I have turned into one of those mothers who limits my children's TV viewing to one half hour show per day. *** (clause at bottom)
I put Stink on a timer when he plays computer games. I've even been known to shriek "It's a beautiful day outside! Go play in the sprinklers! Don't get abducted while I run into the house for coffee!"
It's an odd thing in my household, but when the overall volume is turned down, our personal energy is tuned up.
Take today, for example. Despite watching one friend's child in the morning, then watching another's this evening (I'm no martyr... it's called "Babysitting Trade for 400") there was nary a time out, nary a screaming fest and nary a, "He touched my booger!" melt down.
We even managed to eat some homemade granola bars that I made at my childhood friend's house yesterday while Stink was at school and Pip subconciously wondered why my friend's child had every Bratz doll in the universe and her collection includes, but is not limited to, the "It's Not Cheesey Platform Shoes It's Vintage Shops at A Co-Op" Barbie.
How I went from writing TV to policing it I'll never know. And while one day my kids will buy me a tee shirt (From a strip mall, God forbid) reading "Older Than Dirt", today was a run through the sprinklers, play some Disney music, eat crisp apples and dip our fingers in peanut butter kind of Valley Day. I might not get residuals for it, but hopefully the memories will pay off.
*** PMS Clause: Should I be suffering hormonly, be ill, or just plain want to fall into a coma due to query rejection, behavior issues or plain laziness worthy of bon bons and vats of Diet Coke, I reserve the right to stick my children on DVDs for hours on end, until they pass out, or I get my next article. Could be years. Hey, they'll just have to be film majors in college.