Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day

After a post yesterday about finding a bit of extra time, the whole family was given a SNOW DAY. We are cozy and warm, watching great big flakes of snow fall after a night of freezing rain. I've not been out of my PJs. The amazing thing is not that the boys are home from school--it is that Mom is home from school-and Dad closed the business for the day! I can't say we are doing anything as a family, just yet. I'm at the computer, Dave is reading the paper (probably doing the crossword) and the boys are watching, what else, TV. We are all happy. We will go out later to play in the snow. For now--everyone gets to relax--each in our own way.

I could turn this into a post about TV. I've done a real 180 on TV this winter. Both our kids struggle in school. Joseph in big, obvious ways. Alex in big ways, too, just not as obviously as Joseph. I limited the TV time until this winter when I finally relented and put a TV in the basement where they can go and watch pretty much whenever they want. Joseph is glued. Alex watches and then goes and plays with toys. Is there harm in this? Yes. Probably. Maybe. But, guess what? Joseph has been watching the same preschool programs on TV forever--and now answers the questions they ask. They try to get preschool kids to interact with the TV in the best of the educational stuff on TV for kids. And, now, 9 or10 years too late, Joseph does. Not always, but sometimes. He has seen every episode of Blues Clues at least 100 times. I'm sure I've heard every episode of Blues Clues at least 75 times... So, maybe he is a child that really needs so much repetition--repetition that threatens all our sanity--that 10 years of preschool TV is actually good for him. Maybe I'm trying to justify making life easier for me. If he is watching TV I don't have to entertain him, or clean up after him when he makes a mess because I wasn't entertaining him.

Does the TV hurt Alex? Maybe--but frankly--TV is the least of my worries with Alex...

So for now--I'm typing--Dave is napping (not doing a crossword puzzle) Alex is playing, and Joseph is watching the game show channel with some "Little Einsteins" and ESPN Pool mixed in. (No one can actually watch TV with Joseph. He typically bounces between three or more shows in such a way that gives the rest of us a headache...) Is is stimming? Yes. Is it all bad? No. One other positive is that it gives me something to reward him with when he behaves. The other day he was told that if he behaved when we went to the store and went to pick up Alex he would be rewarded with TV time. He didn't. He lost his TV time. (I can lock the door to the basement, and thus monitor the TV.) That got his attention. A few more evenings without TV and he may listen at the store when I need him to listen.

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