WFMF-Toddler TV

July 6, 2011 at 7:11 am (Parenting, Thinking shift, Why)

I have a wonderful, inquisitive, imaginative, experimenting 4 year-old.  In many ways we have gone against what seems to be main stream parenting today.

We are raising him free-range, which means something totally different than for a chicken.  How that looks changes from week to week as he is growing.  Last year I wouldn’t have let him play outside in our backyard by himself, this year I don’t always know whether his inside or out at any given moment.  But, this year, he has proven himself trustworthy and stays in our yard.  We live in the corner of an L shaped street in a very quiet little town.

I feed him mac and cheese for breakfast because he’s not a big breakfast foods person.  Frankly, all three of us would rather have breakfast food for dinner than first thing in the morning.  The mac and cheese is a step up from the carnation instant breakfast.  From 18 months until he asked for mac and cheese that was all I could get him to do for breakfast.  I can’t tell you how much food we threw away until I figured that out.  Some days it’s not mac and cheese, it’s a hamburger.  Works for him, protein.

But the TV thing.  I know that everyone else is trying to move away from electronics for the young.  My question is, WHY?  We live in an electronic society.  We are not going to wake up tomorrow and hot have computers or cell phones or any of the other gadgets we’ve come to rely on.  Why would we not teach our children to navigate in that world?  One hundred years ago, children were taught to ride horses because that was the normal mode of transportation.  While I’m not suggesting putting a 4-year-old behind the wheel of a car, I do explain the rules of the road and why I do certain things while I’m driving.

My son has his own smart phone.  It is not connected to a phone number, but daddy puts games and movies on it at home and when we are out I give him his phone and child headset with volume limiter on it and he entertains himself for how ever long I need to do whatever it is we are doing.  Doctor appointment, car repair, chatting with a friend, shopping.  He knows how to turn it on, navigate between games and we are teaching him how to get to his movies.

Television for children seems to be another of those dividing topics.  Many limit the time with timers for the day or week.  Some banish it completely and talk of not allowing technology to babysit and we should engage our child every moment with teaching games.  I disagree, vehemently!

I do not want a child that cannot engage himself in play.  I have other things that must be done, housework, cooking. And things I need to do to maintain myself, reading my Bible, quilting, reading for enjoyment, last but not least, talking with my spouse.

Our house TV rules are pretty non-existent.  There are days the TV is on all day.  There are days it’s off all day.  We do not have cable but we do torrent downloads on the xBox and we have a roku with Netflix instant watch.  Most often The Boy asks for Mythbusters or Dirty Jobs.  He will watch the same episode all day and run around recreating what he was with his legos and hotwheels.  Not only does he recreate their experiments but he also makes up his own.  I’d say that’s educational.

As far as the Dora, Diego, Backyardagians, Land Before Time, Disney movies type of stuff, I say it’s also learning.  Dora and Diego teach counting, spelling, spanish, teamwork, and many other traits I approve of.  Backyardagians, if you haven’t seen it, is my favorite for teaching imagination.  It’s 5 cartoon animals that all live on one block and meet up in the large area where all their yards intersect.  They then negotiate what scenario they are going to imagine and play in that day, from outer space to the old west, then after the “game” is done, they all go to one house for a snack.  The music is great and the dialog and vocabulary wonderfully non-condecending.  The Boy will appropriately use words well above his age level and I will recognize that he learned it from Backyardagians.

Some days he stays in the family room watching TV and playing with his toys all day.  Now that it is summer, he usually runs in and out between the TV and his sandbox.  Yesterday he did just that, watched some Mythbusters and used his legos to build what he saw, then went out in his sandbox and did his experiments.

I think that’s wonderful.  And I know it Works For My Family.

Linked in with We Are That Family WFMW.


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Sippy Cups and Dirty Dishes

April 21, 2011 at 7:49 am (Cooking, Housework, Parenting) (, , , , )

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  I have a sink full of dirty dishes and furthermore, I have no clean sippy cups in the house.  I’m fairly certain that under all the trash, toys, coats, hoodies, and other miscellaneous detritus out in the car there are no less than 5 of them, all dirty and forgotten.  I had to hand wash one for milk this morning.

Another confession, although I am a morning person, I like my mornings to do some reading, thinking, writing and such, not making breakfast, cleaning dishes or any of that other domestic diva stuff.  So, when The Boy gets up with the sun, I give him some carnation instant breakfast (honest I tried the whole make a hot breakfast for him, he’s not a food-in-the-morning kid, neither is his dad) so, instant breakfast it is and I plop him in front of the T.V. with the  Mythbusters/Dora/Diego/Backyardagians of his choice and go and finish what I was working on.

