Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mommy's crutches

No, I'm not injured. Perhaps some wounded pride, but what else is new!

I have recently discovered that I am the walking wounded. I have been relying, to various degrees, crutches that I thought were my children's vices. Turns out they were mine.

Until two weeks ago, Lydia was a closet bottle drinker. Only at nap time, bed time, and any other time I thought she needed a chill pill. Two weeks ago we were heading to Moroni for the weekend. I purposely didn't bring a bottle, thinking this would be the perfect- albeit torturous- opportunity to lose the bottle. I would handle her screaming and freaking out while we broke the habit. Guess what. She didn't care.

She asked for milk in a bottle. I told her I was sorry, but we only had cups at Grandma's. She then asked for milk in a cup instead. What! No emotional scarring like Jenna had when we tossed the pacifiers! I thought it might be a fluke since the cousins were around for distraction, so I made sure Tim got rid off all the bottles and associated paraphernalia before we returned. I think she has mentioned it twice. I show her the cupboard where the bottles use to be, which now has cups. She calmly asks for a cup and we move on with life.

I ask you, who was the addict?

Crutch #2. The television. I have always been a TV junkie. Downgrading our cable freed up my time immensely! Unfortunately, I noticed my kids picking up the habit. And tuning mom & dad out when the TV is on. I admit to turning on a show (or shows) for them to watch so I can get homework or housework done.

This week we are doing a TV-free experiment. It is only for after-school time this week. (Let's be real about this.) We made a schedule of what we were going to do from the time Jenna got out of school until we sat down for dinner. The girls were hesitant in the morning when I talked to them about it, but we had a wonderful afternoon! They are also intrigued by the promise of a special something Thursday if we meet our goal. (They don't know we are going to the Jazz game!)

We started snack time on the way home by stopping for happy hour at Sonic, played with play dough for an hour, part of that time I read to them to satisfy the 20 minute reading goal for Aubrey, and part of Jenna's reading time. We did homework with no resistance, chores were easier, the table was set for dinner, the kids even picked fresh tomatoes for me to put in our spaghetti for dinner!

Jenna commented that it was so much more fun to make up her own games & challenges during art time than it was to watch other kids do things on her favorite "Ruff Ruffman." Aubrey told me usually she is bored when watching TV. What have I done to my kids!

Now, I don't plan completely ban the television forever, but it was so peaceful in our house yesterday! FHE even flowed smoothly! I was once again ashamed to see that the crutch was mine, no theirs.

If you find me slumped over somewhere, please prop me up on a broom or something and be patient. I'm learning to maneuver without my crutches!


This Place is a Disaster! said...

We don't watch t.v. We don't get reception since we don't have cable. But if on those days my kids want to watch a movie, I let them watch 1 and then the t.v. goes off.
I grew up in a family of t.v. addicts, I wanted a different life for my kids too.
Bottles Still!!!!!! Oh, my! I won't go there, it was hard enough for you to confess!!!!

Becky said...

I have the same crutch. Ellie (almost 4) knows how to push n ( for netflix) on the computer and find all the shows she want. She also knows how to put in pbs in the computer and play pbskids.org. I kind of like that I can get things done with her entertained so only half of me wants to fix the problem sad huh. I will do better you are such a good example.

Rhiannon said...

This is my favorite post of yours! I see mine all the time.... it's a sad, sad, silly thing huh! Kids are good at that, showing you to yourself. I loved it when I realized the TV sucked. (Also from a family of addicts) And am continually amazed at the "stuff" my kids come up with.

The Gibbys said...

So cute!


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