Mommy vs. TV

Charlotte’s obsession with television reached a level that demanded action. I ripped the TV from the outlet, hauled it to the curb and left it for the trash pickup!

I also took a sledge hammer to it, lit it on fire and ran over it with my car for good measure. 

… In my mind. 

I wouldn’t really do any of those things. I don’t know that I’m strong enough to carry it to the curb, and HOS would be livid if I destroyed his TV! 

I did take action, though! Of course, it was a little more rational than the imagined mental breakdown. 

Rather than trying to combat the TV with toys – and failing – I decided it was time for a different strategy. 

Last weekend, we went to the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library where Charli and HOS player while I picked out a number of books. Each book was about a different topic, one for each day of the week.

I teach on Monday night so I wasn’t home for activities, but we kicked TV’s butt the rest of the week! 

Tuesday – We went shopping for a little while. HOS and Charlotte read Bronterina and danced around the living room before bed. 

Wednesday – We read Mr. King’s Castle (no less than five times!) and we built “castles” using Charli’s imagination magnets

Thursday – We read The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse and Thump, Thump, Rat-A-Tat-Tat. We painted a blue horse, green dog, a pink sheep and a brown monkey before bath time. 

Friday – HOS and I went out with friends. My niece watched Charli. They played outside, read all kinds of books and played on the LeapFrog tablet. I was very impressed when I checked in via our security camera and saw a blank TV!

Charlotte isn’t feeling well today. She has a lot of congestion and a rough cough. Despite attempts to get her away from the TV, we spent most of the day cuddling and watching shows. I know a battle worth fighting. We already had enough meltdowns without forcing her to turn off the TV. 

All together, I’m extremely happy with how well the books paired with activities worked. Charli’s behavior was improved, and by Friday, she was hardly asking to watch a show. 

That’s mommy 1 and TV … Well, the important thing is we are on the right track! 

How do you keep your children entertained without TV? 

The Great (and Depressing) Gatsby

I reread The Great Gatsby last week in anticipation for the new movie release in May. I’m still trying to work through the message F. Scott Fitzgerald was trying to communicate.

I learned very quickly that while I remembered some of the major points of the novel, it was as if I were reading it for the first time. I can’t decide if this is because I did a poor job reading in high school or because my interpretation and thought processes have changed.

As for the characters, I didn’t really care for any of them except the narrator, Nick, and his fling, Jordan. Of course, Jordan was a bit of a mess.

Tom is an arrogant man who lived in a world of double-standards where he flaunted his money. Gatsby was a stalker who made his money in very sketchy business. He also flaunted his money. And the woman they both loved so much? I can’t even remember her name, I disliked her that much.

I do remember one of the things she said, though, in regard to her daughter. When asked about the you h child, she said that she breathes.

She breathes?

That’s all this pitiful, self-involved “adult” had to say about her three-year-old. I was over her by the end of the sentence.

She did manage to anger me again later when she paraded her daughter in front of her lover like a dog and then sent her away with the maid.

Aside from being terrible parents, the characters were drunks, liars, adulterers, murderers and just bad people.

Was Fitzgerald trying to demonstrate the ridiculous life of the wealthy? Was he trying to say that you can’t chase a dream – once it’s gone, it’s gone?

It’s as if Fitzgerald was trying to say that it’s not worth it. The big adventure, the dream, the whatever will just end in heartache.

It was all quite depressing, and at the same time, I can’t think of a better ending. They don’t deserve a happy ending.

Have you read The Great Gatsby? What are your thoughts on the novel?