My daughter and I have been at each other's throats for a few weeks now and after another bad night on Monday, where she wound up sitting in time-out stark naked in a testament to defiance, I made a life altering decision. No, I didn't move to Alaska or put her on Craig's List, I turned off the television.
I came to the conclusion that Sam's satanic behavior was a three-pronged problem: 1) she is possessed; 2) she watches too much t.v.; and 3) I watch too much t.v. keeping me from playing with Sam.
So yesterday we went cold turkey. No T.V. at all, period, zilch, nada for Sam. And I went without until 8:15 p.m.! Talk about brutal.
Sam actually took it pretty well with only a small melt-down when we got home and was told there would be no cartoons, no television at all. I calmly explained to her that she was an addict and so was mommy, but that we must break free from this technological enslavement! She screamed, "I'm not an addict!" But clearly, her reaction said she was, indeed, an addict.
With no television we were forced to play together so we made necklaces out of pop beads, played doctor (apparently I have a skin condition and my temperature can be read from my knee-pit), and did some puzzles. Sam didn't seem to miss our electronic friend all that much, but I surely did. Without the melodic murmur of the T.V. I felt lost and alone. As the evening wore on I heard the tick tock of the clock even though our house doesn't have any clocks that tick.
T.V. is one of my very best friends and even though he's bad for me I have a hard time just saying no to the pull of his soft glow. Kind of like a bad boyfriend who wants to keep me hooked on coke, but I just love him so much!
Despite my personal grief, I knew I was on the right track when Sam asked, "Mommy, can you turn on the T.V. to something you like? It doesn't have to be a cartoon. Just something..."
I said, "See Sam, you're an addict. We can't let you become so dependent that you aren't happy unless you hear it in the background (like Mommy). So, no, I can't."
And you know what? She didn't have a fit, just went on about her business. Sam was delightful all evening and even managed to go to bed without much fuss. I felt like a good mommy for a change and like a sophisticated intellectual because I'd gone all evening with no T.V. Well, until 8:15 p.m. when I nearly broke my leg running for the remote.
Don't know what I'll do when the Fall season starts.....