We’re pretty strict about how much tv we let our girls watch. For a while the rule has been one movie a day, and for the longest time they rarely asked for that. The tv is rarely on and I don’t think Reagan knew cartoons were on tv until recently. A month or two ago though somehow things went to pot (is that a saying a good Christian girl should use? I don’t know).
Right before our school ended, I must have been stressed or something, something about a move and not knowing exactly where we were moving, for some ungodly reason, I turned on the tv to give Ashlyn something to do instead of…um, how shall I say this, delaying and prolonging our educational adventure. She was mesmerized.
Before I knew it she was asking for the tv to be turned on all the time and then movies were being thrown into the mix. “One movie a day!” The girls could chant that. They probably do in their sleep. For a while I could delay the gratification and put off the movie and tv watching until after Reagan was done with school, or until after whatever I could make up and fathom had been completed.
Now though, we’re at the point where the desire is just too strong. The pull of the electric glow, the electrons rushing from the screen mummifying little brains, the high-pitched voices and cute little songs, the animals that talk and humans that do miraculous things (not to mention buses that can do that too); all of that has done its collective job to get my daughter addicted to movies.
As soon as she wakes up she’s begging. When I walk into her room to get her out of the crib I don’t here “good morning Mommy! I love you so much and missed you overnight. I slept so well and am ready to start my day with a healthy breakfast and a good dose of exercise.” Oh wait, that’s what I would hear in my dreams. I don’t even here “good morning” or “get me out of this stinking prison called a crib”. The first words out of her mouth are “can we watch a moooveeee?!” with the hugest, most excited grin, and then she lists about three or four of her current favorites that have been in rotation so much in the past week that they’re on auto play in my own brain.
Used to, when she’d wake up, she would demand breakfast before I could even get to her crib. The girl was hungry and nothing needed to get in the way of her bolting to the fridge to get her yogurt. Now she has to be reminded that food indeed needs to be consumed after a long night’s sleep.
She not only asks to watch a movie as soon as she wakes up. Throughout the day I’m forced to hear the same question over and over again. “Can we watch a movie?” “I want to watch Mariposa.” “Let’s watch Felicity.” It doesn’t matter when the viewing occurs during the day. All her brain knows is that it loves those electrons and it needs them constantly. Get this, even during the playing of a movie she’ll ask to watch a different one.
This would be funny if I didn’t have to listen to the question day after day, hour after hour after….hour. I’ve formulated a plan though. I think this move is the perfect time to break the addiction. I’m contemplating letting the movies “get lost” during the move if she’s still showing signs of attachment after the girls come back from their trip to Colorado. Cold turkey. We can mitigate the withdrawal symptoms by taking her to see the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial, and who knows, the metro ride will probably be entertainment enough.
Right now it’s just so hard to not allow the movie when I need to be busy cleaning and planning and organizing and can I just get forty-five minutes to assemble one complete thought? I am happy to report that the tv watching along with the movie viewing has been eliminated. For a while the girls were watching a movie and then requesting PBS Kids. Bad mother that I am, and not realizing how habit forming it is, and really needing to complete that thought (just one is all I’m asking for), I had acquiesced. Now they no longer ask for the PBS Kids. But for the next several days I have resigned myself to hearing “can we watch a mooovveeee?” every five minutes.