Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I am a recovering TV addict.

Ha, I just have to say that I am still in recovery and always will be but for Matthew's sake I have been working on this since before he was born. I saw this article posted on Matthew's birth board and it reminded as to why I am in recovery.

I was truly tied to TV after I gave birth to Matthew as it felt like my life line. I thought I would die with out it until that voice of reason spoke up in the form of Katie Couric. I cannot remember how many weeks old Matthew was but she put the kibosh on my TV "hording" ways. She said children before the age of two should watch NO TV. Just like that 'NO TV' rattled around in my head, echoing loudly every time I watched Days of Our Lives or Oprah. I could not believe it - I looked it up on the American Academy of Pediatrics web site and I checked every baby book known to man kind at B&N - can you believe the audacity, they all agreed with Katie. Damn her. I was devastated. I wanted to watch "my shows", I had to... How would I deal with this baby without TV? My. LIFE.LINE! Ah, to be ignorant. Why oh why must I know about things such as this I wailed to Kevin that evening.

We started to change and change we have. I actually have moments of hope and enjoy the silence. We listen to the radio - NPR. Where can actually learn something and we have to mull it over versus just watching without really taking it in. We began listening to Matthew music which is not so bad now that they have cool CDs like Ralph's World! I do fall back into the trap from time to time. Matthew goes to sleep and especially when I am exhausted I ignore the pile of reading material at my bedside and go for the remote control. I dig in and watch horrid TV like Dr. 90210 and How I Met Your Mother (oh Lost I would be oh so lost without you...)

I have learned that I cannot ten million things done without TV in my life and that the silence is sweet. Matthew is happy as a lark and ignorance is bliss. There will be plenty of time for TV in the very near future (which I have plans for already - TV will be limited to the weekends only and then he will only be allowed to watch so many hours on the weekend and his homework must be done before TV time. I also figure if I keep the kid engaged in enough "Stuff" he will have little time for TV anyway...)

At the moment, he watches 1/2 hour of Bob the Builder each Sunday. He gets so freakin' excited and that makes me happy because that means it is a treat to him. I am TOTALLY a product of TV. I can remember watching TV from a very young age and while those are "happy" memories in some ways, I also remember that we did not have cable for years so if there was nothing on, the TV was off AND I was limited in my TV watching so I found a million other ways to entertain myself usually outside (and yes I was probably that weird kid in the neighborhood but I turned out okay... sort of.)

I cannot tell a lie - this no TV thing is hard. It is hard to consider what I need to do to entertain the little guy all the time but I have found some really creative solutions. Things I would not have thought of had I kept the TV on. AND we have failed. We also miss shows we love like the beginning of most of the Survivors the past two years and How I Met Your Mother but in the end, I would miss those shows versus seeing Matthew off to bed. We do occasionally turn the tube on to keep Matthew entertained or to get him dressed on particularly contentious mornings but that is very rare.

I am a recovering TV addict after all.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

We got rid of cable when I became a SAHM for cost reasons but we do download (sssh) various shows that we watch only after Liam has gone to bed (Sopranos, Deadliest Catch, Bill Mahr & Daily Show/Colbert Report) so going TV Free was not much of a choice! I do watch my General Hospital (but thankfully Liam is usually napping) & if Oprah is any good, I'll leave that on AND I ALLOW myself to watch the news :) Local & ABC News Tonight. We dont have it on much more than that & Liam has watched only a handful of Sesame Street & his DVDs are only 20 minutes long and he doesnt watch everyday - my, sounds like a lot of justifying, doesn't it? LOL! So maybe the TV is on 3 hours while before his bedtime, but he is napping during some of that (damn justifying!) but boy, that kid loves himself some weather updates :)