I can’t tell you how many times I thought: This would be a GREAT time to watch television.
But Saturday morning my husband works. And my daughter decides that naptime would be a good time to SCREAM LIKE AN EXHAUSTED LUNATIC instead of sleep. My son wouldn’t come upstairs with me. And he couldn’t be trusted alone. He is into the GLUE. Then he spies his computer on top of the television cabinet. I WANT THAT. I hear it every five seconds. In between GLUE. And my daughter is now raging.
So I let him have it.
I set my alarm on my iPhone because I desperately want to lose track of time. But I have only twenty-five minutes of screen time left.
I rocked N down. I sigh. Then it dawns on me that I haven’t brushed my teeth, and my friend, C, would be at my house in thirty minutes. We’re good friend but not morning-breath good. (Although we are stay-in-my-pajamas-and-not-put-on-a-bra good.)
So I let E keep playing. And honestly? My phone alarm went off SO MUCH SOONER than it should’ve.
And now I’m on my own FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK.
By Wednesday afternoon, I feel like this:
I don’t know if E is just tired from his morning camp, but I feel like I spend all day getting yelled at.
E: MAMA! GET ME THIS!
Me: E, how do we ask for a snack?
E: Mama? May I please have a snack?
Me: Yes, you may. What a nice way of asking.
E: MAMA! GET ME THE BALL!
Me: E, how do we ask for something?
And on and on and on and on. And every ten minutes during his “quiet time.”
And N, while often smiley, is very, um, POINTY. THIS THIS THIS Actually UH UH UH. (It turns out uh-oh, mama, dada, dog, and cat don’t get you very far in this world.)
And I have to wake N up EVERY SINGLE MORNING to pick up E from camp. Do you know how it feels to wake up a sleeping child when you have SO MUCH TO DO AND NO TIME? THE SUCK.
And although these seem like normal everyday mama-hood experiences, I’m DROWNING.
I wonder if it’s having no OUT. No guarantee of peace. The television is a promise. E quiet and sitting still for an HOUR. Yes, he would still YELL out for a snack, but only once. And the threat of turning off the television is the GREATEST THREAT IN THE WORLD.
I’m tired of being present for my children. And that makes me want to cry. Because I don’t think that is about the television. I think that it’s about me. And how much easier it is to be me than to be Mama.
I’d rather fold into my world of writing and Twitter and phone calls and friends. Where there is less yelling and needing. More jokes. More pats on the back. More space.
My husband notices. And it is causing a rift. So in the midst of all this no TV vcrap, I offer to turn off my phone from 5:30-7:30 each night. Do you know how embarrassingly hard it was to even offer? And how much MORE difficult it is to keep?
Don’t worry. There is no iPhone challenge in the mix. But I am so unhappy that the television challenge has exposed me more than my children. They are fine. E hardly asks for television anymore. I’m the one ruing the day.
On a less rue-y note:
And Corrina, who is also in the TV challenge, has kindly offered a fellow challenger a FREE BOOK OF HER CHOOSING from Barefoot Books! I’ll choose the winner at random on the final Thursday (July 29th). I know some of you have been participating but are not bloggers. You can still win the book! Please include a comment on the final post so I have your name to add to the drawing.