Friday, June 25, 2010

i got rid of the tv

And the upshot of it is that the kids are actually requiring LESS interference from me. The true role of the tv, of course, is to allow you a specified amount of quiet in order to cook dinner w/out having to referee or field questions come play with me play with me why can't put the cat in the dishwasher Clark hit me took my toy stepped on my hair please don't carry the cat by his neck please use your inside voice who is crying for godsake no climbing on the bookshelf. My friend E thought it would take about 2 weeks, then they would settle in. And I was pumped up; I was ready to muck through the requisite hollering to see what was on the other side. We just got back from a very refreshing vacation and it was a good time for me to be feeling optimistic about how much I could take.

We usually watch George when we eat our breakfast. The first morning when I said "Oatmeal's ready!" Clark said, "George! George!" I said, "You know what? We're going to do something new, and we're not going to watch tv anymore. But you know what else? Later today we can have popsicles! Yay!" (Gotta give em something to hang onto you know.) They looked at me for a moment, a sort of kid version of a shrug, and Frances said, "That's why there's a dishcloth covering the tv," as if she knew already. There was no mention of the tv again that day. The next day around lunch, when Clark was very ready for his nap but fighting it and trying to figure out a way to stay awake while being immobile, he asked for tv. Frances piped up, "Clark, we don't watch tv anymore." She knows most things these days. "Do you know what Daddy told me on the phone two seconds ago? That he'll be home early enough for us all to go to the playground!" I ask, and she says, "I know, Mom." She's not even four. 

But today, despite a couple more requests from Clark for the tv (interestingly, he's the one that loves it less. I guess he's also the one who is two and therefore less on board with reasons and rules), they are playing better. And better. It's like the practice of it is making them more interested in it. Hurray! I suppose I shouldn't celebrate yet; it's only been a few days. But seriously--I'm refereeing less. Their play is calmer, fuller, more content. How about that?

Now, I am the first to acknowledge that summer here is amazing and would keep anyone in a good mood despite that their tv had been snatched away without warning. Will see what happens in the winter when we're stuck inside for weeks at a stretch lest the arctic wind freeze the moisture in your eyeballs. The winter could loosen my resolve. As well as the kids' ability to play well without my interference. Cabin fever does strange things to people.

But for now, not hearing the Dora map song is a wonderful thing. 

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