A little honesty here. Today sort of sucked. Day four with no tv for us, and Kai was pushing it to the limit. He was not to be amused by anything today – we made play-dough this morning, and I got a whole fifteen minutes out of that. Look, in some fuzzy-headed picture of what my life would be like now, I may have imagined that I’d parent without TV in my house. No TV ever. You know, we’d sit around making whole-wheat bread, and yogurt, and tie dye socks. The reality doesn’t look even a little like that. I’m going to admit, that TV, it gets my kid to stop moving. This, that is the getting my kid to pause, to stay with two feet in one place, to not be in constant motion, it takes either unbelievable patience, or Wow! Wow! Wubzy. And me, I just don’t have an unlimited well of patience, nor do I even have two free hands most of the day. And so in the tough spots, times where his brother is having a hard time getting to sleep, or when I would like to enjoy the luxury of you know, a shower, and especially when I’m making dinner, I throw on Sprout, or PBS, or Nick Preschool.
And I’ve had my consciousness raised, I get the whole thing, I see how TV gets to him, how he tells me I need that hanger for my closets, or how I need to buy that sparkly machine for my jeans (Sprout has weird infomercials). When we throw on WB on-demand, so he can watch Scooby, he asks immediately about their website, and its games, and “can we get those Scooby points mama?” Hell when we putz around the store, it’s obvious that even the channel that has no commercials, is just a day long commercial – “MOM, DORA and DIEGO, they have a new MAP! We NEEEED that”. And I tell him, “Dora and Diego live in the tv and don’t have to live with us, thank you”. And that works just fine.
It’s just lately, TV seems to play too big a role, he finishes a show, then he hops on the computer to play a letter game, then on to my Droid to play another game. And me, as soon as the kids are asleep, I’m grabbing a laptop, and flipping the channel to my favorite summer reality show. And I’m locked in screen world, till I’m too tired to keep my eyes open.
So today sucked because I chose this week to not fall back on what I’ve come to know so well. And today sucked because Kai and I had just about had it with each other, and today sucked, because I thought it was a good idea to fight with a three year old.
But, today’s battle taught me that parenting isn’t about an ideal or an expectation. Parenting isn’t static. Every moment is dynamic, ever battle is about learning something new. Every struggle is about figuring out what works for you and your kids. And with each moment, battle, and struggle, you negotiate the field of what is working right now for you and yours. And this is the best I can do. I can make it work for this minute, and anything beyond that, is gravy.