Friday, 22 July 2011

Unplugged Kids

I hate television!

And I have struggled with my children's relationship with it forever!

If it was up to me, we wouldn't even own a television, but Mr. Level-Headed can not live without his football.  So, we're stuck with it.  Oh, and of course, we also have to keep it for our weekly movie nights so I guess it does serve a purpose.

One summer, when Derrick went away on a business trip for two weeks, I decided I was going to show him that life would be better without that intrusive, ugly black box sitting in our living room, and I decided to stash it away in our storage room.  I did not allow its immense size to deter me, and once I got it off the stand, I shimmied it all the way to the closet. This was the only time I was ever thankful for the carpet in our kitchen.  I know!  Who does that? Gross! 

I felt empowered!  Zoe and I would no longer be slave to the black box's alluring call.  We would spend our days reading books, doing puzzles, playing games, exploring the great outdoors, and enjoying one another's company.  The day was awesome, and Zoe quickly dozed off after such a fun-filled day with her mama.  But then our apartment became eerily quiet, and I realized I was all alone.  I could hear the buzz of my neighbour's television, and it suddenly struck me, tonight was the season opener of Survivor.   Oh no!  What have I done?!  How do I come up these crazy hare-brained schemes? I really should never be left alone.

Out came the television once again, but this time I couldn't get it back up on the stand so it had to sit on the floor.  Oh, how I cringed every time someone visited me and asked why my television was just sitting there with the tv stand behind it.  "Well, you see . . . ."

Ugh!  For some, it is easy to stick to a one hour rule for their kids, but for me it has always been a struggle.  Well, that is until this summer.  Again, look at me!  Is there anything I can't do: a garden, my blog, and now master over the television?  I think we should declare this the Summer of Skov!

Anyhoo, my kids have been limited to one hour of screen time each day, and I have stuck to it!  I have gotten wise to my weak-mindedness, where in the past I would give them their hour as soon as they got up, but no, that does not work. You see, mornings around here are very busy and having their highly-rambunctious selves "zoned" into the tv is just too heavenly and gradually the time would extend and extend and extend until they became mummified little zombies lying listlessly on the couch.  It was very sad!  So, this summer, they have an hour before supper time because then there is a built-in shut off time.  Problem solved!

In all honesty, though, it was rough-going for the first three weeks.  There was whining, looks of desperation and the dreaded last resort cry: "you are the worst mother in the world!", but, I held firm and stuck to it even when Elliot would plead "but, tv is what I was made for!".  Then suddenly, I noticed the complaining had disappeared, and they slowly got back into the routine of being home all day.  They began to amuse themselves, and it was bliss! 

I knew no one would believe me so I snuck around the other day taking pictures of them to prove it can be done.  Twenty-first Century kids can be happy without being plugged in at all times of the day.  Who knew?
Check it out!

Avery explored potential occupational interests like massage therapy.

His technique may be unconventional, but . . .

his customers leave happy, and that's all that really matters, right?

Feeling limber from her recent massage, Zoe decided to entertain everyone with her amazing dance skills.

The boys went next, but I was called away by my laundry.  Ugh!  Housework always spoils the fun.

After lunch, the kids headed down to the cool basement to play with their Lego City.  This has been amusing them for weeks now.  I love Lego!

After a brief squabble over whose Lego man has the best Super-hero qualities, Avery came up for a little "quiet time". 

He loves the Biebs! 

Then, one of my wonderful "unplugged" kids came up with the idea to wash my car!  Do they realize I may just may never let them watch television again? 

See, life is better without television, and they will thank me . . . someday!
Confession: After our very tiresome, but wonderful day at New River Beach on Wednesday, we kind of had a tv day yesterday. I know.  But, I can't be strong all the time . . . tee hee! 

Here's hoping you have a shenanigan-filled weekend! Four Websters and a Skov will be heading to see the final Harry Potter movie.  We are so excited!!

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