Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lofty Goals

I have some goals in mind while childrearing. These include reducing the amount of TV they watch, playing more outside, and eating more homecooked meals. Sometimes, though, these goals seem mutually exclusive.

As the late afternoon settles on our house, the children start whining to watch TV. I know they've already had their allotted 1 hour of TV time, so I encourage them to go outside and be active while I cook dinner.

Once outside, unless they are highly monitored, they make mischief! They dig in the flower and veggie gardens, spill entire bags of chicken feed (while trying to feed them), pick unripened fruit, and relocate most of the sand from the sandbox into the new kiddie pool. Sometimes if I am outside grilling, I can try to redirect their activities, but really they know my full attention is elsewhere and soon they are getting into trouble.

Usually at this point I'm at some critical step in cooking, so Anthony goes out and corrects them with much volume, and they come inside howling.

Only one solution. The electronic babysitter. aka the boob tube.

30 minutes later we are all sitting down to what I've cooked. Is this a better compromise, the TV which promotes inactivity and potentially obesity for the sake of a homecooked meal? Not that I even want to go out to eat nearly as much as we used to in our kidless days - by the time we get out the door, order, eat, go to the bathroom at least twice, and get back home, its taken more time and effort than cooking, and I have heartburn. I can get Anna to help me for a few minutes sometimes, but Colin has shown no interest except for cracking eggs (he really likes that). How do/did parents without TVs get anything done?


Daddy said...

Well, families were a lot closer geographically and there was usually a teenage aunt as in your case for the time we were in Farmer's Bra, or, as in my case, an older sister,(Norma), who was in charge of games and wash-ups for the younger kids in the evening before dinner/tea and bedtime.

The solution for you is.............Da Da.....move to Lexington where Cousin Bev can occupy the kids whilst you cook dinner. Or, move to El Paso and we'll do it!

ColeBugsmommy said...

I can think of so many times Cole got into something while I was trying to cook dinner or do laundry. My favorite was when he was three and climbed on the back of the couch to the kitchen bar, climbed down and got the sugar container, dumped the contents on the couch and was playing in the "sand" on the couch with his cars, while I was hanging clothes up in the bedroom. I wisely let Randy keep that couch.

Emily said...

Sorry, don't know what to tell ya...I'm kidless! (and we definitely eat out more than cook in. With both of us working so much, no one has the energy to plan and cook meals much.)

paula said...

I've no idea Jenn, I'm as guilty as anyone of using the goggle box to entertain Luke while I'm cooking the evening meal. Rich tends to work late quite often so I'm usually cooking alone and it can be so stressful if I don't have the tv on as he is always hanging over the kitchen gate shouting "Mummy, can you help with this" "Mummy I can't find that" etc etc. I do limit how much he watches tv but sometimes you just have to do what it takes to get the job done. I reckon that as long as you balance their activities sensibly it can't do too much harm and I really can't imagine our kids becoming inactive young adults as they do get a lot of outside stimulation i.e. parks, walking, swimming etc. I think it's the parents that sit on their arses letting the kids become brain dead in front of the box while they do nothing at all themselves that are the really guily parties. BTW at the moment Luke thinks that our DVD players are broken as we have banned Fireman Sam for the forseeable due to brain overload aaargh!!!

Aunty Norma said...

Hey,Jenn!! Take your Poppas' offer :o) we are all your Winesses..built in Babysitters...ahhh a Mothers' dream!xx

Paige said...

Sometimes the electronic babysitter is where it's at! That all I can say other than...balance is a good goal but the reality is...well....let TV tell ya! ha ha!