Monday, October 31, 2011

One down...

Well, we made it through day 1 with no television.  Let me say now that I don't think I will be posting a daily entry.  It just wouldn't be that entertaining.  Plus I actually do have a job, two children to raise and a husband I like most of the time.  Oh, and Pinterest, of course. 

Day 1: 

6:05 a.m. Claire wakes up.

6:30 a.m. Daddy gets Claire out of her bed when it is apparent that she is not going to fall back asleep.  Don't judge us on the time lapse here, you know you do it too.  You lay there and think, surely this kid is going to go back to sleep...and then they don't so you lay there for another minute and then begrudgingly get your all-too-chipper-for-this-hour-child out of bed. 

6:35 a.m. I wander through the house only to discover my child and my husband watching Sprout in Zora's room, which is also our guest room as Zora does not yet sleep there.  Failure?  Already?  Really Daddy? WTF Rob? (we use his proper name when he's in trouble)

6:36 a.m. Conversation with Daddy that goes something like, "Daddy, didn't we agree no TV like, yesterday?"  Daddy:  "Well, what?  Do you want her to sit here in the dark by herself?"  Me:  Confused stares..blinking...finally, "You know we're awake so she's not really by herself."  It's really hard to punctuate conversations with my husband. 

6:37 a.m. Daddy turns off Sprout and Claire melts into a puddle of toddler-fit on the floor.  This fit is why we're not watching TV anymore.  This shouldn't be so important to my child.  She doesn't even have a blankie or a stuffed animal she's attached to, but she freaks if the Wiggles aren't on TV.  This is not okay behavior.

6:39 a.m. Claire is over the fit and playing quietly in the living room.  Okay, that wasn't too bad. 

For the remainder of the day we played with toys, read the same book at least 15 times (want to hear it?  I have it memorized, I could recite it in another language perhaps) , colored and danced to The Beatles album Help!(that's The Beatles' exclamation point, not mine).  Apparently Claire enjoys Help! as she applauded after each song.  She even broke it down a few times.  My child is about as talented a dancer as her father.  People who know him know what that means.  Her future ballet instructor is going to have a blast with that rhythm. 

I realized that a lot of my anxiety wasn't based on Claire's need for the TV, but my own.  I recall considering our move to Texas and thinking, what if they don't offer Sprout?  What am I going to do?  Wow.  Today, I actually missed Kelly, Sean, Dennisha, Liz and Chica.  I wondered what they were up to and who was hosting this week and what the theme of the week might be.  For those of you who don't have Sprout, they're the inhabitants of the Sunshine Barn on a show called the Sunny Side Up Show.  Chica is a cute little yellow chicken puppet that sounds like a kazoo when she speaks/squeaks.  If you watch too much of this show you can actually figure out what the chicken is saying.  Then you know you've watched it too much.  I think it might also be a sign of insanity.  Color me crazy, because I swear I speak chicken.

For a moment this afternoon I almost caved when it was naptime and time for Caillou (inexplicably pronounced KI-yoo, which is allegedly French Canadian).  Let me describe this show to you and I'll try not to use derogatory language.  This kid, Caillou, is maybe the whiniest child in the history of permanently bald, Canadian children.  He doesn't say "please," he doesn't like to share, his mother rarely tells him no and his sister refers to herself in the third person, which drives my f-ing crazy.  This is same reason why I don't like Elmo.  Yes, I know he's cute and fuzzy, but come on!  Just once can he toss a pronoun in the mix? 

Okay, so back to Caillou.  The theme music for this show calls out to Claire and she will drop what she's doing to watch the same six episodes over and over.  Kill me.  I have them all memorized.  Please God, someday when I am on Jeopardy, let "Caillou Episodes" be a category.  This show is so terrible there are many a website devoted to complaining about it.  Yet, PBS and Sprout seem to think it's educational.  I guess if you want your children to grow up to be assholes.  A good friend of mine has a child who is also quite fond of Caillou.  She uses it as a teaching tool, though, and her child will actually correct Caillou's bad behavior.  Yes, it's so blatantly awful that a child can recognize the issues (albeit a brilliant, really adorable child).

