Yesterday at the park it once again came up that we don't have a TV. Kids shows were being talked about and when I looked blank at one character's name, one mother seems surprised I didn't know about him. (the character is Diego's brother. or sister. or someone. I DO know who Diego is.)
I said that we didn't have a TV, so I am not caught up on current kids' shows. There was a minute of silence, then all three women said some variation of "I couldn't do that! I'd go crazy!"
The truth is, I never miss TV. In the beginning, it wasn't our idea not to watch TV. In Pullman, where we used to live, you had to pay for cable to even get basic channels, and we couldn't afford that. So our TV sat in the living room and waited for us to occasionally watch movies on it. I realized that without even the option of vegging on the couch in front of the TV, I didn't miss it. I was pretty busy anyway, with working full time and taking care of my family. If I had had the TV to watch, I would have stayed up way too late anyway, and not for anything worthwhile.
However, Mike and I watched movies and, every once in a while a TV show (Heroes!), online. And after a trip to the school Kaia goes to now, we talked about getting rid of the TV itself. We'd already made the rule of no movies on weekdays, simply because I didn't want to have the homework vs. TV arguments later. After very little discussion, we decided to remove the TV. Kaia could watch her weekend movies on the laptop. The amount of room the TV took up wasn't worth the small amount of use it got.
So out it went. And again, we didn't miss it. We had a lot more room in the living room, and it actually felt much more peaceful without the looming gray screen.
After we moved, we didn't get a TV even though we'd have access to local channels now. We can watch any shows we want to online, though that's rare.
After dinner, we put Ben to bed, then Mike and Kaia spend time together, or we all three do something together. I don't have to listen to my daughter whine about wanting to watch one more show, nor do I have to hear about what new toys she wants, after watching one inane commercial after another. I never think "I wish I could watch TV, I am so bored."
In the spirit of being truthful, if I am at someone's house, and they have the TV on, I am just as likely as the next guy to get lost in it. But I am amazed when commercials come on and I see what advertising people actually expect us to believe. I am shocked at what is considered normal for kids to watch. And when I see Kaia's glazed eyes, and know the same look is in mine when I watch the screen, I thank the stars above we don't have a TV. I'd go crazy!