Wednesday, October 31, 2012

TV Free

Happy Halloween, y’all!  I’ve been in costume since 7 am, and I got up at 5:25 to make sure I was fully costumed before my morning meeting.  That’s dedication.  Although, I will say, it’s not so much a burden to be dedicated to Halloween.  It is one of the best holidays.


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Oh, sure, I like all the holidays.  Who doesn’t like celebrating?  Post-college, I made sure to celebrate Tuesdays and other random days of the week just for something to fete.  I was making no money, living far from family, and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, so yeah, I partied all week long with celebratory drinks simply because it was never again going to be this dateThis Tuesday.  Or whatever.


Charles is Batman today.  He has a lot of costumes – he maybe gets that from me.  I picked up the Batman costume at a consignment store for less than $4 and found a mask and cape at Wal-Mart for cheap.  And I can hardly wait to shop tomorrow when costumes will be marked down like crazy!  Yesterday Charles was Iron Man, but one of his Baby Boot Camp friends was Batman, so he wanted to do that today.  He frequently wears costumes to school and has been Spiderman and Thomas the Tank Engine recently.  He also has a pirate, magician, and knight costume.  We are well stocked.


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Jamie threw a fit about wearing a costume.  I promise that he has one, too, but he doesn’t yet know how to appreciate Halloween.


Of that whole list, Charles only really knows about Thomas the Tank Engine and Spiderman.  Thomas, because we have some Thomas DVDs and it is on Netflix and we have loads of Thomas books.  Spiderman, because I picked up six reading-level-2 Spiderman books at Costco for $10 awhile back because all of his little friends at school love Spiderman.  And then Charles got Spiderman shoes the last time he wore out a pair.  He’s not so much growing out of shoes at the moment – he is truly wearing them out. 


Aside (this blog is full of ‘em): I was kissing an owie on Charles’ leg the other day and realized that the kid is STRONG.  I mean, he has some serious muscles.  And it’s no wonder!  He is non-stop all day long.  To sustain his level of activity, I would be ripped, too.  His shoes pay the price for all that running and jumping and sliding and dancing. 


I’m occasionally called back to the reality of the fact that we don’t watch TV in our house.  We don’t have cable or satellite, and our Netflix use is very limited (mostly limited to me and Tony on evenings when Tony doesn’t have homework – which is, like, rare these days).  We also don’t go to the movies very often, and I would never think of letting Charles see Spiderman or Iron Man or Batman.  He recently got to have a treat of a movie before bed and chose Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you know, the old clay-mation one, and was so scared by the Abominable Snowman that he asked me to turn the movie off.  How could he ever be okay watching any of these live-action comic book superhero movies? 


And yet, it is clear that his classmates do watch these movies and even enjoy them.  Do they not get scared?  Is Charles just sensitive?  I don’t think that’s it, but maybe.  Regardless, we’re going to continue to limit movies to our version of age-appropriateness and TV to nothing.  There might come a point when Charles and Jamie feel left out because their classmates all watch 90210 (or maybe that was just me – my family didn’t have TV when I was in junior high and high school, and I haven’t had it since, so I don’t know what’s popular – probably all the kids are still watching 90210 and Sex in the City, right?) and they don’t, but it’s more likely that they won’t ever really know what they are missing.  After all, they’ll be in sports and have other activities.  And I’m hoping that when they get a bit older we can have a family movie night every week or so – that way, watching the television will always be a treat and something that we can kind of call “family time.”


The other effect of no TV, of course, is that I am pretty out-of-touch with pop culture.  My references are all a few years old, since I only watch shows on Netflix.  And even then, we pick and choose shows so we almost never watch what has been popular.  I have a feeling I will see some costumes this year that make no sense to me because they come from a show I haven’t seen.


Do you watch TV?  Have cable?  What do you let your kids watch?  Are we that far out of the norm on this?


Sylvie said...

no cable household here too..we survive with Netflix once in a blue moon (still waiting on the next season of Warehouse 13)..The boys area allowed to watch a teeny bit of tv only on friday, saturday and sunday evening. And they get age-appropriate movies/cartoons. Right now, their favorite is Shaun the sheep and woody wood pecker..They also LOVE Mighty Machines...Has Charles seen that ?? He would love it.
So no adult movies for them either, even Roman. Well except for the original starwars. This year, after much begging on their part, we did let them watch those with us..
But like your boys, they are scared by the goat in shaun the sheep...they are scarred of the Nemo movie...I really don't understand how a 3 year old can enjoy the violent movies like spiderman..and then we wonder why they are violent children/teenagers...

Stephanie said...

No cable here, although we do have a $10 antenna from best buy, the kids watch PBS once in a blue moon and I occasionally watch the news after they're in bed.