He’s currently in there with his sippy cup of white milk (his choice) and a sippy cup from yesterday (honest) with juice and watching Mythbusters Duct Tape Special.  I for-see and afternoon spent recreating all the duct tape shenanigans with his toys.  See, he’s learning, yeah, that’s it, he’s learning in there, not mindlessly being entertained.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it… now for another cup of coffee and where did I leave my Bible?

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Museum Of Play

April 17, 2011 at 6:13 am (Cooking, Parenting) (, , , )

It’s raining outside.  I know April showers bring May flowers, but I really hate the cold wind that is accompanying this rain.  After losing over 100 pounds in the last year, I do not tolerate the cold very well.

Since it is raining and The Boy was good yesterday, (yes we bribe our child) we are headed to Rochester today to go to The Museum of Play.  It’s a wonderful place.  We try to let The Boy completely run the day, we follow him.  He loves it.

If you’re ever in the Rochester, New York area be sure to take a day and check out the Museum.  There are things for all ages, from crawlers to young at heart.

Upstairs is a Toys through the Ages museum with an arcade and lots of toys behind glass from long ago and some from just a few decades ago.

Downstairs there is a life-size Sesame Street, The Bearnstien Bears village, Fairytale land, all life-size and so much fun to run around and play on.

There’s a train to ride and a carousel, a food court (not too expensive) and they don’t mind if you bring a picnic lunch.

My favorite part is the butterfly garden.  It’s a nice big, warm greenhouse type room with lots of plants, a waterfall with fish in the pond, turtles, butterflies of course, and they just added a Tucan and some hummingbirds.  Just beautiful.

As soon as The Boy and Hubby wake up we will go to breakfast at The Purple Salamander just as we always do on Sunday morning, (we attend our church service on Saturday evenings) then we will head out to Rochester.  It’s about a 3 hour drive from our house, but so worth it.

The Museum is open 12-5 on Sundays which makes it easier to get The Boy out and headed home at a reasonable hour.  As I said, we try to let it be his day and not lead him but allow him to lead us.  Leaving before they kick us out is not an option in his mind.  But there isn’t a fight when everyone is leaving at the same time.

Looking forward to a nice relaxing family day.

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When Mommy is Sick

April 2, 2011 at 6:58 am (Housework, Parenting) (, , )


I was out with a friend on Thursday when I had to cut out outing short and take her home.  It was all I could do then to drive home and collapse on the couch.  Sore throat, fever, aches, chills, plugged up nose.  All sorts of fun.  Thankfully, Hubby works from home so he was able for the most part to help with The Boy and the dog.  Getting The Boy something to drink and setting him up in the T.V./Play room and instructing him to go to daddy if he needed anything, mommy comatose on the couch, able to respond in case The Boy tried to burn the house down but pretty much ignoring anything short of that.

For two days, I’ve been sick.  The house is going to take me a week to get back under control.  I have two days I spend cleaning, Mondays and Fridays.  The other days get a general, keep it from overwhelming me pick up and the kitchen is kept clean, as they are very busy.  Especially on Wednesday, I’m out of the house more than I’m in it.  So for me to have missed one of my major cleaning days and the kitchen getting only Hubbys version of cleaned, I have a wonderful “Yeah I feel better, now to get busy” Day waiting for me.

I’m praying I’m better by Monday so that I don’t go into my Tues-Wed-Thurs rush without getting all this back under control.  Right now, mommy is still sick, and I think I’ve been upright about as long as I can manage this morning and it’s time to go crash on the couch.  Thank God for instant watch Netflix and a smart 3-soon-to-be-4 year-old who can at least start the next episode playing.

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Does This Make Me a Bad Mommy?

March 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm (Parenting) (, , , )

I’m sitting down here typing away, had something happen that I wanted to get down for my Gastric Bypass blog.  My Husband is upstairs putting The Boy to bed.  I didn’t even go up and say good-night or give kisses or anything.  Nope, just sat here typing away. 

Then in the middle of the night The Boy wakes up crying and when I go to him he says, ”I needed you to pray with me, I needed you to rock me.”  Talk about breaking a mommies heart!

Of course that wasn’t the first time Daddy had ever put him down without me, nor will it be the last.  And The Boy doesn’t wake up like that every time wanting me.  There are times in the middle of the night when only Daddy will do, and Mommy gets to stay in bed, Yeah, but last night it was Mommy.

I of course pulled him up into my lap, after suggesting a midnight potty run, and rocked him until he was asleep.  As I was laying him in his bed, a very sleepy voice whispered, “I need you to pray with me.”  He was back asleep before I finished the short prayer and I gave him a kiss on the cheek.  He’s growing up so fast, hopefully we can continue to teach him that prayer is a comfort, even in the middle of the night.  Maybe, especially in the middle of the night.

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