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Thursday, October 29, 2009

TV Nation


More fun than TV. Max and Prozac Puppy help with the laundry.



Before I had the baby my days were filled with brunches, shopping, auditions and rehearsals. I won't lie...it was a kick ass life. I adored it! I had some days where there was nothing going on and I lounged all day, maybe got a mani/pedi and then crashed on the couch for some Law & Order and take out.
I had the luxury of getting extremely upset about gossip, whether about my friends or me. I had the time and the inclination to be interested and yes, sometimes judgmental about the comings and goings at my theatre company and was tremendously vulnerable to others judgments and gossip about me. (Now of course I simply cannot believe I got so upset over all that stuff!) I had a great circle of friends who I at least talked to on the phone 3 times a week if not every day!

Now I spend every day with the cutest little man I've ever met, but as a stay at home mom I find myself thinking things like:

"Sam Wiggle got a haircut! He's looking good, I wonder if he's been working out!"
or
 "Seriously, someone needs to tell Anthony to step away from the plastic surgeon!"
or
"I totally know all the choreography to the Wiggles and the Fresh Beats. Is that awesome or sad?"

I decided it's awesome because:
a. when I dance along it makes my kid crazy happy
b. I'm counting it as working out. It's aerobics, right????

Also? I totally haven't discouraged Max when he points at Sportacus (Yes. He loves that damned Lazy Town) and says emphatically "Da da!" Who's your Daddy? Sportacus, indeed.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm a bad mom where television is concerned. Both Zach and I are the type of people who have the tv on all the time, it's white noise to us. I was a latch key kid for a long time and the tv was company to me. I kept it on while playing, while reading, doing homework (probably should have turned it off then). So when we had Max it didn't occur to either of us to turn it off.
We learned very early on that Max is a visual learner, it's extremely clear that as of now that is his learning style, so we began early on having kid friendly things on television as our background noise. And when we do have on adult programming (And by adult, I mean The Office, Modern Family or GLEE, not *cough* adult programming *cough* ) he really isn't all that interested unless there is music.
Max is a kid who can and does play on his own, as I was, and sometimes I want to play with him and he's like 'get outta my face woman, can't you see I'm reading this book and giggling to myself?!?! You don't interrupt that.'
But the TV is always droning on. As we play with blocks, or as I put away the laundry...Sesame is in the background. So far this hasn't seemed to hinder his development in any way. He does not throw tantrums when we turn it off for nap time, or want it on if it does happen to be off. He is meeting all the learning milestones and has caught up physically but I still can't help but think I need to turn off the dang tv! So I'm going to.
It's like breaking up with a lover, turning off my beloved television. We'll still be friends but we won't see each other all the time.
Max is naturally curious and interested in just about everything and I want to encourage that. He knows blue and red (Cookie and Elmo anyone?), he knows up and down, he is learning things at a rate that is blowing my mind. I think, more for me than for him, the white noise of the tv needs to go away.
Dear television, it's not you...it's me.

9 comments:

!!The Obnoxious SAHM!! said...

oh my friend, I so get you on this. (high five)

well said.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I am a terrible TV mom. My kids are obsessed with it. Now, we are not allowed to turn it on until after dinner during the week. If anything, they at least will go outside and play now!

Sarah said...

I can totally relate! It's so hard to just turn it off. But I find that when I do, it makes my time with B that much better because then it really is focused on just us. :) Good luck!

WDC said...

I like the white noise of TV too (latch key kid raising her hand here!). I've started just tuning the TV to "Toddler Tunes" in the music section of or cable. Love it! It allows for fun music without the TV part. KWIM? Love it. I hate breaking up with the TV, we always get back together. We are THAT couple.

Priscila said...

haha so cute! I make my kids turn off the tv after they eat breakfast or whatever to play. I think kids now a days are so use to video games and tv. I hardly watched tv when I was little...I always lived on a ranch so my sister and I always were on an adventure :)
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kys said...

Yeah - I always let my kids watch too much tv. In fact, I begged them to watch tv tonight. As in "please go watch tv and stop karate kicking each other in the living room".

Amo said...

I am so glad you wrote this post!! My mom always had the tv on when we were kids for background noise, therefore, that is what I am used to. I have always had the tv on. Always. Whether I am watching it or not. So, now that I am a mom, I still have it on all the time, just now it is Sesame Street instead of The View. My son pays attention to the parts with music, some he ignores. I was wondering how terrible a mother I was. Now that I know other parents do it too, I don't feel so bad. I have turned the tv to Toddler Tunes on our cable lineup every once in a while. It just plays music. Thanks for writing this post and being so honest! You aren't a bad mommy!

Serendipity is Sweet said...

Great post! I can totally relate and remember the days of being a SAHM with one little one. I always had the TV on too. It was like company. Especially when my husband was deployed.

Now, the kids watch it when they wake up and then I turn it off. They usually watch after bath time too until we read books and they go to bed.

Though there is always a big debate about this I think it really depends on the kid as to how much tv is ok. I find my kids learn a lot from tv sometimes...they love animal planet, discovery channel and my oldest likes the History Channel...not all bad, but they do use their imaginations more with the tube off. Still, I think their imaginations are sometimes inspired by the places and things they see on tv. Plus my kids are so active (wild and crazy!), they are not likely to get fat and lazy ;P

You're not a bad mommy...but I think it's great that you are opting to moderate the tv time. When my oldest was a toddler he was nuts over the Wiggles. I remember that I bought a CD of their songs and he loved to dance to that as much if not more than the actual show. Then of course, we had to listen to it ALL the time in the car until I thought I'd go mad, lol.

Megan said...

I think Max and Matthew would be great friends! Matthew prefers to play by himself more times than not and also watches tv if it's something on for him, well that and the lottery, lol.

Great post!