If you live, well, just about anywhere in the U.S. this winter (warm weather folks, kindly keep it shut) it has been downright BRUTAL. I am loathe to write about the weather, but holy moly this has been a long, cold, snowy winter. Options for child entertainment are slim. Declan and I take a class on Tuesday morning and other than that we rely on friends, Barnes and Noble, and the occasional drop-in to a playspace to keep us occupied. That means for the most part we are inside…together…a whole lot.
We’ve played picnic and camping and cars and spaceship and school like 50 billion times. We’ve read every book in our house over and over. We go on pretend missions in the hallway and have multiple dance parties daily. But you know what? It gets old. And exhausting. This mama has a cold and a lot of freelance work to finish up and I hear that tv calling to me. Usually it sounds like one of my children saying “can we pleeeeeease watch something?”
It is a constant struggle not to turn that thing on and enjoy the wonderful freedom. And I give in. Oh I do give in. I’m not an anti-television person by any means. My kids watch some everyday. But I always feel guilty. Should I be engaging them more? Are their brains turning to mush? How many times can they sing the “waffles” song from Teen Titans Go in a row before their little heads explode?
It starts early in the day, when D and I have exhausted our playing. I turn it on and then I can rest for a minute and then I feel guilty for resting. I play a few rounds of Quiz Up on my phone and start to feel like a terrible mother. I write a blog post or read the posts lining up in my Reader. I feel defeated. That damn rectangle on the living room wall has won again. I try to tell myself it isn’t that bad. They don’t watch all day and I’m an involved mom. Or am I? But I just can’t help how wonderful it feels to plop down on the couch with my two boys after school, cuddle them up to me, and turn on a little tv. It’s family time right? Right?
Declan is sleeping now and then we’ll pick up Brady from chess. But it’ll start again the minute we walk in the door. Should I turn it on and get dinner ready or resist and listen to the whining? Should I let them zonk out to the tube for a bit, or try to get them playing together until we eat? I don’t know who will win today…oh who am I kidding? That television is winning today. Mommy’s throat hurts.