Family Ties Parenting

The No TV/Movies Challenge

Friday night’s “last movie bash” was fun. We rented the Mickey-Donald-Goofy version of Three Musketeers (b/c 9 yo just read the classic and loved it!), and to our surprise, we stumbled upon our favorite Little Rascal’s episode, A Lad and His Lamp. We girls made homemade pizza–each daughter made her own individual pan pizzas, and then we sliced up a big watermelon and pulled out the sleeper sofa. For dessert: root beer floats.

At 9 P.M., with the children tucked in bed, dh and I unplugged the TV/VCR and the DVD player and moved the whole set-up to our bedroom where it’s now residing atop hubby’s chest of drawers. This keeps it out of sight and mind (less tempting) and made for a fun “hotel-like” movie time for us! (Yes, we had one last fling ourselves with Sandra Bullock and the movie Premonition)

Saturday morning began dh’s labor day weekend, and while he and I slept in (thanks to all the bonus features on our DVD keeping us up past midnight!) our nine year old daughter fixed scrambled eggs and set the table with donuts and milk…

She also put together a “fun box” for toddler, complete with Leap Pad, books, and games.

Pretty cool to have everyone on board like that!

Also a nice side to having absconded with the TV is that my living room furniture doesn’t have to be centered around the black box. I moved all the furniture into a more cozy setting…a recliner at each corner of our limestone fireplace with our couch facing both and coffee table in between. And most exciting, my friend Deborah recently brought the rest of her furniture and belongings from New York and gave me a 9’x12′ rectangular area rug…perfect for this conversational seating arrangement! Our living room is around 15’x23′, with the fireplace on a long north-facing wall.

Out with the old…

Normally on Saturday mornings, we tape CBS’s Madeline and Horseland shows and watch them during lunchtime. Here’s where making the old habit unavailable really opens life up to more fulfilling options. We took our lawn chairs out to a shady spot in the yard (deck is in full sun at noon) and had leftovers. One thing led to another and the girls started a running contest. Over and over they ran around the house with daddy timing them on his stopwatch. They progressed to making obstacle courses in and around the yard and outbuildings, and again raced them according to dad’s stopwatch. For at least an hour they were vigorously exercising…and enjoying themselves way more than if they’d been inside watching silly cartoons!

Sunday and we’re still going strong except that 3 year old is in the middle of a full-blown cold. Dh stayed home from church with her…and they kept the TV off, doing puzzles and reading instead. Deep down, I’m wondering if the whole crowd gets this feverish-head cold junk, will I have the fortitude to resist the comfort-glaze of movieland?

At least I can honestly say not a one of us has missed the flashing lights. Toddler hasn’t even questioned the absent TV!

We’ll see how we’re doing this time tomorrow!