Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Television Shmellivision

A week or so ago, Sue posted a funny piece about her almost Amish children. You should go read it.

But first you should hear about how my children want to be good little Marches. You know, I never set out to have the Little Women household, but it sure is looking more like that every day.

We have no television, so the girls are forced to entertain themselves. And it's not like they didn't do so before we cut the cable cord; none of them has ever had that tv addiction thing where they couldn't pull themselves away ... or where we could use tv time as a reward/consequence currency. You know, "If you don't finish your reading, you can't watch Hannah Montana," or "If you do all your chores, you can have an extra half-hour of tv." That kind of thing has no weight here.

They'd rather be outside. If you tell Sarah she can't go outside because, for instance, she has a bad cough, she'll cry and whine -- I mean -- she'll logically explain how important fresh air is to her recovery. Whatever.

And if they can't be outside girls would way rather read or create huge crafty messes with permanent paints (oilcloth is my friend) and hot glue guns than watch television. They would way rather create a new game (their latest board game is called "Uh-Oh") or write a play and rehearse it all day and then wheedle Daddy into buying tickets to the performance.

They get a little confused when they go to friends' houses where tv is the main event. "But what're we gonna do?! "

And I'm aware this makes me sound like a beyond-PBS mother. I'm fully cognizant that this could be construed in that hyper-competitive parenting way that some folks have fun with. Trust me, I'm not judging. Our girls still fight over computer time, if that makes anyone feel better. The Marches had to share gloves to go to a dressy party, and my girls won't share clothing unless forced (or, in a pinch, if Grandma's watching).

So when my beloved white Suburban gave up last week (I know: broken hip + chicken massacre + terrible flu + family car demise = fantastic fortnight) it was time to buy a new one. We really need a Suburban because it's the only vehicle to seat our whole family and to haul a horse trailer. (Just in case you're worried about the minivans-save-the-Earth dilemma.)

I had narrowed my choices to a couple of used Suburbans. The final contender seats nine (one more than the old one!) and has low miles, snappy red paint (cop magnet, anyone?), FlexFuel, heavy duty towing package, etc. It doesn't have only one thing on my wish list: leather. I decided that I could give up the leather for a car we could afford that also drives. Down the road.

It also has highly embarrassing Fresno-style blindingly bright chrome 18-inch wheels.

And a television. Which is hilarious. The salesman thought he really had me there. I just want all car salesmen to know: buying a car is a pain. in. the. butt. And I have plenty of that without buying a car. A moving DVD player has no value to me. None. I'm not just bargaining with that, it's the gospel, folks.

So Madeleine knew about the new car one day earlier than anyone else. She was torturing her sisters-- I mean -- she was handing out hints about our big "appointment" like the tiny niblets of power that she knew them to be. It is so awesome to be in the know, isn't it? I wish I was in the know about a lot more things. I think that's why I was a journalist, originally. Not only do you have the information, you package it and disseminate it. This is power. But the digression goes on long enough.

The short one who was in the know about our impending car pick-up gave Sarah the hint that "you can watch movies in it." Sarah thought. And thought.

"We're buying a THEATER?"

They still haven't watched any tv in the car. They already have colored pencils and notebooks all over the back two rows.


Misty said...

you know, we do have a big screen, digital cable as well as a tv room and a tv in the school/craft room...


Genny doesn't watch tv. on very rare occasions we will pull an all day movie day, (i.e. yesterday where we watched the love comes softly series from start to finish.) She has no idea what shows kids watch, and we really prefer it that way.
Our tv's are for movies and the wii. Our cable subscription is because we have a DVR and record the only 2 shows we watch religiously...

And when genny goes to her grandmothers house, where the tv is always the center of attention- she get's really bored, really fast.

Farm Chick Paula said...

It sounds like your children have an extra gene... the "ability to entertain themselves" gene.

Sadly, this trait has been bred out of children in the last 25 years.

Alexis said...

I love that my son's idea of "cartoons" is watching whatever happens to be on PBS at any given time - which, is rare. We used to have a Dish, but gave it up when we whittled the budget and the priorities down. Haven't missed it! (Ok, I lie, I miss TLC) Our newer burb has a TV too, and on rare occasions we get to "Move it Move it" Madagascar style on the way home from Grandma's House!

Katie said...

This was one funny post. I feel like a heel for taking my sweet time in commenting though, I suck and I'm sorry.


I am totally stoked about your new Burb and it's smarmy little television.

Hah! I laugh in the face of television. Bwhahahah!