The River

Friday, March 10, 2006

Proud parent moment

As in proud of myself. I'm working from home today. Earlier, my wife was off running errands, the kids were playing and I was in the office on a conference call. Just as the call was wrapping up, I hear wailing down the hall. I wrap up the call and hustle down there. It seems my six-year-old daughter has told my four-year-old daughter that her plastic giraffe is dead. Apparently, when she moved two pandas and an elephant into the giraffe's home it was fatal for the giraffe.

I'm huggin the younger one while I get the story. I get them to play separately, but not without considerable moans and groans from the older ones, including declarations of the utter boredom of her life. I go back to the office. A few minutes later, they both knock on the door. They have a request: Can we watch a video?

No, is my immediate answer. It's always my immediate answer. They get up to one hour of TV a day, less if I can help it. Only PBS and videos from the library. They brought a Barney video home (and before you say anything let me say that the whole "hate Barney" campaign is more a reflection of adult hatred of things they don't understand, in this case simple love and innocence, i.e. childhood, than it is a reflection of the show).

Of course, they whine. I say TV is not the answer to your frustration. This falls on deaf ears (but I know there's no such thing). Still, I do have to work and a video would keep them occupied. How to solve this, achieve desired ends and not compromise my principles?

I ask them to each draw a picture and/or write a story on why they like Barney. I don't want them to run to the TV without thinking about what they are doing. I don't like the passive nature of TV, I say. But I'll give in if they do this for me. They quite happily set about this task.

They thought, they drew upon their resources, and they created. They earned their docile entertainment. I guess.

My wife came home as they were finishing up their drawings, gave them lunch and took them to a children's museum. They never got a chance to watch the video. I said they could watch it this evening.

I'll have to see what I can come up with; if I'm lucky they'll forget about it.

Comments: Post a Comment