Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hello, We are the Heathen Family and we are T.V. Addicts

Violet has begun to repeat random phrases that she encounters with her ears everyday. This is the most immediate reason why we have put our family into T.V. Rehab. Reruns of Friends seem harmless enough until your child begins muttering, "We were on a break", among other less appropriate non-sequitors. This is my fault. I have come to realize that I am a T.V. junkie. How do I know? I don't actually enjoy T.V. Yep, I compulsively watch. I leave it on for noise, comfort, and sedation. When we got satellite after spending a summer without cable, I spent a solid week watching the Food Network, non-stop. I was on a total bender. Sometimes, I just need to see the flicker of the screen out of the corner of my eye as I do other things. I have also come to believe that this is a direct result of the excessive television exposure I suffered as a child. When I think of Christmas, the first things that pops into my head are commercials for the Smokeless Ashtray and some fancy record album lint remover tool. When I remember Thanksgiving, the soundtrack is the roaring crowd from an NFL game.  Halloween visions include The Great Pumpkin. I spent an entire summer stalking MTV and VH1 for repeated viewings of Madonna's video for This Used to Be my Playground. I am comforted by these media memories and yet I know that they are empty replacements for human interaction and affection. Just like I don't want my child to grow up thinking soda is a valuable beverage, I don't want her to make T.V. a part of her childhood lexicon. Of course, I have already failed, which makes it even harder to stick to my No-T.V. plan. Violet already has a vocabulary lush with words like Cinderella, Dora, Pongo and Perdy. When she is permitted to watch a little bit of Noggin, she shrieks with fury when I shut it off after only one episode of whatever. It's like you've removed her only source of oxygen or chocolate milk. It pains me to see what I have allowed to grow and yet when I am tired or that evil headache creeps in, I turn on that damn box and let it sully my precious baby. SEE! J.U.N.K.I.E. I need help. I need suggestions and encouragement. I need to know that I am not the only one who struggles mightily with the media beast. My ideals are high, but will is weak.

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