THAT'S WHERE OUR TELEVISION ISN'T.
While I was making that little adjustment to our home decor, I also managed to rearrange all the furniture in the living room. (Feng Shweeeee!) But that is another story for another day OH SWEET GOD ON HIGH HOW I LOVE TO REARRANGE FURNITURE. Calling = missed. Gus when he woke up at 2am and tried to locate the couch = so confused.
Between writing Why We Aren't Sleeping Through the Night and reading Simplicity Parenting, (a book I loved and highly highly recommend), I've been considering getting rid of our main television once and for all.* Having implemented no-TV days and no-TV weeks, there is no doubt in my mind that our family is better off without TV. The kids are quieter. More creative. Less combative. More relaxed. (I am stopping short of TV-is-the-devil talk, but, seriously? (Whispers) I think TV might actually be the devil. Or maybe Hannah Montana is the devil, and the television is hell.
Either way. My oldest child is five years old and (thanks in part to the Disney Channel) he is now capable of giving any sarcastic sass-mouth teenage girl a run for her money. Yesterday morning, I got out of the shower and found him slack jawed and wide eyed, sitting on the floor, two feet from the television, watching Lisa break Screech's heart on Saved by the Bell.
No, no, no, no, no. There was nothing right about that show the first time around, and I don't need to see it a second ... okay, third ... (okay FINE, it was always on reruns) fourth time to confirm it.
And then last night, you guys? Last night my child spoke to me like he was auditioning for a starring role in the Disney Channel seriesBeach Blanket (!#$&*^%). Eyebrows jacked up to the lord, hand waving in the air, telling me off about I don't even remember what, and I said "THAT IS IT, SON. THE TELEVISION IS GONE."
He watched in complete horror while I wheeled the TV out of the living room. Cords and cables dragging on the floor behind it.
And he wept.
WEPT WEPT WEPT WEPT WEPT. Like I'd just yanked grandma off life support.
Because television is his "MOST FAVORITE THING IN THE WORLD."
"THE THING (HE) LOVES MORE THAN ANYTHING" and "CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT."
"I wish I could die right now," he cried. "I wish I could die right now so I could go to heaven and watch TV."
Then I did you a favor, kid. It's time to re-prioritize.
"And someday, Gus," I said (reaching into the IKEA-size hole in my brain that is stocked with cliches for every occasion) "YOU WILL THANK ME FOR THIS."
Not ten minutes later, he was completely over it. Smiling and chirping and off to brush teeth and get ready for bed.
He doesn't need TV. I'll even venture so far as to say deep down he doesn't want it.
I know getting rid of the television won't change everything. That my kid will still crab and be crazy and stomp his feet and talk back to me sometimes.
I just want him to do it in his own words.
*There is still a small TV in our bedroom for sick days, watching wholesome (if not creepy) videos of Mr. Rogers learning how clowns put on makeup, and weather-related [or American Idol-finale-related] emergencies.