This week is National TV Turn-Off Week. Since I like to believe my daughter is TV-free for now, I decided to jump on the bandwagon for the week and keep the TV off in my life as well. Now, this is not a huge challenge for me, truly. The TV stays off throughout the day in my house. I sometimes watch a bit of Scrubs re-runs on TBS before I fall asleep. I almost always watch Lost on Wednesday nights, and I usually catch Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday and American Dad / Family Guy on Sunday nights — all after the tot is tucked quietly in. Typing that all out, now it seems like a lot, but compared to how I mindlessly watched TV constantly as a kid and how the TV was always on in the background, it really isn’t all that much. (And I know that I can watch this week’s Lost episode online once this whole TV turn-off thing is over.)
What I’m realizing, after just one day of being “TV free” is just how darn difficult it would be to be truly TV free. I’ve heard friends bemoan all of the screens that assault them everywhere they go, but I never really paid much attention. I didn’t make it three hours with no TV before I glanced up during my workout to read onscreen that Boris Yeltsin had died. TVs are in waiting rooms, restaurants, gyms (even the locker room at my gym!).
Caroline does tend to become mesmerized by the TVs on the rare occassions we are in a restaurant, and I know she watches The Wiggles at my switch-sitter’s house, so she is not truly TV-free herself. I am fine with that. Everything in moderation, right? I will allow her to watch carefully chosen DVDs this summer after she reaches the AAP’s recommended two years of age. My concerns are not that TV will lead to her having ADD or cause her to become more violent. I don’t want her to become a teenager before her time. I don’t want her to ask for every toy she sees advertised. I don’t want her to compare herself to the false ideals she sees on screen. I don’t want her to know more and care more about Dora the Exlorer than she does her real-life friends.
So, I’ll muddle through the week without laughing at Scrubs or finding out what really does happen to pregnant women on the island (until next week), but I’ll continue to keep commercial television away from my daughter. John and I chuckled proudly tonight as she played with a miniature Ernie from Sesame Street character that her Aunt Buffy put in her Easter basket. Caroline kept calling him “Man.” And that’s just the way I want it.