I sure am! We had a pretty good time in Chicago this week, but I am so, so happy to be home. It is really hard on my family to be away from home. The kids don't sleep well and they are a bit crabby at the change in schedule. Add to that, a bunch of parties, lots of junk food and tons of commotion and you have the makings of some sensory meltdowns, temper tantrums and general grouchiness. And I'm talking about myself here.
It was so good to be home and unpack. The kids are having a lot of fun playing with the Christmas toys they hadn't had time for before we left. Also, they are sleeping so much better in their own beds. When we discipline them, we don't have my dad adding his two cents. And best of all, there is no TV blaring in the background constantly.
I have always enjoyed watching TV myself. I have never considered it an evil to be avoided. That is, until recently. We live in a rather small town and have a lot of trees and no reception. Because we are too cheap and self aware (Bil and I know we would both waste all our time in front of the TV if we had the chance) we do not have cable. Why pay for TV? I ask. It has actually been quite a blessing. We are much more productive, spending more time reading, doing crosswords, and yes, playing on the Internet. (I know that is just as much a time waster as the TV, but a girl has to have something, right?)
Another reason this has been a huge blessing is because we have noticed that TV watching has a very deleterious effect on Danny, especially if he watches more than 45 minutes at a stretch. And for some reason, TV is worse on him than videos. I suspect it is the flashing of commercials and the fast pace of it all. Anyway, we can always tell when he has watched too much because he not only gets really, really hyper, but also seriously crabby. Not a good combination.
I keep meaning to look it up on the Internet to see if there has been any research into hyperactivity and TV viewing, though I guess the research would be superfluous. I mean, we have are conducting our own research study right here in our family room and I KNOW that TV screws with Danny's system. I guess that is probably all we need to know, right? We know to limit his viewing time and when we do, all goes well (relatively speaking).
The problem is when we go to other people's houses. It is difficult for me sometimes to explain to friends that I would rather keep the TV off. I know I sound all prudish and judgmental, as if I am so above television. That really isn't the case. I just know how Danny gets and would much rather that all my friends not be witness to his misbehavior. Most people are pretty understanding and once in a while, I just let him watch. He can handle it if it is in very small doses.
We stayed with my father this week for the holidays and my dad is a complete television addict. The TV was on pretty much from the time he woke in the morning until at least 2 AM. My dad would fall asleep in front of the TV and sometime in the wee hours of the morning would wake up, turn it off and go back to sleep. This was bad in a lot of ways. First off, it was seriously depressing to me to see my dad waste his life like that. He has always been this way, but I guess I haven't stayed with him for a while, so I haven't been confronted by it. Next, it was just really, really distracting to have a conversation with him while Alex Trebeck was interviewing Jeopardy contestants. But the worst of all was how riled up and crabby it made the kids. Although it was worse for Danny, it also seemed to affect Charlotte. We just never had a moment of peace and quiet, except for the two times I managed to confiscate the remote.
I guess we learned a valuable lesson. Staying at a TV addict's home is not good for my family....Seems like a small thing, but it definitely affected us all.