They Are Practically Amish.

In a classic case of "Do as I say, not as I do," we do not allow our kids to watch television. After nearly two years of being a mother I find myself saying, "Why on earth did I ever agree to this?" I believe Steven got me at a weak moment. It was probably during our adoption process, I had probably been watching bad television for six straight hours, while eating Hot Tamale candies and feeling sorry for myself. Sugared out, brain-dead, he probably looked at me slumped on the sofa and said, "You don't want your kids to ever feel this way do you?" No I didn't.

Whenever I tell people this, they tell me about all of the great programs available for kids these days. I don't doubt them. There have been so many evenings, usually around 5:45, when I have wanted nothing more than to plop them down on the couch and turn on the TV. So far I have resisted. (Disclaimer: in no way is this a post about what a better mom I am for not letting my kids watch TV. Surely you have read some of the blog and you know this is not the case? There is no judgement about this).

In a way, I feel like I may be contributing to my children's feelings of being different. The no TV thing makes them a bit strange. When I taught at the Waldorf school, I really loved the fact that the students didn't watch TV, and that they were not allowed to wear TV characters on their clothes. Their imaginative play was remarkable. Meazi and Melese act out all kinds of amazing scenarios, the most popular one involving their travels to Russia to adopt two children. I love watching them play. Occasionally they'll ask me to be 'that airplane person who passes out the drinks', and I do.

It is amazing to me that you don't have to watch TV to know about Dora and Elmo. They are ubiquitous.  It is hard to purchase everyday things for the kids that don't involve television. Happily Melese calls his Diego toothbrush, Domingo.

Melese's friend Domingo...
 We are definitely movie people though. Steven and I both love movies. We haven't taken either child to a movie in the theatre yet, because we haven't seen anything advertised that we want to be their very first movie in a theatre ever.

Then there is that whole sensitivity issue. We have shown them a few movies here at the house. It has pretty much been a debacle. They loved Toy Story 3, but still talk about the scary incinerating part. Pippi Longstocking was a hit, but we had read the book first. When we got a different Pippi Longstocking movie from the library Meazi became terrified of the villain and cried hysterically whenever he showed up on the screen. We turned it off. I thought the animated version of  The Little Engine that Could would be a safe choice. Not so much. The nightmare train was, well, a nightmare for her. Next up, The Jungle Book. Great for Melese. He loved the elephants and now marches around the house shouting, "Hup two three four! Keep it UP two three four!" But he does correct me, "Mom, it's The Jungle, not the book. It's the movie mom. So, we call it simply The Jungle. Meazi couldn't watch it, she was too afraid of the tiger.

This past Friday the evening seemed to drag on and on. Steven was nowhere close to leaving work, so I thought it would be nice to have another movie night. I had recorded Ramona and Beesus on our DVR. I thought Beverly Cleary based entertainment would be a no-brainer. It was, until the girls walked into their basement and found their cat dead. Yep. Dead. Family. Pet. Oh and there was kissing! A young girl with a love life, which Meazi now refers to as a 'Lovin Life'.

Enter world's greatest website: Kids in Mind. Someone at work told Steven about this site, and it is great. We will be using it before we choose our next movie.

So yeah, another post about how I am struggling as a mother.  How do I make sure that my kids aren't those weird kids who aren't allowed to watch TV? How do I help them retain their beautiful imaginations? Why does Meazi already know who Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are? How do I make sure I don't traumatize them with my poor viewing selections?

For the record, Pippi Longstocking's mother is dead and her father is the king of Cannibal Island.

"What's a cannibal mommy?"

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