Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lock Out

I didn’t intend to cause a screen free experience. I’d just meant to limit children’s exposure to television by locking every channel. I couldn't compete with the 27 channels we got using an antenea, so I knew cable and its 275 flavors of crude would be too much. "If you want to watch something, just ask." I explained.
"But you might say no." they wailed.

“But Mommmmm….what are we going to do?” Pointing to the bin of unread library books brought howls of derision. “But that’s boring…..” they echoed like a Greek Chorus.

Now I have a stock pile of standard responses to that charge, usually involving the allocation of a dreaded chore. “There are socks to be folded, dishes to wash, floors to mop and carpets to vacuum.” I say to such words. Oddly enough, no one ever takes me up on my offer to fill their free time with valuable domestic duties.

So it came to pass that both remotes to the television got lost somewhere in the home. One child when so far as to remove all books from the floor in an attempt to locate the magic controllers that govern the two TV’s.

I’d also had my daughter create a password I didn’t know to my own computer so I wouldn’t spend too much time surfing the net or blogging, when I should be exercising, getting kids to do their summer projects, preparing meals and enjoying books during the unscheduled hours that define in my opinion, the best part of summer. I’d locked the kiddos out of the net free machine as well when a fight broke out over who could play Miss Spider or I Spy between the five, seven and three year old.

After an hour of unsolicited cleaning, the kids despaired of finding the controllers and resorted to old fashioned entertainment. THEY WENT OUTSIDE. Six children, ages 11-2 were playing zoo, coming in only to grab a cup of water. From 4-6, it was blissful. I cooked pancakes and bacon without worrying about people underfoot or resolving a single fight. The oldest two grabbed their respective assigned books and MP-3 players, plugged in and tuned out. By the end of the evening, two had practiced their musical instruments. Two others had done their math work books. Five had read to themselves and four had helped with sorting socks.

In the spirit of solidarity, I turned on the classical station and stayed off the computer even though my daughter logged me on that evening. Over dishes, the children were talking about what they would do tomorrow using legos and about playing capture the flag and maybe making a cake.

Don’t tell them but, I found the remotes. I’m keeping them an undisclosed location in my room until further notice.


JimmyV said...

Awesome. I can't wait until I'm a kid again.

MightyMom said...

super mom strikes again!

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