Monday, June 22, 2009

What's On TV?

Nothing, if you know what's good for you.

We just got cable. There are now 800 channels to annoy the Mom on two televisions. I didn't think it would be much of a problem. My kids had always agreed to the reasonable one hour of starring at a screen Mon-Thurs and lax standards on the weekend rule. Even the youngest kids understood, if you are staring at a rectangle, and the rectangle is in some way electronically powered, it counted towards your hour. They also knew that abuse of the hour rule was tolerated within reason.

Not anymore.

With so many opportunities to watch, a certain lack of discrimination overpowered their otherwise reasonably intact child intellects and wisdom. What's more, the opiate of the masses* did mean that I could have hours of semi-silence in my house at the price of their brains. After a week of saying to myself, we just got cable, it is just a time of adjustment, they'll get bored of it soon, I decided I was bored with my family. They weren't doing anything sans incentive. Even eating had turned into a listless speedy affair designed to acquire the necessary calories as quickly as posssible so as to return to the stupor of TV land.

Like Odysseus, I had come to the land of the Lotus Eaters.

So I pulled the nuclear option.** I locked every channel, even the previews, as one crafty child had figured out she could watch anything using the preview option. I now pay a monthly service fee for the priviledge of having nothing to watch.

I part with the money happily to see them walk around wondering what to do, but the cure has already had an effect. One child read her first assigned book of the summer. Another is doing the dishes. A third even helped move the toddlers through shower time.

So I'm thinking about changing all the passwords to lock them out of the Wii and the computers because, there's laundry that needs to be folded and dishes to do and my main floor needs a mopping.

*Oldest son has issued an edict that if I ever leave him to babysit again without unlocking the opiate of the masses, he will become a rebellious teenager and make my life a living hell.

**Second oldest wants credit for her idea as long as the other children don't read this.

***In the interest of fairness, I too need to have my computer shut down during the day in order to get stuff done, so the apple does not fall far.


MightyMom said...


which is why we DON'T have cable.
or Wii, or more than one computer...or more than one TV....

actually, we live in a cave...and spend our time drawing on the walls.

SherryTex said...

Well, we do have cavepeople who specialize in drawing on the walls, the two toddler girls, R& R, Rest and Relaxation. They're called R& R because that's what we don't get.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!