Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The dawn of a new era

Tonight, I will sit on my couch with a nice bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream and watch the Biggest Loser finale.

Tomorrow, DirecTV will arrive at high noon to promptly disconnect my cable box, haul it away and the TV will go to the basement. I already feel better!

A few months ago, I talked to a friend who said that she and her husband had gotten rid of their TV. As she spoke about how difficult it was at first, but how they got used to it over time, and how much more reading and studying they were doing, I was thinking, "There is no way I could ever do that". Fast forward to yesterday. Jacob and Grace woke up around 7:45 and watched their usual 30 minute show (Fresh Beat Band) before breakfast. After they were fed, I had a bowl of cereal and watched the 6 AM news which records on my DVR every morning. After I was finished eating, I shut off the TV and the meltdown began. Jacob wasn't even WATCHING the news, but our Samsung DLP TV chimes when it turns off (obnoxious!) and as soon as he heard the bells toll he was wailing. In the next couple of hours, Grace asked me no less than 4 times for "Mickey?", "Jack?" or "DoraBoots!" (all one word). Everytime I said no there were tears. I was starting to get slightly irritated. They ended the day with a tubby, some milk and a Backyardigans episode. I believe they are starting to think, that if it is there, it should be on regardless of whether or not anyone is actually watching it.

Until Jacob was two, the TV was never on in our house and then he started gagging himself. You know that trick infants/toddlers pull when they realize if they stick their finger down their throat and gag that they get your attention? Well, Jacob was AWFUL with that and would usually do it to the point of puking. We tried to force a pacifier on him (he had never taken one before and refused to start), but that didn't work so I resorted to using the TV as a distraction method. He still only watched one or two shows a day, but that has gradually increased over time and now they can watch up to 4 shows in one day. I am fed up. I have decided to pull the plug. LITERALLY.

After going back and forth all day yesterday on whether or not I could actually do it (I admit, I myself am a TV junkie at night) I decided to bite the bullet and I called DirecTV. I told the CSR what I wanted to do and he responded by attempting to upgrade me to an HD receiver . After telling him that the point of getting RID of the TV is so we don't WATCH it, he scheduled an appointment for a service tech to come to the house tomorrow.

I figure if there is ever a time to attempt this it is now. Summer is right around the corner. We'll be outside more, going on day trips to the Cape, the beach, etc. Not to mention I will have a NEWBORN....AGAIN... in LESS THAN TWO MONTHS!!! I think the three kids will keep me busy enough where I will be happy to fall into bed and unwind with a good book instead of a one hour drama or reality show.

We've decided if things get a little hairy in the Winter we'll revisit our plan then, but for now I already feel better about my decision. Not to mention, I have polled a few people regarding their decision to ditch the TV and all of them said it was the best decision they ever made! Two people even told me they did it for one year on a trial basis and it has been 14 months and 2 years already for them and they haven't looked back! I am already reorganizing my living room furniture in my head since our 46" TV and the stand it sits on take up so much space. Our living area will increase by about 30%!

Wish me luck!

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