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Friday, June 20, 2008

Unplugged


It's a new day in our house. We're all still here. The place looks the same. But it doesn't sound the same. Something is noticeably different. There is a calm about our days the likes that we haven't seen in a while - if ever. It's not a new phenomenon. In fact, it's something that is employed at many a home. But we've just recently joined the bandwagon. Cold turkey. We've turned off the TV. The boob tube. The idiot box.

Did you know that the average preschooler enters kindergarten having logged in over 4,000 hours watching television? Four...thousand...that's THOUSAND....hours. I never thought much of it and in fact believed these past few years that if it wasn't for Dora, the Wiggles, Ben 10, SuperWhy and Sesame Street I would have never been able to nurse a baby, do a load of laundry or cook dinner. And I never thought it was a problem. Until now. But I've heard talk and observed behavior around here lately that is not acceptable. So you catch yourself saying "where is he/she picking that up?" Then you watch about 10 minutes of their favorite cartoon and you know because there it is, loud and clear, in technicolor.

So you have no choice except to turn it off. So you do so and then you watch your four-year-old go into withdrawals. Searching high and low for the remote control like it's a pack of crack (does crack come in packs? happy to say I don't know but you get my point). They whine. And cry. And beg and plead. And get mad. You hold firm and don't give in but truth is you're kinda scared, really, thinking....how will I get anything done? What will they do? With all this time?

Then you realize that they'll do what kids used to do, back in the day. The same thing we did before Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. They will dress up like a princess. Or a pirate. Play make believe. Run around outside and chase each other. Swing. Slide. Read books. Make funny looking little trolls with play dough. Color. Read some more. Stroll their baby doll. Talk. Listen. Observe. Pretend. Imagine. Create.

What they won't do is fight over the remote. Or what show they will watch. Or ignore you when you're talking to them. Or sit. And sit. And sit. Doing nothing. Saying nothing. Thinking nothing. Hour after hour. After hour.

So. There you go. I'm not saying it's never coming back on. As in never ever. But it's now the exception around here and not the rule.

Oh, and did you know that this makes me a mean Mama? It's a title I'll wear proudly.
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5 comments:

Melisa said...

Good for you! This is awesome!

Kami said...

That's great! You've given me more reasons to refrain from letting TV babysit. (Sometimes a little Disney channel is quite helpful in our home, I must admit.)

workout said...

good for you! I just made our dining room into a playroom (b/c seriously, we don't ever dine!) and now that the toys are far away from the TV, we rarely have it on anymore. It is so refreshing, even though my hubby is the one who is lost without the dumb-box. He apparently enjoyed watching Dora and Bob!

Lisa
aka: workout mommy

Mary Anna said...

Excellent idea. When I moved recently, I nixed my tv in my bedroom. It's changed my life. You don't realize how much the tv is on for background noise until it goes away.

However, I do miss Saturday mornings in bed with the Food Network...

Colored With Memories said...

Wow. That's great.

We unplugged ours for about 3 months when Lily was around 1. It was great. We actually just moved it to our master bedroom knowing we wouldn't watch it much and never with Lily.

What brought it back out was the fact that my in-laws (our main sitters) were lost w/o it. We'd come home to find them on our bed watching it.

It was promptly moved back to its place of prominence in the den and hasn't moved since.