Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A screen free day

It's been good having a little sabbatical from feeling obliged to produce regular posts that are even slightly interesting and not too nauseatingly self indulgent, but I feel like posting tonight so here I am. Scott has ducked out to buy groceries after cooking us a thai chicken curry so I'm quickly grabbing five peaceful minutes on the computer before I tuck in.

We had a successful "no screen day" at our house today. I'm really proud of myself and the girls. I forgot to remind Scott of the plan last night (I'm intending to do it every Wednesday) so when I got up at 7am after a nice little sleep in, the girls were already playing the computer. It soon went off though with a minimum of fuss. My big girl got ready for school and then I set the girls up with watercolours, paper and brushes in the playroom. So far..... so good. I raced around doing morning chores in between admiring their artwork and telling my little girl "No....you can't paint your hands this morning". Soon bored with painting, they decided to play with their "Strawberry Fayre" fairy toys. Multiple fights over who had which fairies soon broke out and I realised that this is why TV makes life easier for parents. The children sit in a peaceful state of zombiness in front of the TV for longish periods. Sigh. This was going to be harder than I thought. I promised the girls I would set up a "post office shop" in the lounge room to ease the pain of no TV/computer.

After dropping the big girl at school and doing a few errands, the little girl and I came home and
started playing shops. This was fun until after lunch when I hit my customary "wall" at 1pm and desperately wanted to lie on the couch and read "The Time Traveller's Wife". This is the time when I normally let my curlywhirl girl watch another batch of TV while she lies on me or at the other end of the couch. But playing shops with Mum was so much fun, there was no way she would let me skive off and read my book while she played in happy solitude. I had to do repeated deals of 5 minutes of shops and 5 minutes of me reading. I really really missed the TV.

After picking up my big girl and her friend who comes to us every Wednesday after school, the three girls happily played post offices for about an hour. Only a couple of mild squabbles over who had the kitchen scales for weighing parcels. Then, after the friend left, I let them have a quick dip in the new paddle pool despite the fact that it was cloudy and cool. Then we had to rush warm baths and dinner and homework and pick up the Dad from a strange railway station as his trains from the city were cancelled. Then came the best part. My big girl would normally be watching some last minute TV or wanting to finish an inane computer game and resisting bedtime but she asked if we could start reading bedtime stories early and would brush her teeth while we read. What a treat! A whole hour of snuggling up with my big girl while the other two ate crackers and cheese and read stories in the other room. It was the most peaceful bedtime we have had for ages. Even Scott, who takes all my obsessing over childhood with a grain of salt and a lot of laissez-faire attitude to parenting, was amazed at the peace.

I was going to take photos of our lovely day and the post-office but Scott took our camera to work, so it's just boring old words tonight.

The girls are extra precious to us at the moment for two reasons. Our little girl has started "big" daycare and truly hates it. Leaving her there two days a week is breaking our hearts but we are going to give her a couple more weeks and see if she settles in before looking at other options including me giving up work which we can't afford to do. So I'm very conscious of enjoying the time she is home with me as much as I can to try and make up for her sadness at going to "kindy". She tells me every night at bedtime that she doesn't want to go.

Also, a 12 year old boy was killed by another student in a tragic incident at a good boys high school just a few suburbs away from us earlier this week. When I heard today that he was an only child, I just wept for his parents. It's made me think so much about the importance of family and the need to love our children every moment we can. There was also an incident of bullying at our school this week in which one little boy was slightly injured and which E witnessed as both boys involved are friends of hers. So childhood and schools are really on my mind. Scott says times have changed so much that our children will never have the innocence and freedom that we had and that makes me sad.

Well....here is my husband...home from hunting and gathering at the supermarket so I'd best be off and eat my dinner.

3 comments:

Tammie said...

congrats on your screen free day. the hardest part for me is definitely keeping the kids busy without computers, tvs, or video games. im so impressed.

are you likeing the time travellers wife? i loved it.

Dee from Downunder said...

I think we need a screen free day too, your house sounds like mine. too much tv and computers! (even for me)

Hope the little one settles into Kindy ok, is there a reason she hates it?

beck said...

Great post honey! I loved reading about your screen free day and also your thoughts on your kids. How sad about the boy who died, it is just heart breaking. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments recently, I always love to hear from you. Hope you are having a happy Monday xo