As part of my (never ending and under appreciated) campaign to remain socially conscious and (at least a little bit) counter-cultered, we have only one television in our house. There are days when I think that this may not be such a grand idea.
We have only one television, because while I do not want to make my children feel different from their peers, I also want to remain in control of what they are exposed to on TV. With only one TV it limits the amount of XBox, Videos and/or cartoons that can be watched.
I am one of those “crazy” Mommies. My kids only watch Sprout, and occassional Playhouse Disney mixed in with shows from Animal Planet, etc… I am VERY restrictive on the movies they watch as well and feel that my 7 year old daughter is much too young for Hannah Montana and other things of that ilk. That said, we also avoid certain toys…. like those naughty Bratz dolls.
My husband LOVES Football. I cannot express just how much he loves this sport. I can stomach some Football. We have season tickets to his Alum… the Oregon Ducks (even though my Alma Mater is OSU). Both of our vehicles sport a license plate with the green and yellow O on them. (I kindly pointed out that their are two people in this marriage and we both did not go to Oregon.)
If Football is on and Hubby is home… our one TV will have Football on. On the weekends, this love of Football also carries over into Nascar, Baseball and occassionally Hockey. (And he told me way back when that he ONLY follows the Ducks and Steelers.) Granted, he majored in Sports Medicine, worked with college football teams and has a career with a sports company. (That’s no excuse!)
It is making me long for a second TV. I am considering putting a small one in our room which will only be used for those times when I cannot stand another minute of Football… or when the kids are going bonkers and I want to put in a movie.
Like yesterday, for instance. The kids did a craft project (making “golf” visors)… did their typical running around and playing like crazies… colored… we were reaching a breaking point. What do you do to occupy four children at home when the weather is too crummy to go outside? A movie might have bought an hour of peace in our house. We settled on getting pillows and blankets, snuggling up on Mum and Daddies bedroom floor and listen to stories on CD. This worked for 30 minutes or so. I wanted to make sugar cookies, but I just recently emptied my kitchen cabinest and threw out the insulated baking sheets… I am not sure how GF will work on Pampered Chef baking stones (plus… does the stone absorb and therefore pose a contamination risk?) So, we had to put this off. We will make the cookies by Tuesday afternoon as I have to send some for K3 to decorate at her Kindergarten Christmas Party on Wednesday. Anyway, it was one of those days when a second TV would have been useful.
We keep putting off this purchase, because 1) we don’t believe in having a TV in our bedroom 2) we aren’t about to put a TV in the kiddos rooms 3) we don’t have a “family room” to put one in.
I keep thinking if I could just hold out… we plan to add 2 bedrooms, a bath and a large family room to the house… however that may very well be a couple years off yet! In the meantime, Mommy might lose her mind.
Spring cannot come soon enough! The kids don’t know it yet, but they are getting a giant, blow up water slide for Christmas. I can’t wait for warm weather so we can set it up outside. It is large enough that even Mum and Dad can use it. WooHoo! We have a lot of yard work (excavation, mind you… not the easy stuff) to make our property more “kid friendly”. By June, we should have quite the outdoor playland… which is good because these kids need to be out of doors!
We really struggle with “fun” things to do with the crew… even if we find free or inexpensive outings for the crew, we have to drive the truck which isn’t economical or earth friendly. That would be one downfall to our country living. We do sometimes load everyone up for the 15 minute drive to the nearest Max stop (light rail transit system) and do the whole park and ride thing. Having a large family brings a lot more expense to outings, so we do things like join the zoo which gives us unlimited admission for a year, however we get a ton of rain in Oregon (and the zoo is still a 30-40 minute drive) so that’s not always an option. The kids love to load the bikes up and head for the track… that also gets tougher in the winter as 1) it gets dark early 2) its wet all the time.
We do love the Home Depot/ Lowe’s building workshops on Saturday mornings…. but that is only an hour twice a month. (Yes, I do realize this is just another marketing ploy to expose our children to the stores so that as they become older they will chose to shop there, and of course, they will encourage Mum and Dad to go there as well… because it’s so much fun!) We chose to overlook the negative aspects of these workshops, because there is so much positive to be gained. The kids learn to work cooperatively, follow directions, relate to their siblings and parents, it forces us to spend an hour or more completely devoted to a project with the kids, it gives them a sense of pride at their completed project, and sometimes, it even provides us with a free gift for a loved one. What Grandparent wouldn’t love to receive the cool firetruck or breakfast tray made by their Grandchild?
I wish our little town’s library had more realistic hours. Granted… it is about the size of my living room, but the kids LOVE books. Too bad they are only open a couple hours here and there… We could always load up and go to the FG library about 10 miles away. Maybe I should check that one out and see if it’s any better.
We really need to find some creative ways to get the crew out of the house during the winter months. Ways that doesn’t involve a large expense or a large amount of driving.
If we don’t get these kids out of the house soon I am going to lose my mind… or *gasp* break down and buy another television. (We all know that’s not a good solution!)