John and I have made a list of things we'd like to do this summer that mostly consists of projects and experiments.  We have plans to gut the room that is currently serving as his home office/cesspool and turn it into a guest room/office.  We'd like to sell some things on eBay, babyproof the house, things like that.  At the top of the list, however, is the strangest experiment of them all:  Move television into garage.

First of all, we have a big-ass flat panel television.  And it's mine.  One Christmas we found it on sale at Best Buy and I was all I WANT THAT.  Since it was the last one and I am The Princess, John bought it for me.  Whenever his buddies would come over and be all, "DANG! Nice t.v. John!" assuming that since he has the dangling participle that he's the one who demanded 40-inches of high-definition wonderfulness, he'd just point a thumb in my direction and say "It ain't mine, boys."  And then everyone would high-five him for having the Best Wife Ever.

Those were the DAYS!

Second of all, we don't have cable, and haven't had cable since we got married.  I know, GASP!  We do have a really good set of antennae and since we live in a big city we get TONS of channels VERY clearly so we really don't miss out (although back when I was chained to the couch nursing an infant 22 hours a day I really, really wished we had cable. I knew when EVERY soap opera, re-run of I Love Lucy, and morning news show came on.  I would have much rather rotted my brain with What Not to Wear marathons).

Lately, though?  I've been thinking that I don't want to look back at my life and realize that I grew old while glued to American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, LOST, The Office, Southland, and TMZ (ALL SHOWS I WATCH ON THE REGULAR).  Now that John is almost finished with his (second) master's degree and summer is upon us and we have this AMAZING daughter who's growing and changing by the minute and is pretty much already a TODDLER (WAH) it's time.  We need a change.  We need to look at each other more.  We need to read more books.  We need to NOT allow our daughter to watch The Simpsons so we can finish cleaning up the kitchen even when it's SO TEMPTING and SO MESMERIZING.  I would really rather know what's going on in people's lives THAT I KNOW IN PERSON than those who live inside the little box in my living room.

Several of my friends don't have televisions in their homes.  It's a craze that's sweeping the nation!  Ok, so only two families that I know of don't have televisions and only one of them has children in the home.  Over the weekend we spent some time with our friends with kids who recently got rid of their television and it was just so NICE.  The kids all played together on the carpet and we sat around and chatted.  The men wanted to watch the Laker game and they had to LEAVE and go somewhere else to do it … we sat in the family room with the kids UNINTERRUPTED.  It made a huge impression on me.  It only reinforced what I had at the top of my list.

So as crazy as it sounds, we jumped the gun on summer yesterday and packed Old Bessy up and hid her in the garage.  It was frightening and liberating.





I'm not sure how long the television will stay packed up … maybe just for the summer (we've talked about finally having it mounted up on the wall next fall), or maybe forever.  Of course we're already trying to figure out ways to play Wii and watch movies (hey, a projector is NOT a television!) and we're keeping the small television in our bedroom – no antennae there, though – and internet access and Netflix and all that good stuff so we won't be totally out of touch with the outside world. I mean, I MUST watch Wipeout online.  One can only handle SO MUCH!

Like I said, it's an experiment in simplifying and de-cluttering our lives and our brains.  And I've already seen AWESOME side effects, like my daughter doing THIS for the first time yesterday on our newly re-arranged, television de-centralized furniture:http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=4857263&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=01AAEA&fullscreen=1

Pulling up! from Manda on Vimeo.

Move television into garage.  Check.


7 thoughts on “Unplugging

  1. Jenny says:

    Our TV is in the basement that we never hang out in. So when we want to watch TV, it’s more of a purposeful thing instead of an absent-minded thing. Also, b/c Ali doesn’t watch much TV, when I NEED to do something to keep her still for a bit, the TV works great b/c it’s like this hypnotizing device. But it doesn’t work well if she’s used to seeing it regularly. So good for you for unplugging. I think ages 1-2 years of your kid’s life is so much more fun than 0-1. Enjoy it!

  2. Elsha says:

    We don’t usually turn the TV on until the baby goes to bed, and then it’s usually for a movie (or a TV show on DVD.) I definitely prefer it that way. I am not a “TV on all the time in the background” kind of person.

    P.S. We have that same leather/wood chair in our living room. It’s the best!

  3. Amanda says:

    I feel like the worlds creepiest mom. Harper watches The Simpsons. I know, I know. Good for you guys! I don’t know what I would do without my TV, I watch way too much of it.

    Congrats to Syd! Harper’s pulling herself up, too! She bashed her head twice! in one day. Mother of the year over here folks!

  4. Alison says:

    My husband and I made the same decision when I was pregnant. We went cold turkey and it was so scary at first! We spent too much time on our laptops as a replacement, but lots of the “mindlessness” of watching TV was eliminated. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how different life will be without the TV.

  5. Jodi Kessler says:

    Hey Amanda…

    It is SOOO awesome hearing your voices and seeing that gorgeous little Sydney moving around! We miss you guys so much!

    Your blog is awesome…I know what my summer reading list is going to look like!

    XXOO and lots of love,

    Jodi and Jeff

  6. Jenny Penk says:

    Go Manda! I totally agree with you on booting out the tv. We also have a huge tv with the HD antennae that gets about seven or eight good channels. Thus, the tv is only used for the much anticipated “The Office and 30 Rock” event that goes on in our household every Thursday night. Other than that, we only use it for playing the PS3 and watching movies.

  7. Raven says:

    I think I am a tv addict.

    I would love it if we had a somewhat larger house so we could have a media room and the big tv go could in there (we have 4 count them, in this house) but I don’t know that I could ever part with it altogether.

    Of course, I will be returning to work soon and between a work out, work and chores, my consumption in the future is going to be diminished anyway.

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