Thursday, July 12, 2007

Six Days Lost to the Great T.V. Abyss

Friday Afternoon: Getting sick

Saturday: Feverishly sick

Sunday: Fever, tummy troubles, mild dehydration

Monday: More fever, more tummy troubles, time to see the doctor

Tuesday: Still feverish, general lethargy

Wednesday: Yep, you guessed it, more fever, but on the mend

Thursday: NO FEVER, but still in great need of rest, food and healing

WOW! What a virus! It has left Nicole feeling really awful, wiped out, and just plain sick. Poor girl. Even if I had wanted her to get up off her mat in the den, I don't think she could have mustered up the ability. So there she parked it - six days. Sick. Sleeping. And watching loads of T.V. There wasn't much else she could do.

Now, I am not a big fan of T.V. watching. I am not a big T.V. watcher myself. We have a T.V. We use it. We watch it. We enjoy it. But I do not want to let it become the centerpiece of our days at home. A year or more ago, Jacob and Nicole would watch 2-3 hours a day. Some in the morning and a little in the afternoon. There they sat - glued, mesmerized, hypnotized. And always, after their viewing time was up, they wandered about whining and lacking any bit of energy, spunk, creativity or enthusiasm. They are what is better known as "T.V. Vegetables."** About the time I was noticing this highly frustrating behavior, I happened to hear a compelling talk on CD about such a subject. After that, Brian and I talked and decided we would greatly, GREATLY reduce the amount of T.V. the kids watch. We cut back to 2 hours a week. Occasionally they watch something on the weekends with their Daddy or we add in an educational show like Signing Time or the Magic School Bus, but for the most part the T.V. is off. It is a blessing on our home life.

So you can see what the past 6 days have been like for us. We have watched PBS in the mornings and just about every available video we own. Well, maybe not every one because I think we have watched Tom and Jerry no less than 5 times. But when the kids are sick, this is how it is. It has been helpful in that since Jacob and Nicole are T.V. Vegetables, they do not wander around, willy-nilly, contaminating every available door knob. It helps the sick child stay put and rest (or should I say, zone). So Nicole has been a vegetable and, of course, there is no way to avoid Jacob becoming a vegetable as well. Andrew, so far, doesn't care about the T.V.

And so the week has disappeared - into oblivion! I am so thankful Nicole is better. And if endless hours of T.V. helped in some way, I am thankful for that too. I am not thankful for what T.V. does to kids and I am looking forward to next week when we are once again T.V.-less. God willing this nasty virus will find its way out the back door and never come back. And if that be the case, I plan to turn off the great flickering glassy screen and shut. the. doors.!

Thank you to those of you who have prayed for Nicole. Keep a few extra prayers going for Jacob, Andrew and Michael that they will be spared. I am praying my heart out.


mom-in-training said...

Sadly, my children watch too much tv on a regular basis. Therefore, when they are sick, they watch, but only when the Tylenol hasn't set in. Then they are up and playing and spreading germs everywhere. Someday I hope to cut way back on the time they watch television. But having grown up watching it (quite a bit, too), it's hard to take that away from my own kids. I just try to screen what they are watching - mostly educational shows, if possible. I think it depends on the kids as to how they do if you take it away all together. The few times I've tried it, mine actually fight more and spend more hours whining and telling me that they are bored. Or perhaps that's because I still haven't cut back enough? Hmm... Well, maybe someday!

I hope Nicole is still feeling better today (Alex has been praying for her every night :) ) and I definitely will continue praying that the rest of you are in the clear. Keep lysoling everything and wash hands frequently for another week. That silly bug doesn't disappear nearly as quickly as it shows up. ;)

Melissa said...

Some days (or weeks!) we just do what we can to get through! I'm sure your kids thought it was a real treat to be allowed so much TV. I know exactly what you mean about increased bickering and whining after "zoning out" for so long, kids do the exact same thing!

Hope you are ALL feeling well over there!