Friday, January 12, 2007

My children's brains run freely from their noses like snot

How I am an Insufferable Ass.
Part the First.

Mr. Nice Guy has been writing about poop. And also television. Also Elmo. Thankfully, we have left the Elmo phase of our lives far (but, unfortunately not TOO far) behind us. Poop was conquered by Child the Second last spring and by god it is too early to speak of Poop 3.0. This leaves the tee vee.

Some years ago we bought a house. It was expensive. We made the tough decisions (mostly involving groceries. I love groceries and spending money on groceries. More money than we really have, thankyouverymuch Quicken.) and found that we could really do without cable.

Without cable!

Oh, the anguish.

Which subsided quickly because I had spent the previous 23 years learning that there wasn't shit on TV.


Back in the olden days when we had cable, dear, sweet Noggin would come to the rescue when it was time to get Peanut dressed. On! went the TV. Off! went Peanut's brain. She would stand still, drool dripping steadily and handsomely from her lip while I dressed her and did her hair. Off! went the TV. SputterSpurt! went Peanut's brain. And so on.

So we moved and left the cable behind us. But we gained a child who was arguably more entertaining than Emeril and TBS programing combined. We were happy. And then dinnertime came.

Every evening, in order to get dinner on the table in a timely manner, I would plug in the Older and more Experimental of the two children. She was happy watching Babe or Snow White or old episodes of Good Eats or whatever while I turned pricey groceries into delicious comestibles. At the end of this process, or when the movie ended, strange things would happen. Grips on reality were loosened. Screaming tantrums commenced. It was terrible. But of course, I didn't blame the bastard machine as I should have. It was my ally, my back-up plan, the ace up my was my little helper.

Eventually I was persuaded to give it up. No more TV for either of the little people. I was led to believe that I was truly doing irreparable damage--alas!--it may have already been too late. Rest assured that my children seem to be doing pretty well although they do still whine and moan and complain that I am the meanest mom EVER because they don't get to watch a little movie. And let me explain why.

Peanut is in kindergarten now. She loves it, we love it with her. One of the rules? no television. Computers, video games, rock and/or roll: these all are outlawed. And good, I say! After The Unplugging things at my house were so much better than I could have ever imagined. Peanut played by herself for much longer periods at a time without needing parental interaction--and truly, what we really want are little people who do all the work themselves. I simply cannot do another puzzle depicting kitty cats or trucks--and the quality of her play with her brother increased as well. They are siblings! that play! nicely together!

Allow me to be frank. The other parents at this school, they are a little like Nazis. While I believe that it is much better for my child to not partake of the boob toob, we do allow for small lapses. Take last spring. I was some number of months pregnant. Four, maybe five. I was sick. Nasty flu with a fever sick. Peanut, sick. Bean, sick. Husband was back at work after being sick. I was tired and achey. On! went Robin Hood (my personal favourite of the forbidden Disney) Off! went every one else in the room. For just over an hour, it was bliss.

When the Peanut went back to school she let it slip that we had let it slip. Husband and I were both taken aside by the teacher who asked us, again, to please refrain.


But! I must say I do enjoy not having to hear about every new effing cartoon that's out, and what with all this sex and violence in the media today it's nice knowing that my kids won't be overly exposed to it via other little people who are allowed. Cause none of them are.

Heil Steiner!