So the moral of the Caillou story is that I didn't cave.  Claire didn't even need Caillou before nap to have a completely successful nap.  I even got a nap.  Oh sweet, sweet midday nap. 

The afternoon was uneventful as we usually don't watch TV after nap.  I did note that my child was attached to me  Yes, I did just add punctuation there.  There was no TV to distract her.  Let me first say that my child is super awesome.  Let me also say that she is a holy handful.  I may have to start drinking coffee...spiked with whiskey...just joking, I don't like coffee...    

This evening was easier than usual because it's Halloween and we had things to do outside of the house.  Claire was a vampire and Zora was an M&M.  Claire is super shy and when she meets new people she puts her arm over her face, hence the vampire costume.  The baby, well, she's just round.  M&M it is!

Tomorrow maybe we will continue our exploration of The Beatles with a little Abbey Road.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tap, tap, this thing on?

Well, hell hath frozen over, I'm blogging.

Let me start from the beginning.  I live in middle America, literally, smack-dab.  I have two lovely, loving daughters.  Claire is 20 months and Zora is nearly 3 months.  I am a stay-at-home, work-at-home, domestic goddess extraordinaire.  I consider myself to be somewhat intellectual although the some of my most frequently used words would imply otherwise as I tend to add a "y" to end of most words these days.  What?  If you have kids, you know what I mean.  Here in middle America (which is nothing like Middle Earth, unfortunately) we have very long, irritatingly cold seasons.  So, we have to stay indoors for many, many months.  We run out of things to do by day, um, 2?

So, these kids I mentioned.  I really want them to go to Harvard or at the very least any state school other than KU.  What the f is a jayhawk anyway?  Be something respectable like a tiger or an alligator or even a bear.  I'm certain the only thing a jayhawk can do to you is shit on your car windshield.  Wait, it's not a bird?  Oh, that's right, I don't care.

Like any good mother I am a member of many spamming mommy sites that shall remain nameless because this blog doesn't have a budget for royalties.  So, I get emails with detailed information about how almost everything I own is either going to kill us or cause us to be sorely attention-defunct.  Some of them catch my eye.  Not in a positive way, but in the way that causes me to panic and toss half my pots and pans for fear of non-stick coating.  Some of them I ignore completely.  One of them caught my eye today, though.  It was an AAP study on how watching television affects children under 2.  My children are under 2, so I read on.  Now, these studies pretty much always tell you no TV is best, but limited TV is okay if you must.

Here's where shit gets real, people.  I let my kid (the baby doesn't really watch much but her own limbs at this point) watch way too much TV.  So much so that I am embarrassed by it.  I admit it, Claire loves Sprout, the 24 hour PBS affiliated kids' channel.  She's a zombie-esque Sprout-aholic.  They have all sorts of educational shows on this channel and it's on basically every morning in our house...and maybe every night.  She loves the Wiggles, Roary the Racing Car, Play With Me Sesame, Caillou, not so much Dive Olly Dive, and Thomas.  My child has more "programs" than a 70 year old cat lady.  I will ease up on myself a bit and say that she doesn't just sit and watch them, eh-hem Caillou, but she does pause for a minute or 5 to see what Bert is counting today, etc.  So, if your reaction to any of the preceding statements was, "Wow, what a terrible mother."  Get the f off my blog.  If it was something less than that, you can stay...for now.

Anyway, today I read that my kid is 9% more likely to be a bully because of this TV watching.  What?!  I'm single-handedly creating a bully with Sprout?  I'm not sure I buy it.  However, I'm done with letting Claire watch TV.

I plan to chronicle the next weeks, months, etc of how this goes for me.  I hope that other moms will be able to sigh that sigh of relief when they realize that other moms let their kids watch too much TV, eat sugar, stay up too late, and generally f up all while truly trying to create an outstanding future member of society.  This is my journey as I try to fix one thing that very well may not be broken.

Endnote:  This is in no way a condemnation of other moms who let their kids watch tv, eat sugar, plan jewelry store heists, whatever.  This is my personal choice.  I have spent way too much time feeling judged by other moms to do that to any of you reading this.