Sunday, January 14, 2007

TV takeover

Dear Sprout People,

You have overstayed your welcome. Months ago, you "generously" ran a "free preview" with our basic cable programming, an obvious attempt to get us to advance our cable from our paltry basic channels into full-blown cable programming. It almost worked. All of a sudden, we had all our favorite PBS Kids TV shows on 24/7! Even favorite shows that we don't even get on our local PBS channel, like Thomas the Tank Engine, Angelina Ballerina, and Kipper. Brilliant! Even I appreciated the old-school Sesame Street episodes. It's come in so handy during these long winter school-free days, especially when everyone was sick. I would even panic a little at the thought that we might lose our "free preview" at any time. If you had disappeared from our channel lineup at that point, it might have been enough to push me into expanding our cable package. But, thankfully, you were kind enough to get us over the hump...and now, well, you need to go. Now, my 2yo comes running out of the bedroom in the morning to turn on the TV and watch "the show". The kids spend the evening hours captivated by "The Goodnight Show". And it's precious stuff, really,,,it's decent programming. But I'm tired of the constant television and tired of battling Nina and Star and Lucy to get my children into baths and into bed. I'm alarmed by the glazed look in my toddlers eyes and the fact that he can recognize the theme song to every show in your line up. I know, I know, I could be more consistent about limiting their viewing, but it's a temptation for me too, this instant entertainment that instantly captivates 3 children of varying ages and keeps them quiet and out of trouble. It's become a bad habit for us all. And so, now, when I see the scroll across the top of the screen saying that the "free preview" comes to an end the first week of February, I'm not even tempted to call the cable company. Christmas break is over, everyone is healthy, and I'm ready to take my children back.


Entropy said...

Good for you for resisting the box! Since my dh works for the cable company we have everything. It's wonderful because there's almost always something interesting watch; awful because the kids have every cartoon channel memorized so they can channel surf with the best of 'em!
What's worked for me in keeping them off is not to turn it on until after 4 or something. Not even me, because, like you, it's an addiction for me too! It doesn't always work (it's usually me that breaks the rule and it's all downhill from there!) but we try. A couple years ago we gave up tv for Lent. We should do that every year but it was hard. Maybe this year?

mel said...

We've talked about doing that too, giving up TV for Lent. It would be an extra penance for me, as I would have to deal with all the wailing and gnashing of teeth. :) Until a couple of years ago, we had no tv at all, just videos/dvd's. It was really ok that way. The times we missed tv were when something was going on in the world, something when the pope died. Even then, unless you have extended cable, it doesn't do you much good. The local networks have very little national news coverage.