Thursday, November 10, 2005

Warning: Protective Parent in the House

I love telling people that we don’t have TV. The look of disbelief on their faces is, as MasterCard would say, priceless. They look at me with astonished disbelief and ask, “What do you do?” as if not watching TV is a sin and it must mean that I am either:

  1. Too poor to have one
  2. A throwback from some fanatical movement
  3. Crazy
  4. A protective parent
  5. Clueless (see “About Me”)
  6. _______ (fill in the blank)

What they heard was that we don’t have a TV, but that is not the same as “we don’t have TV”. Let me also clarify that we do actually own a TV; however, we don’t have cable and the appliance is shoved down in the basement in some corner, so you can guess what kind of reception we I get. (We do get a few channels but not many. We get the important ones that let me see football, but that is another blog). We also have a DVD player and a VCR, so we get to watch movies and such. We mostly don’t enjoy what is being produced for TV.

I admit to being number 4 (although I am sure that 3 and 5 apply, too, and 6 might also depending on with what you filled the blank - no bad words please). I am a protective parent, particularly in the area of TV. I want my children to stay innocent and pure for as long as possible. I want them to keep their respectful ways when they talk to us or other. I also feel that there is more to life than what someone else wants me to see on TV. They get enough bad influences in other ways, why compound it through this media as well?

I also like that my children go outside to ride their bikes; jump on the trampoline; play with other children; read or be read to; use their imaginations with all sorts of toys to play great made up games; play board games with us and each other; create arts and crafts; or sing when they think they are by themselves. They, in essence, are having a childhood, one that I hope they really treasure when they are older. Wild thoughts, I know, but it never hurts to dream.

What started me on this thought was this past Saturday I realized how blessed my husband and I are with our children.

Here is a typical Saturday at our house:

Our kids wake at the insane hour of 6 AM (ugh… they don’t know that it is a day
for sleeping in yet, but we are working on it). They get out of bed quietly and creep downstairs to play something in the basement. Around 7 AM when they can no longer stand the hunger pains because they are “starving”, they jump on our bed and we all get up to make “the Breakfast”. They usually want chocolate chip pancakes with dots (the extra batter that drops while we are pouring the pancakes out), but sometimes the adults win out with sausage gravy and biscuits or eggs and hash browns. Whatever the food, we all prepare it. We mix, beat, break and basically make a big mess together. Then we eat and talk and laugh. My daughter tries to steal sips of coffee; my son tries to figure a way to get another mouthful of food away from us. We clean up and do our morning chores to start the day. Then we are off to do whatever activity we have committed ourselves to that day. That has pretty much been the way of life for us for at least the past 5 years of Saturdays. Not often have the kids even mentioned Saturday morning cartoons. Not a bad thing all in all.

And I have found out something else: When they do watch something, usually a movie, they actually pay attention to it. It is amazing how much they enjoy or learn or laughed because they actually “get to watch TV”. It’s a nice treat.

So after reading blog, if you chose to call me anything other than number 4, I can live with that. Just do it on TV.