Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Votes Are In...

For the first time in a long time, my vote was with the majority...and it seems we're all pretty
embarassed to admit that our children watch more television than we'd like.

I remember (before I had children of my own) swearing that the'd never sit in front of the television like a bunch of drones. Instead, I'd stimulate their curiosities and imaginations with crafts, interactive games, trips to the park, museum, and everywhere else. With so much to do and give our children, how could anyone in good conscience be content plopping their little ones in front of a TV to watch a purple dinosaur sing and dance with kids who will certainly look forward to years of therapy after overdoing on cornballs?

Then I had children.

I spend everyday trying to do everything I imagined I would and so we do crafts, take walks, bake, go to the park and engage ourselves in a host of activities that give them the opportunity to play, explore, and socialize (which, for the 9 month old, extends to clapping and laughing). But at the end of the day, I just need some time to get dinner ready. And so the television goes on. Likewise, morning cartoons provide some time for me to clean up the breakfast dishes, pack our bags, get myself together, and start the day feeling somewhat prepared.

And so, yes, my children's television watching exceeds the AAP's recommended time of one hour a day by a bit, but I also get some time to recharge, give them time to themselves, and, with the great strides in childrens programming, my kids now know some things I might never have thought to teach them (what a chinchilla is, how to say hello in Chinese, and the various stages of the moon).

A distant second, was bribing your children (I will not apologize for this...M&Ms had my daughter potty trained in record time), and quoting your mother (I not only do it all the time, I now appreciate what she has done for me so much more--- like letting me survive the terrible twos-- shout out to Barbara).

And, of course, one vote went to each of the remaining guilty actions, (1) comparing your child to others and (2) allowing them to ingest fast food (my daughter, to my great chagrin, asks for french fries everytime she sees a big yellow "M"--- so upsetting).

Though we all do things we swore we wouldn't, we must remember to focus on all the tings we do that are so wonderful for our children. Every time we pick up a book, every time we stop what we're doing to focus just on them, and every time we hold them tight, we are giving them gifts that so many other children are denied.

So, do not worry...no one is coming to take your Mommy license (though, a certain pop tragedy seems perfectly content operating without one), the big gifts are so much bigger than the little things we do, that we wish we didn't.

Thanks for voting ...and be sure to check out this week's poll.

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