Friday, December 04, 2009

Bad Mommy

Morgan and I gave up television about 20 years ago.  Didn't much miss it, either.  But when I was pregnant with the twins, we realized we'd pretty much never get out to the movies again, so we bought a TV and a DVD player.  Netflix wasn't far behind, and we've lived with this arrangement for the past 6 years.

Well, earlier this year when you could get a partial payment for one of those digital converter boxes, we applied even though we don't watch broadcast television.  "Just in case", we reasoned.  I bought the box back in April, and maybe a month ago, we finally hooked it up.  Without an antenna, it didn't change anything.  Still no channels, so we were still in DVD land.  This lasted about a week, at which point we bought an antenna.  We now get about 8 or so channels - all the networks plus several versions of PBS.

Ah, PBS.  Back in the day, this meant Sesame Street and Nova.  They now have 4 separate channels that show a wide range of programs.  And I must say the children's shows are actually quite good (well, the ones we've been watching, anyway).

But here's the rub.  I've always thought we did pretty well when it came to screen time for the kids.  They maybe watched an average of about an hour a day, with many days TV free.  Now they have a list of shows they enjoy on PBS.  Aside from the educational value, I find myself enjoying the calming effect it has on the boys.  If the TV were off, they'd be racing around the house or fighting or something.  I know that TV is like a drug and can make you kind of lethargic (from personal experience).  My kids spend pretty much their entire school day running around outside, so they aren't lacking in physical activity.  Is it so bad that I'm letting them watch this much television?  I sure feel like a terrible parent for enjoying the peace it brings.

And of course now they're asking why we don't get some of the cable channels they've seen at school.  God, that's all I need - more channels with nothing to watch!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Self Serve

We have one of those lazy Susan corner cabinets in our new kitchen.  It's part of the bottom cabinets, not the ones over the counter, so the kids can easily get into it.  Mind you, I wasn't really thinking about that aspect when we designed the kitchen, but that's what we have.  In this cabinet I store cereal, crackers, pastas, rice, and a few random miscellaneous items.

Cannon recently figured out how to work the door.  He still occasionally gets a finger pinched in it, but for the most part he's got it.  When he's hungry, he'll waddle over and open it, spin it around, and pick out whatever it is he wants to eat.  Sometimes cereal, sometimes raisins, now and then the crackers.  And he always eats whatever he's picked out.  It actually works out pretty well since he doesn't have more than about 4 words in his vocabulary.  No guessing games!  Of course, I'm beginning to wonder if this arrangement is preventing him from developing his language skills....

For a mostly non-verbal kid, he does a pretty good job of communicating.  He'll point at a desired object and nod his head vigorously if he wants it.  I can ask him yes/no questions, and he'll either nod or shake his head in response (and remarkably, he means what he "says" about 90% of the time).  Even so, I'm ready for some more words.  I get that he loves balls, and saying "bye-bye", and he's always super happy to see "dada"; but I want more.  In his defense, he's trying to say "play", but "mama" would be nice.