Kill your TV….maybe
The weekend before Christmas my husband and I are out at our first child-free party. We both changed out of our uniforms of flannels and leggings and snagged my little brother and his girlfriend as babysitters for the evening, and (after promises of apple cinnamon pancakes) the next morning so we could sleep in. I’m psyched, and so far I’ve had exactly three sips of a weak drink my husband made me, and plopped myself in the corner so I could be within arms reach of the snacks. I’ve answered all the usual questions….?How’s Paige, is she sleeping through the night yet…? and I’ve only snuck away to call my brother three times. I’ve been ?partying? for exactly one hour.
As more woman fill the dining room the talk unavoidably turns to motherhood. By now I’m used to the looks I receive when I talk about co-sleeping but that doesn’t compare to the looks I get when the conversation moves to Sponge Bob.
?I don’t really want Paige to watch TV…? Is all it takes before half the room is laughing at me. I’m laughing too, but in my head ?screw you? is on repeat. One woman pats my shoulder and says something like ?Oh honey you just wait…?
Is it strange I don’t want Paige to watch television? When I was younger I adored Saturday morning cartoons, and there was nothing better than curling up under our afghan for a movie but I like to think I preferred books and imaginary play to the box. As an adult, my TIVO is a pathetic smorgasbord of reality TV, and my husband and I get excited for new episodes of the Dog Whisperer. Am I being a huge hypocrite depriving my five month old of delights such as Dora the Explorer? Who knows, but it’s just not in my master plan which consists of having Paige conjugating verbs by six months.
Lets fast forward to about a week ago, when the grandmas paired up for an afternoon of the granddaughter while Phil and I went to the dog park with our new puppy. When we got home, who was planted in front of Noggin but my dear sweet little intellect. Giggling away, flailing her hands, absolutely loving it while G-ma 1 & 2 sat with a glass of wine. I was fuming, but also slightly amused that Paige seemed to be delighted with the flashes of colors.
?She looks possessed!? And with the flip of a hand, the TV went black.
My mother went on to laugh at me, and call me a nut case saying there WILL be a time when I need to get things done, I will be alone, and Pinky Dinky Doo will be my savior. I kind of ignored all that, stating my usual ?She doesn’t need TV mom, she has ME singing her nursery rhymes off-key…?
Shall we fast forward again? To an evening ago when my husband went out for board game night staples an hour before our friends were due and I had a screaming Paige on my hands? A screaming Paige who needed a bath, a bedroom that needed cleaning, dishes to be scrubbed, pizza that needed ordering, and a living room that looked like a hurricane hit it? I tried everything. The nursery rhymes, the talking mirror, teething blocks, dancing in front of her, a feeding….I was running out of time, and options when something caught my eye. Something that promised twenty minutes of freedom, something I promised myself I would never use.
I dragged her chair in front of the TV, strapped her in, and threw on Pinky.
I promise, that was the last time.