March 28, 2013

Why Disney Will Always Lose to PBS

I recently noticed something with my three amazing kiddos...but, first, I must confess that routinely use the television as a babysitter...I know, I know...it's really not that bad, but it sure makes me feel like a complete failure when I can't prepare dinner, and engage my children in meaningful, character-building activities at the same time...

Anyway...recently, we've been really buckling down financially, which means that I'm truly and honestly preparing 21 meals and 7-14 snacks each week.  Occasionally (and I really mean rarely), we'll enjoy a breakfast out, but really, truly, I'm making lunches, dinners, breakfasts and snacks for the 5 of us at home.  From scratch - no using boxed mixes or meal solutions here!

That said, I'm picking Captain up from school 2 times each week.  Those 2 afternoons each week happen to be the same days of the week during which we have evening activities for at least one kid.

Tuesday is AWANA night, and Captain and Princess are both enrolled.  Our Club starts at 6:15, and the Church in which it meets is about 15 minutes drive from our house.  Not huge, I admit, but it does mean that we have to be sitting down to dinner at 5 to allow time for everyone to eat, for us to have our family dialogue about what went on during our days, and to discuss the upcoming events of the morrow. (yes, I said morrow!) After dinner is done, the big kids go upstairs to brush teeth and wash faces, then get their AWANA things on, shoes and jackets and head out the door...

Thursday is the day Princess has dance class.  At 4:10.  Until 5:10.  At the Church we attend.  Which means we go right from getting Captain to the Church and are gone for about 2 1/2 hours.  Again, not bad I know...but it means that by the time we get Princess back into street clothes (sorry, I'm not the mom that lets her 5 year old daughter wear dance leotards outside the building...) and the three kids into their seats, and are heading out of the parking lot, it's about 5:20.  And because it's the usual time for "rush hour" traffic and I have to turn left out of the lot onto a fairly busy thoroughfare, we often don't get home (a 10-minute drive) until 5:45.

Anyway...so these nights, I'm "forced" to do something like use my crock-pot, or use the "time-bake" feature on my oven.  It also means that I'm forced to know before 3pm what will be for  dinner those nights...

The other 5 nights of the week, I'm a little better able to push this off a bit...which therefore means I'm usually done helping Captain with 1st Grade homework, and preparing dinner around 4:15 or so.

It also means that the girls are done with any quiet/nap time they've had, and want to play.  Loudly.  Usually by running through the kitchen.  Right where I'm standing with knives and hot pots and pans.

Therefore, I'm allowing them 1 show during prep.  Once things are prepped and actually cooking, we can read, play a quick game, or spend a few minutes tidying up the family room before BB's done working (he picks Capt up Mon, Wed, and Fri and then works from his home office for 90 minutes or so).

What I've noticed, is that if we opt for Dis.ney Jr, I end up hearing an awful lot of "no, I'm the princess...you're not" and things of that nature.

The other day, instead of turning on that particular channel, I turned on the full-time PBS network we get with our satellite service.  Yes, it may be episodes I've seen a billion times, and know by heart, but you know what?  When my kids watch Ca.illou, or Si.d the Science. Kid - we end up talking about animal habitats, and asking what kind of birds we have in our backyard...

Just this morning, in fact, Princess and Littlest were at the table finishing their breakfast after BB and Captain headed out the door, and I came back into the kitchen to hear Princess saying "We need to spell the word "STOP" to keep the Wolf from getting Red Riding Hood, what letter says "ssssss"?  That's right! S!  Let's write an upper case S - ready?  Wands up!" and coaching Littlest on letter sounds and spelling.  Princess is 5 and in Pre-K...not really reading...

Needless to say, I much prefer hearing Princess Pea and Wonder Red then I do Princess Sophia and Princess Amber, or Doc or June and Annie bickering...

And those who say kids don't really know what they're watching?  BUNK!  My kids are living proof...Littlest One knows the theme songs to every PBS show on, and can tell you what happened the LAST time we watched an episode of Fire.man Sam!  And we only watch him once a month!

1 comment:

Inkling said...

Your last line about Fireman Sam made me smile. The little boy I watch occasionally LOVES him. So every Thursday when I pick him up to take him to Bible Study Fellowship with us and we drive by the fire station, I know I'll hear "That's Fireman Sam!" repeated over and over until I acknowledge that indeed, Fireman Sam lives at the fire station. And I've never even seen an episode.

I wonder if one of those "once a month cooking" methods would work for the couple days a week you have a crazy schedule. Then you'd always know that those days are a "freezer" day. I've been contemplating that idea myself for a couple of the days I know my energy will be super low and our schedules will be rushed right at dinner time, but am a little afraid to try it. I think I'm afraid because I have this idea that it's not healthy or something. Guess it would be a good idea to research. What do you think? Have you ever tried that kind of thing? Is it worth it and healthy?

Geez, woman, it stinks being half a continent apart. It would be kind of nice about now to have a coffee date planned to dialogue about a bunch of this stuff. Then again, if I'd not chickened out on the best date invitation ever, we'd be more than half a continent apart. ;) (I saw a Beauty and the Beast advertisement today and immediately was taken back to that day at LCC when I found a rose in a glass and the most creative story ever used to invite me to spring formal. I was so head over heels for your brother, but too chicken to actually go on a real date. Perhaps that was God protecting your brother because He knew I'd not exactly be an asset in Africa.)