Monday, November 7, 2011

A TV update

Well, you probably remember this post from back in May when we decided to haul our 46" LCD TV to the basement and subsequently decided to sell it at a yard sale. I figured I would give you all an update on how life is going without the TV in our living area.

When we first got rid of it right before Memorial Day weekend, I wasn't that concerned about the long term effects of being sans television. The weather was finally starting to get nice and we were outdoors far more than we were in so we weren't missing it all. Jacob was still wrapping up his first couple of months in the public preschool program as well so we were preoccupied with that.

Eli was born in July and we transitioned rather nicely. Unfortunately, work slowed down considerably for Ian due to the economy so he ended up having almost two months off with only a few small jobs here and there. I don't think he worked more than 2-3 days a week until the end of September. I have to say it was quite the luxury having him home that long as we transitioned from a family of four to a family of five. The first week and a half of school I didn't even need to pack up all the kids to bring Jacob to school since I had Ian at home to sit with the other two. Slowly but surely, his work has started picking up. He is now booked solid through the Spring and I am on my own once again.

When Eli first came home from the hospital my sole responsibility was recovering from my c-section and taking care of Eli. For the most part, Ian was wrangling the other two. He took them outside to play on the slide, took them for long walks around the neighborhood before dinner and helped them ride their bikes in the cul-de-sac. I don't think they even noticed the TV had disappeared.

Now that the new school year has started, Jacob is in school on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and we decided that in order to get them into good TV habits now we would set a family rule that there is no television on school days. We go to church as a family on Sunday so we also decided that there will be no television on Sundays. This leaves Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays. On Monday and Wednesday we take our time around here in the morning since we aren't rushing out the door to school so I let them watch one half hour show in the morning on our bedroom TV (which is now the only TV in our house) while I feed Eli and get him dressed for the day. We have shows pre-recorded on the DVR and they usually watch The Fresh Beat Band or Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Once that show is over they don't watch TV for the rest of the day.

About a month ago, we decided to try and implement "Friday movie nights" and eliminate Saturday TV since we were usually so busy on the weekends that they ended up not watching TV anyway. The first week we did this we decided to try out Peter Pan. I didn't have high hopes since Jacob isn't really into things he isn't familiar with, but we figured it was a good start since he is OBSESSED with Captain Hook and Smee from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. I was blown away by the fact that he sat through the entire movie and laughed hysterically the whole time.

**On a side note, can I also mention how violent Peter Pan is? I don't remember Disney movies being so ruthless, but Hook was calling people "blithering idiots", smoking like a chimney the entire movie and shooting fellow pirates with his gun. I digress, but I think we're retiring Peter Pan for a few years.**

We have since watched Cars, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Cars 2! The kids love our Friday night tradition (we also order take-out) and start talking early on in the day about what movie we should watch that night.

Since selling our TV, we spend more quality time together as a family. We are reading more. I am a cleaning/organization fool and I have been baking and cooking more. I have also been going through all of our pictures and creating photo books with the 3,000 pictures I have taken in the last three years.

Most importantly, the kids are spending more time playing together, doing puzzles, reading books, etc. It was the best decision we made to eliminate the TV from the living area! I will say that I am happy that we kept our small TV in the master bedroom. The kids and I have been sick once already and we spent one whole day in bed watching movies and for that I was grateful. I also still rely on the news every morning and evening for weather updates and I still watch my DVR'd episode of CSI on Thursday every week, but if anyone else is considering making the leap I say go for it! As a former TV junkie, I thought it would be way too hard, but it has actually been quite liberating.

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