Okay, confession: my kids watch too much TV. And not in an omg, they watched two shows today kind of way, but it’s that they watch way more than I’m willingly to admit publicly. I’ve always been cool with it because it buys me alone time or allows me to sleep in longer. Craig and I both grew up glued to the TV, and there’s actually some quality children’s programming if you look for it. So yeah, I totally stand by this decision. I’ll let them do projects in front of the TV — sometimes even messy ones involving glue. I also tell myself that when the weather gets nicer we’ll be outside most of the time and they won’t be watching as much TV. I’m not really sure what the long term effects are but I’m sure studies have been done. No, I don’t care to read them.
This week I tried something different. I may have bragged about this before but my kids only bathe once a week or as needed. The original idea behind this came from an article I read when I was pregnant with Annie. It spoke about how bathing too often can lead to dry skin and all I thought was sweet, one less thing to worry about. And for what it’s worth, their skin is pretty soft. Then as they got older, some of them just didn’t love bath time. It seemed as though one of them was always someone going through an anti-bath phase, and while I thought about not forcing it, even I know that it’s kind of gross to go a few weeks without a bath. So once a week it was.
Lately, I’ve started rethinking this decision. I give them a bath on Friday afternoon and they just love it. They’ll sit there for nearly an hour playing so nicely, so I’m like why don’t we do this more often? And then I forget about it until the following bathday. The purpose of the TV, besides the free babysitting, was to keep them in one space so they don’t destroy our apartment. And these guys can be monsters (Lisi, I’m looking at you). But I can accomplish the same thing by sticking them in the bathtub. Granted, they need more supervision in the tub but I still get what I want, some down time. I just sit on the floor next to them not chasing after anyone, not cleaning up spills, not waitressing or wiping anyone. I’m just sitting there watching them play nicely, in a way I’ve always imagined siblings playing together.
So is this it for the TV? No. They might be over this bath thing by tomorrow. But truth be told, I think I’ve been seeing some positive results from this extra bath time. I mean, today Judah didn’t even ask for the iPad. And if you know Judah the iPad is like his right hand. They’ve also been cleaner! I’m sure I’ll be paying for it in moisturizer but I can live with that. Then between the bath and bed time I caught them playing together. The TV was on and they chose to play together. I gave myself bonus points for that. But most important, I’ve stayed sane. I hate when I have to yell at them (but wow, sometimes they totally deserve it. Okay, kidding, they’re pretty good kids) and getting that little bit of sitting-on-my-butt time is what keeps me calm.
Gosh. I just love sitting on my butt sometimes.