Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Recap of our "No" TV Week

Monday, Day 1: After waking up, Will immediately said, "Mommy, I'm Bored!" because he wanted to try out his bored box. The first item he drew was to make a castle with Leggos. Here's the completed castle. Yes, everyone is still in their pjs... I told you he said it immediately after waking! :)

Nathan went to the tv and pushed the button to turn it on. Nothing happened because I had unplugged it. He tried again and again. He looked at me and I told a bit of a fib and said it was broken. He said very seriously, "Dadda, fix!" and then went to find something else to do. Boy, that was easy.

Then Will said he was bored again. (This word "bored" is a new one for him. He doesn't quite understand it yet. I made the mistake of explaining that he got to draw something from the box when he says he is bored. Oh well.) So anyway, he was "bored" again. He drew the slip that said to pick new books.

I recently did an overhaul of the kids' books and stored the majority of them. It was time to switch them out anyway, so that's what we did. Will and Nathan picked 7 books each they wanted to put away and 7 new books from the stored ones. The spent the rest of the morning reading books until it was time for Will to go to school.

The boys played outside in the sandbox until Jeff got home and then we all cleaned up the back yard, raking leaves and cut grass. Baths all around and into bed! Whew!

Day 2: No attempt at turning the tv on. No mention of it, either. We spent the first minutes of the day listening. Then, around 7:30AM Will brings me a slip of paper... "Bake cookies". My initial reaction is, "No, there's not enough time before school." But then I realized there was still 1 1/2 hours before we needed to leave, so... we baked cookies!

My MIL came over so I could do my weekly shopping and errands. She would also be spending the night because Witt had an ENT appointment Wednesday morning.

The boys played outside all day! It was beautiful.

We spent the evening watching Jeff rescue a balloon from the tree.

Day 3: It all fell apart today, not the tv watching... the day in general. Witt's appointment at 8:30AM went fine - he'll be getting tubes on April 28th (my bday... happy birthday to me). Upon returning from the ENT I find Will sobbing in tears that his hip hurts. MIL says he's been crying about it for an hour. I've never seen this kid so upset, so I call his pediatrician.

To make a VERY LONG story short, on the way to the pediatrician, will threw up... repeatedly. I figure it was actually his stomach that hurt and not his hip, but after a visit to the pediatrician, we ended up at the hospital for hip x-rays and blood work anyway. I brought Will home after several hours at the hospital. Everything came back fine; the blood work corresponded to a virus. (Sometimes mom knows best and if I had only waited 20 more minutes before going to the pediatrician I would have saved Will the torment of being sick and waiting at the hospital... oh what day!)

After returning Will home, I headed back across town to preregister Witt for his ear tubes.

The rest of the day is a blur... but we didn't watch tv.

Day 4, Thursday: Will's energy has returned two-fold and MIL leaves to go back to her house, but offers to keep Will and Nathan the next two nights if I'll bring them to her house later that afternoon. SCORE! Yes, ma'am I can do that!

That evening at 7:30PM, I was by myself. Witt was in bed, the older boys were gone, and Jeff was working. I made the conscious choice to sit down and watch a movie all... by... myself. I don't regret it. It was great to veg-out!

Day 5, Friday: The boys were at MIL's. I'm sure they were allowed to watch as much tv as they wanted. I cleaned the house with Witt.

Day 6, Saturday: The boys return around noon. Will breaks down in tears that I won't let him watch tv. I remind him about his box. He brings me a slip. Whatever it was, he doesn't want to do it. And another. Same thing. And another. Same thing. I stood my ground on "no tv".

We decide to snuggle up in the chair and read a book. Then we build another castle with the blocks. We also build a new train track layout.

Day 7, Sunday: The boys are so tired and whiny from their trip to grandmother's and from worship services in the morning. Jeff breaks down while lunch is being prepared with, "Becky, where ARE the videos?!?" He pops one in and we let the boys eat lunch in front of the tv for some peace and quiet.

Later that afternoon, Will asks for tv again and wants to know when we can "watch it all the time".


I also limited my computer time during this week and I think that made for the most successful days when I adhered to the limitations. I was also more productive in the house. I'd like to continue limiting my computer time - I just haven't figured out the best time of the day for me to allow the computer time.

As far as the tv goes, life goes much smoother in the morning without it. We have plenty of time to get ready and even make cookies if we want! It's just hard when it's been a rough night's sleep for me and I don't want to have to deal with the morning.

I would like to see us keep the tv off until after Will comes home from school... maybe a video while I'm cooking supper. It's going to take a lot of discipline for that though... more for me than the kids.

It was a good week and I enjoyed the extra time with the kids. I want them to have memories of me reading to them and playing with them... not memories of just sitting and watching tv or of mom on the computer.

So, with that... I'm turning the computer off to go be with the kiddos!

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The Joys of having Boys said...

That is awesome that you went all week without T.V. I really want to do it, but will have to admit that I am scared!! I guess more so of saying it and then not sticking with it. I think maybe we will start out with one day of no T.V. during the week or something then maybe work up to two then so on.... I don't know.

OH, Happy Birthday!!

Anonymous said...

You did a great job this week! I am in awe of your will power! I'm sorry to hear about the sick baby! I know how hard it can be to keep the TV off when a child is sick.

Unknown said...

Sounds like you all had a great time even through the rough times! Thanks for the inspiration.

It's you know who! said...

You did great! And happy birthday a day late. :)

Andrea said...

It really can be tough with out the tv. But sometimes it's the best way to get to a place where you don't depend on it so much. I try to allow no more than 1 hr per day and only watch myself when nursing the baby. Dh is the one who breaks down the most - I usually come home from errands to find them vegging when what I really wanted was for them to have 'daddy' time. Oh well - we are still working on it too!

b.t.w. I had tubes 3x as a kid. Have you ever looked up other options to tubes? I have read that they are not really helpful in preventing infections. Don't know your situation however, so feel free to ignore my $0.02!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Sorry the day was no fun.

I was really interested to read about your week. It sounds like it went pretty well and that you learned a lot about what works and doesn't work for your family. One size does NOT fit all when it comes to TV use. The key is to just be aware and figure out how and when to have it on.

I am so glad you joined in, and I really hope you'll continue to post about your TV reduction plan as you refine it. Good luck!

Dana said...

Good job on the no tv week. We did that for 2 weeks with the kids for a project at school. It was really hard for them. Funny thing is we really don't watch tv all that much. I think once they were told they couldn't that's when the nagging began.
My daughter had tubes shortly before she was 2. She only had 1 ear infection while she had them and after they had fallen out.
Happy belated birthday.