Thursday, December 4, 2008

TV or not TV

About a year ago, a typical afternoon/evening included Spark watching about 30 minutes to an hour of TV. Then, after Spark was in bed, Buzz and I would watch up to 4 or 5 hours of TV. I didn't even realize how much TV we were watching until I started paying attention. If we were in the house, Spark or Buzz would turn the TV on.

Buzz and I decided to remove the TV from the family room. He claims that I had nagged him about it for years and he finally just caved. And maybe I did mention it a few times, but I think "nag" is a strong term. I suggested we might try it.

A few weeks before Flower was born, we were rearranging our home. We currently had two offices (one for me, one for Buzz), and we had to move all the items from one of those offices into other locations in the house, either in the one remaining office or the family room. Our house is not too terribly large (~1300 square feet, 4 bedrooms). In the throes of trying to arrange the family room to accommodate our monster of a TV, I again mentioned that we might just get rid of the darn thing. Buzz thought I had lost my mind. Why in the world would we get rid of the TV? We rarely fight, but we came close on this one. He couldn't imagine life without TV. I was getting tired of living life with it.

When he asked why we should get rid of it, I of course, I had an arsenal of answers.

More time together as a family.
It would make arranging the family room a whole heck of a lot easier without having to think about the TV being the center of the room.
We would be different.
Less noise. (I hate background noise.)
We would save about $65 a month with no cable bill.
The void would open up time for more fulfilling activities, such as playing music together.

It was the last point that made Buzz soften a bit and consider the request. We would put a small one in Spark's room so that he could still watch an occasional DVD. I offered a trial run of a couple weeks or so. If we decided that we just couldn't bear life without the TV, we could just bring it back in the family room. No big deal. It wouldn't mean we had miserably failed or that we were suckers to the biggest lie in culture. Buzz accepted the challenge.

It's been about 9 months now, and we haven't missed it. In fact, we put the big monster in our bedroom in case Buzz and I ever wanted to watch a movie together, but we still haven't watched a movie together. Sometimes, I put a movie in and let Spark get on my bed and watch it. He thinks that's so special. And, I can get a lot of laundry done while he's watching a movie.

Our time together in the family room is filled with music, toys, wrestling on the floor, tickle contests, and (now that Flower is crawling) crawling races. We enjoy a circle of furniture without a TV being the center of family room or our family life.

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