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Monday, February 27, 2012

poor thing

 This and....
 This, is the face of a "poor little thing."  I did not know it until the other day.
The other day I found myself in a children's clothing store and while I don't normally discuss my views on television with strangers, sometimes it comes up.  Usually a well meaning adult will ask Austin what his favorite tv character is or what his favorite show is.  I usually just respond, "we chose not to watch tv in our home."  We made this decision long before Austin was born, almost 15 years ago when we first got married.  It has always drawn some curious responses.  Mostly, people are amazed, think we're strange, wonder what we do with all our time, etc.  But since Austin came along, I have gotten even stranger responses.  Some people become angry with me, and demand, "Why" and then in defensiveness say, 'we watched tv, and we (or, our kids) turned out fine.'  The fact that we choose not to watch tv somehow makes them feel judged in their own choices.  This is not my intent.  Ours is a personal conviction.  It is right for our family.  It works for us.

Back to the store, where when I mention our no tv policy, the sales clerk gets the most pityful expression, gazes at my son and says, "you poor little thing" and asks him if he wants a sticker, apparently to somehow make up for the pathetic childhood he suffers through.  I had to stiffle a laugh, for my "poor little thing" who was at the moment being bought an expensive wardrobe, who has always had plenty to eat, more than enough toys, several pets and is completely surrounded by love.  I hadn't realized that the definition of poor had been changed to include a lack of access to Dora the Explorer and "Bob the Builder.  Perhaps Unicef should be alerted to cease humanitarian efforts and focus on getting a television into every home.  It seems that for my husband and I to deny ourselves the benefits of cable is just plain weird, but to deprive an innocent child is nothing short of malicious negligence.  Interesting.  Well, to each his own.

We do keep a small television in storage for when my mom comes to visit, which we set up in her room.  She won't stay with us without it.  And Brian and I do watch some videos on the laptop.  But by and large we are happy not having the constant background noise and distraction that television bring.  And yes, I grew up with television and I think I'm alright.  My friends kids watch and even got their young toddler her own Wii games.  I fully anticipate this child to grow up as functional member of our society.
So what do we do with "all that time?"

To which I would say," I don't know, when I have all that extra time, I'll let you know!

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