Right when we got home from Chicago I got this crazy idea that our family needed to detox on some things. Specifically? Our kids needed a Screen Intervention. On a beautiful day I asked my daughter "Hey, want to go outside and play?" and when I could finally actually GET her attention, her reply was "No thanks Mama. I'm just gonna watch my show." UHM, NO. And that was it. This Sunday will mark the 21 day mark of nearly ZERO (except ONE cooking show I let them watch on PBS because I really, really needed to shower without anyone gravely injuring themselves I'm SORRY) television and screen time.
Which basically is why all MY hobbies have gone to the wayside ... I mean SOMEONE has to keep these kids out of trouble if Elmo can't!!
But seriously, it's like my kids suddenly grew imaginations! After about a week of begging for television - hence the term DETOX - I started finding my daughter around the house *entertaining herself* with things like puzzles, dolls, and books. The change has been the most pronounced with my Syd. She's a spirited child, to be sure. She has a lot of energy and has always been a kid that loves to be "engaged" and talked to and likes to have another person's undivided attention. She has always struggled to just play by herself because she is so very social (this is partly why we chose to have our children so close in age: the girl NEEDED a playmate!). Lately I have noticed that increasingly she has trouble focusing on anything for very long ... I convinced myself that it was her personality and her age. While she is still the same talks-a-mile-a-minute kid who just wants to DO something (her first question every day is "What are we going to DO today, Mama?" and when she gets to go to school or on some other adventure it THRILLS her to no end), she now also can sometimes make her own fun, which is huge for ME. I spend more quality time with my kids, we spend more time playing together, and when it's time to cook dinner or whatever I can usually do it without having to depend on the television to keep everyone out of trouble. Mind-blowing.
We plan to let them watch television again after the detox period has passed, but only as a treat on weekends. Which is probably going to totally backfire in about 14 years when Syd heads off to college and is all, "Mom and Dad, did you know that it now costs $50,000 a year at MIT? Isn't that HILARIOUS?" I will surely wish we'd let her kill WAY more brain cells in front of the television when that day comes.
AHEM, this is just to say that I will tell you all about the Chicago Marathon one of these days. My next step in this whole battle plan is to somehow carve out time for myself to work on my own projects during the day. So, if anyone knows where the button is on kids that turns off their crazy urge to GET UP IN YOUR BUSINESS every time they see you open your laptop or appear to make a phone call that would be super helpful. The last month has been a constant uphill battle against sickness, housecleaning, busy-ness, preschool stuff (field trips and work days and parties and projects. OH MY). I still dilude myself sometimes into thinking that my turn will eventurally come. A GIRL CAN DREAM.
But mostly? Have a happy, safe Halloween.
(Coming soon on inside dog, how to detox kids from sugar. BABY STEPS, people.)