Thursday, 8 December 2016

Peer Pressure: It Starts at Home

Dan and I are pretty strict about LB watching television, and I want to assure you that statement is being said with the least amount of pretension as possible. There is nothing worse than some sanctimonious parent smugly shrugging, "My perfect snowflake has no idea what that giant electrical box even does. She's too busy solving math problems for fun. Gosh, what a kid."

We have rules about t.v. being a privilege that must be earned and maintained, otherwise it goes away and she has to rely on her good ol' imagination for fun. Which is no fun for us. You guys, t.v. is the BEST babysitter! I'm always so sad when I have to take it away, because then I end up having to participate in elaborate games of My Little Pony, or Mommy and Sweetie, or Family Apartment.

And my imagination sucks.

Case in point:

LB:  "Mommy! Can you hear that beautiful song playing on the radio?! It's so fun! I think we should dance."

Me: "The radio isn't even on. What are you talking about?"

LB: *huff of irritation* "Mommy! We're JUST pretending!"

Oh...right, that.

I hate playing. I am a kick-ass story teller, I can bake with the best of 'em. Want to go for a walk? Let's do it! Playing...not my thing. Dan excels at playing, so that's his department.

Our general rule for LB is every Friday is family movie night, and a few days a week she's allowed to watch two shows in the afternoon, three max, and the shows are heavily vetted. Of the shows we think are age appropriate, not too sassy, not violent, and not rude, all of them run about twenty minutes long. That means I have about forty minutes to an hour to sit down with my tea and piss around on my phone.

What?

You thought I'd be doing something productive? In the words of the great Michelle Tanner, "AS IF."

Well, for the past oh...SIX MONTHS this has all changed and the rules got frigging tossed in an effort to survive. Lulu Bird is a really easy-going baby, but even easy-going babies are a lot of work, and drain your energy, and leave you feeling lifeless from exhaustion.

The t.v. got clicked on on May 15th and didn't get turned off until probably September. Whoops! What does it all mean? We created a t.v. monster of course. When I no longer felt like a lurching zombie, I was ready to enforce the old t.v. rules and LB was making it clear that I was going to have to pry the remote from her cold dead hands.

It was rough.

Now the most common question I hear first thing every morning is: "ISITAT.V.DAYORAPLAYDAY?" Said in one hurried exclamation of morning breath, which said breath is then held baited as she waits for my response.

In the past when I'd tiredly mumble from my pillow, "For the love of...it's a play day sweetie. No t.v., it's a play day." I would of course get anguished cries of NO FAIR, as her tiny body crumpled into a heap on top of my head.

Now I get this:

"I have a great idea!" (said in a sing-songy voice). "Why don't me make it...a t.v. day."

I of course mumble, "No, it's a play day."

"Come on Mommy. Let's make it a t.v. day. What do you say? It's easy to turn on. We'll go to Netflix. Let's make it a t.v. day."

"Wha..? No! It's a play day! Don't try that on me."

"Instead of two shows, I only watch one."

"[LB] no! It's no shows today. Zero."

"Oh come on Mommy. It's just one show. Just one. That's not too bad. One show isn't too bad."

"I can't even with this. Are you peer pressuring me to watch t.v.?"

"Come on Mommy. Just turn it on for one show. I know you can do it."

Internet, I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING.  My four year old peer pressures me. It started with t.v. and has moved on to toys and donuts.

"Come on Mommy, let's go to Toys 'R' Us, and I'll just get one toy. It's only one, that's not a big deal. Just one toy. I'll pay for it."

????? With what money ?????????

"You'll give me some. Some money for my toy."

"Let's go get me a donut. I'll let you have a bite. Come on, just one donut."

I'm pretty sure I got lessons in elementary school on how to stand up to peer pressure, but it's hard to think over the drone of just this one t.v. show.

I mean, it's just one.

One's not so bad...

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