Why My Kids Are Lame

We have literally thousands (OK maybe thousand, look we’re not made of money here) of dollars of toys in the “playroom” at our house.  Why do I put the word playroom in quotes?  No, it’s not just that I don’t know how to properly use quotes as you’ll find here (No, seriously, go.  You won’t be sorry.  I’ll wait.  ——  Back? OK, let’s continue,) It’s because no one plays in it. EVER.

The playroom has become the repository for mountains of toys.  And the mountain is so big and so high and so tall (1,000), that on one even tries to dig through it to find a toy.  Do they look for games?  Not a chance.  How about dress-ups?  Surely the princess wants to dress up.  Negatory good buddy (2,000).

The playroom is too much of a mess to do anything with (and some day soon, I’m going to go in there with an empty garbage bag and come out with a soul so very much lighter) so my children, resourceful small people that they are, have found alternate methods of entertainment.  Something that they can and do spend hours at a time doing, something that brings joy to their little hearts, something that keeps them relatively quiet and non-fighting for nearly the whole day.  What is this magical instrument of fun? you ask.

It’s the TELEVISION!  And if I have to hear the “i-Carly” theme song one more time I’m going to put a bullet through my head.

Seriously, it’s summer.  No school, sunshine, the last few days it haven’t even been too hot, and all my kids can do is sit on their posteriors watching other kids, inane, bad acting kids, doing things. My kids don’t even play the Wii.

I should make it clear here that I’m really just referring to the Princess and the Pea here, Irish1 will happily ride his big wheel around the yard for hours and Irish2 is only 7 months old, just give him something disgusting and dirty to chew on and he’s set.  If he loses his thing to chew on, however, it won’t be any of his older siblings who help him out, at least not while “Chowder”‘s on.   I came in from outside Monday, drill in hand, to find the baby screaming on the floor and both the Princess and the Pea sitting on the couch not 3 feet away eyes glued on Spongebob.  Nice.

This morning I made them come outside and help clean up some of the cement from the recent demo of some steps.  They fought over the shovel, the work gloves, they even fought over the chunks of concrete (as if there weren’t enough of those around) and then started the whining.  finally I said, “hey I know what you can do, you can go sit on your lazy butts in front of the television.”  And they were gone.  Sarcasm (and therefore the majority of what I say) is so lost on my children.

After spending the last two days working on the kitchen and seeing through the window my precious children turning into precious lumps on the couch I finally lost it.  I unplugged the TV.

I know, drastic measures.  But I couldn’t, could not take it for one more minute.  The Princess threw a royal fit (something she’s been doing a lot since she got home from grandma’s).  And the Pea proceeded to follow me around literally hanging on my arm and asking when dinner was.  It was 12:30.

Seriously, these kids have bikes.  They have scooters (OK scooter, but still), they have a swing-set and a sandbox and a yard, all at their disposal.  Too safe?  Well, we are doing construction.  There are also hammers and all manner of nails and wood which they are allowed to play with and destroy ’til their little hearts are content. (I do have three boys after all)  There are rocks a plenty, and dirt in abundance.  I know if they put one ounce of effort into it they could get something really fun going.

But they don’t, they sit and whine and look for things to eat and whine and ask if they can play on the computer and whine.  I don’t love the whining but I think the TV may just stay unplugged for the rest of the summer.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Catherine
    Jul 09, 2008 @ 08:13:05

    Good for you, Al. That is brave. Are movies off limits also?

  2. melanie
    Jul 09, 2008 @ 08:52:29

    Brians Mom actually cut the cord one day when bri and his sibs were little. Seriously took scissors to it. They were just talking about it the other day and how they thought the world was over. So funny.

  3. bythelbs
    Jul 09, 2008 @ 11:45:12

    Good for you! But do you sneak and plug it back in at night for you? That’s what I’d have to do. Because a whole summer without television? *shudder*

    And sure, become all prolific while I’m on vacation. I’ve got so much to catch up on here (and new blog design and everything!) and I just don’t have time yet. I’ll be back. *50 points* (’cause it’s a gimme)

  4. chronicler
    Jul 09, 2008 @ 17:28:21

    Oh man, what a mean mom! Just kidding. Kids do not know how to play anymore. A couple of cardboard boxes, a shovel and dirt, some nails and a hammer. Heck they have all they need to have a real bang up summer. Give ’em a few days they’ll see.

  5. s'mee
    Jul 09, 2008 @ 19:07:37

    This reminds of when we visited our gramma and she would literally lock us out of the house for a certain amount of hours. She didn’t care where we were, or if we were bleeding or alive for that matter. “Don’t come home until 3:30! Have fun!” ah, good times.

    I was a mean mom too. NO t.v., well very limited t.v and then only PBS, ‘cuz I’m mean like that. I gave them pretty much the same speech as gramma, with a twist. “Go out side. Get dirty. Get in trouble. BE KIDS FOR HEAVENS SAKE!” The trouble with that is now I am finding out just what kind of trouble they got into. (They wait to tell you these things until they are over 21 and out of physical danger.) Like the time they used #3 to literally break into a model home. She had the smallest hand and could wiggle it through a hole in the door and unlatch the lock. They played house in a real house. o.k.

    Wish I could give you a magic fix, but hey, sooner or later their imaginations will kick into gear and they will begin to have fun without the couch. : )

  6. SallyGirl
    Jul 09, 2008 @ 20:00:38

    Ok, #5 is plagiarizing “The Sandlot”. Just, you know, so you know.

    And can I give an AMEN! to my commenting sistas? This is the reason my kids have no toys! They don’t play with them! Of course, now they also do not have unlimited TV. Which isn’t really TV since we don’t get reception, but we worship at the altar of netflix. But anywho, I started a token system. 8 tokens a day worth 15 minutes each. Use it for a movie, use it for plug n’ play video games, use it for gameboy, whatever, when it’s gone you’re done. If your brother is playing a video game and you are in the same room watching? Better have a token!

  7. Alison Wonderland
    Jul 10, 2008 @ 12:57:53

    Cat- No TV= no movies. Although I did plug it back in for them about 2 hours later so I could nap in preparation for my night shift. So I haven’t completely cut them off (like I should).

    Mel- That gives me hope that just because my kids are lumpy they won’t necessarily turn into lumpy adults. Brian and esp. Mindy are two of the least lumpy people I know.

    lbs- Of course we plug it back in at night, I’m nothing if not hypocritical.

    Chronicler and S’mee- That’s kind of he way I figure it. They can’t figure out what to do now but it can’t be too long before they start coming up with diversions if only out of desperation.

    Sally- Nice call on the Sandlot, I didn’t see it at all despite the fact that I quote that movie more or less constantly.

  8. s'mee
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 09:06:38

    maybe the Sandlot was quoting me? hmmm. heheh

  9. Alice
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 22:50:45

    Hey there Alison Wonderland! How clever! I’m Alice, nice to meet you. I just had to say that I love the blog title. Love it. Cheers.

  10. elizabeth
    Jul 16, 2008 @ 22:57:22

    My boys are doing nothing but watch TV (after they get their jobs done) lately-BUT it’s 100+ every day-things are different the rest of the year. (At least that’s what I’m telling myself)

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