This morning Maggie got dressed all by herself, the whole shebang, even the socks and shoes. Oliver ran into the bathroom where I was getting out of the shower to tell me about it. “Maggie got dressed all by herself,” he said. “Isn’t that impressive?”
Um, that’s a three syllable word, people. I don’t mean to brag, but that’s impressive. Maybe it’s all those New Yorker articles we read to them before bed.
Or maybe it has something to do with the lack of TV. They saw nary a screen flicker until they were almost three and now they watch only DVDs (including the never-ending Thomas the Tank Engine--Oh My GOD but that’s boring) and only now and then. As far as I know, they’ve never seen a commercial.
Before you think I’m some insufferable, holier-than-thou ass wipe, I just want to say that although I was mostly on board with the no-TV rule, The Mister and I had some real blow-ups over his Stalinesque adherence to our self-imposed hardship (the path to the people’s liberation is through interminable hours of PlayDough kitchen!). I mean, can’t a mother get a break once in a while? What’s the harm in putting on 30 minutes of Dora while you grab a little shut-eye, or mix an old-fashioned?
Actually, I can answer that: the harm is in how easy it is. I had heard about the whole TV-as-babysitter model, but until I tried it I had no idea. I had NO idea. It’s like a miracle. The closest I’ve come to real silence in the last three years is when I put on a copy of Sesame Street’s Learning Letters. I sometimes watch as my little angles sit rapt and motionless in front of the TV and wonder why I made it so hard on myself for so long. This whole time I could have been showering, or brushing my teeth, or even returning emails!
I can’t get that time back. But maybe there is some consolation to be found in the fact that my kids love books and have great vocabularies and know how to catch chickens.