This is a long post. Sorry ;)
Normally there is a big, black box sitting on this table.
A big, black, boob tube ready to fill the minds of inquiring children with nothing.
Well, after I redid the living room,which I will show you pictures of below, I decided that something was out of place.
And I noticed that whenever the tv was on, whether it was to watch a show or play the Wii, that there was an inordinate amount of fighting.
"It's MY turn to pick the show!!!! You've been playing for a LONG time!!!! Why do you get to hold the remote?!!!!!"
So I made a brave decision, and Jeff agreed. So I took the tv, the Wii, and the DVD player and put them in another room. Not hooked up, not usable-just out of the way.
That was two weeks ago.
And may I just say, it was the best decision I have made for our family in a long time.
Last week I asked Charlie and Anne Marie if they didn't love not having the tv as much as I did.
Charlie replied, "No. I miss it."
"Really?" I asked. "You miss fighting over who has the remote and who gets to pick next? You miss the constant loud din of the tv in the background of everything we do? You miss me constantly telling everyone to turn it off?"
"Huh." He said. "You're right, I'm glad it's gone. "
True story folks.
Only once has Nora asked to watch a show. And I just told her we don't have a tv. So she did something else. And no one else has said a word about it.
Yesterday I remarked to Jeff how great it was to hear Henry and Nora play all morning. To hear them go outside and play pirates instead of being babysat by the TV.
Right now I have 2 kids home sick, plus Nora. What do you do with kids when they're home sick besides watch tv? Well, Jeff got a book on cd from the library and right now as I type this Charlie, Anne Marie and Nora are all listening to Bunnicula. Of course Charlie tried to hook up the tv when I wasn't looking. But it was his first sick day without it, so I'm not exactly surprised either:)
They still get time on the computer. I don't mind that. But we have blocked Netflix so that they can just play games. They each get a half an hour. That's it. And as time goes on, everyone surprisingly gets off when their turn is over without all the normal wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Some of this came easily because we already only had Netflix. And Jeff and I hardly ever watch tv. We don't have time, and when we do, we're too tired.
So that was step one.
Step two was removing it from use.
The next step is to sell the tv. Seriously, I don't care about it anymore. Yet I am still hesitant to actually get rid of it. It has become such a fixture, that even if we aren't using it, it would be weird to not have it in the house.
But truly, it has been WONDERFUL!!! We sit and talk. The kids play Legos, marbles, they read, they interact, they do their homework!!!! They play games together and the best part? Fighting has been cut in half. No joke. Not that my children fought very much before. They just don't in general. But any fighting is too much. So to have it cut in half is miraculous.
I highly recommend it. Although it is not for the feint of heart. It would be a much bigger adjustment for most families simply because tv and video games are such huge fixtures in some homes. And that is fine. No judgement. I just couldn't stand the noise and the intrusion it was even one more day.
I just am amazed at how quickly my children have adjusted without it. How quickly I learned to not use it as a babysitter when I was tired, wanted to get things done, or just needed a break.
I have no plans of bringing it back. I would truly be insane to trade the calmer, more peaceful, serene home we have just to be entertained by stuff that really doesn't improve our lives one bit.
And I love my living room without it. It was such a blight on an otherwise lovely room. I only wish I had gotten rid of it sooner.
What, you may ask, will we do when we DO want to watch something as a family? Well, we have two laptops and a computer with screens that were big enough ten years ago. I think we will manage:)
And for your perusal, pictures of my "new" living room. New because I actually don't mind the black couches now.
And I currently have a thing with antlers, if you couldn't tell. Thanks to Michele for the real ones!!! And thanks to Jeff for the metal Antelope in the top picture, that I have been coveting. You both know me so well!
Always, the dirty windows.
I loved these pillows, but they didn't have the one color I needed them to have. So I painted them. A little blue paint and I had the blue birds I so desired.
These curtains were on a whim. I bought more drop cloth from Home Depot, just like I did for my master bedroom redo. And then, because I had zero money, I used a bunch of kitchen towels I had left over from my boutique, and I cut, sewed and ruffled them and then sewed them onto some fabric I bought on clearance at Ikea. It gives the room some nice texture and tones down the black couches.
Those shelves are pallets. Used to bring lovely stones for my friends back yard makeover. I cleaned them, tore off the back boards. Then I sanded the heck out of them and Jeff hung them up. Free and awesome if I do say so myself. Then I shopped my house and used money my aunt gave me for Christmas to fill in some gaps and I am pleased as punch. Yes I am.
A little switcherooing on the mantel was in order as well.
And pre-metal Antelope.
And my sister, who also knows me so well, got me this metal bird for my birthday.
I might have squealed when I saw it. And not pictured, because it's in the kitchen, is a lovely new cake stand that my friend Amber gave me. Do I have people that know and love me or what?
So there you go. A TV free, soothing, lovely place to talk and be together. No more movies lying around. No more Wii remotes hidden in the couch cushions. I am content, and so is my family. There have and probably will be a few more bumps in the road.
But it's been totally worth it. And now, it feels like nothing is missing at all.