pleasant little conversation.

After naps it was time for some fresh air. Even for miss crabby pants Lucy.

We only walked about eight blocks but we walked those eight blocks very slowly. We stopped to admire some snowmen. We stopped to wave to the puppy in the window. We stopped to move "boulders" (ice chunks) off the sidewalk. We stopped to watch the big boys sliding with their snowtubes.

We had one crying episode but that was only because he slipped on the ice and fell on his bum. Luckily his fall was muffled by the extra padding from his snowpants so he popped up pretty fast and said, "I'm OK!"

When it's necessary, I'm thankful the TV is there. Even if it's only for five minutes so I can go to the bathroom by myself or put the baby to sleep in quiet. But it's times like last week when I'm reminded nothing in excess is healthy. After all, no one ever died from turning off the television. I don't think.


  1. I think there's an old urban legend about someone dying from lack of TV. I don't want it to happen to me, so I watch it.

    Good for you for shutting that things off! I tell Casey all the time that I can understand how people would have addictions, because if someone were to take my Magnavox away, I would need rehab. I hope you have a great week playing and conversing!

    PS--I WILL be going to water aerobics on Saturday morning, I have your tiny little bod in the back of my mind...but not in a creepy way.

  2. Great post, Jenny! And so real.

    I often think that most misbehavior happens due to selfishness on the part of the parents. I'm talking about myself (not you) here. I know this because...

    On days when I am happy, content, creative, and flexible - just relaxing and playing and "being" with my kids - they're happy and polite and the sweetest of sweets.

    But, when *I* am grumpy or distracted or trying to do too many other things, they become irritable and grumpy too.

    Conclusion? I need to work on myself first.



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