When we were engaged my boss at the time gave us one piece of advice and it was to "have no TV for the first year of marriage, it'll set you up for success by giving yourselves more time to get to know each other than some characters in a sitcom". We prayed over his wise advice and decided it was best for us. We kept my 13 inch TV/VCR combo for movie nights, but opted out of cable TV. I have to say that between that decision and the support we received from our friends at our Bible Study, we made it through. By the skin of our teeth, but we did it.
By the time our 1 yr. anniversary came around we welcomed a screaming (*ahem* precious) Willow into the world. Tension ran long but money was short. We moved about a bazillion times during which we continued to use our loyal 13 inch TV for occasional movie nights. We finally settled into a spacious 350 sq. ft. apartment. As a means to escape the reality of a year and a half old child who never slept and a whole lot-a family drama, we gave in to the free cable.
Long story short my dreams of having a child who had no idea who Dora was quickly turned to dust as Willow stomped on it with her Strawberry Shortcake shoes while singing "Yo Gabba Gabba!". One day I hit a breaking point, almost literally beat the TV up with a bat, decided to throw it in the closet instead and lived a blissful TV free life. . .. until Cedar was born.
We made it almost two months after his birth until we brought it out and dusted it off. I was overwhelmed with an almost 3 year old with some sensory needs, a newborn with colic that never ended and a whole lot of post partum yucky-ness. And, well, it helped.
A year and a half and another child screaming "Dora" and chasing after a girl with short hair later, I was officially done. Granted, they still didn't sit in front of it all day and we didn't have cable, but I was looking around at my children, children who God created with amazing imaginations sitting around staring at a blue flashing screen. I couldn't help but feel responsible. Of course I was responsible. I am supposed to be the steward of these children at home while they are here with me on Earth and I was not doing them any service by allowing Dora to babysit them so I could read a few blog posts or knit a few rows.
I cannot stand TV as background noise. Sensoraly (is that even a word?) for me I can't think when it's on. I hate what it turns my children into. I hate that it becomes an easy out so that I can have a minute for myself. Shouldn't I lean on Jesus, not the Super Hero Squad?
Daddy Oak and I talked. We agreed it was best. So the first Sunday of Advent I hauled it to the basement with Willow literally holding onto my feet and Cedar pulling on my shirt. It's gone. For good. I listed it on Craigslist.
Three days later and they are back to showing me pictures they took on their digital camera (a wooden block) and defeating monsters in the mirror. They haven't asked for it once! And I am happy.
(and so are they)
I bring all of this up for a point. I promise! From now on on Tuesdays I will be posting what we have done in the past week without the need of a TV, share some ideas for what I have planned for the following week and will share some general thoughts on how I feel we are doing since going back to TV free. Feel free to join in and share your thoughts and ideas, links, and even gripes!
Have a happy day!