When I shared that I'd hung a television on my wall all by my onesies, A'Dell responded: "Wait, wait, wait. You're allowed to have a TV in the house again? WHEN DID THAT POLICY SHIFT?" As you'll remember, last spring we decided to pack up our television. Allow me to explain.
Sydney was getting bigger and more aware and we noticed that whenever we grabbed the remote she immediately whipped herself around to get a view of the light-up box. While sometimes it was nice to get things done while Sydney zoned out to The Simpsons (inappropriate much, Manda?), the television was becoming a problem in our lives. Instead of spending time together after putting our daughter to bed, John and I found ourselves rotting on the couch with our dinner on our laps, more willing to comment on Dancing With the Stars or Fringe - or whatever happened to be on quite frankly – than talk to one another about our day. And we don't even have cable, people.
We decided that we needed to make a change. We needed to be forced into talking to each other, to reading to our daughter, to listening to more music … and putting our television in the garage did the trick. We now have a toddler whose favorite word is "BOOK!" We actually eat at our dinner table now and spend time TALKING. Putting away the telly? SO WORTH IT, and I highly recommend it.
At some point during the summer John and I got the notion that we'd like to watch a movie before we went to bed. We balanced a laptop on the bed between us. And this became our little once-in-a-while thing: We'd watch The Office on DVD or a movie together after the baby went to sleep. And the idea of having a television in our bedroom started to grow on us.
So about a month ago we decided to hook up a television in our room. We didn't hook up the antennae, we just put the dvd player in there. It doesn't violate our dinners together and it doesn't allow me to zombie-fy our daughter while I unload the dishwasher or whatever (although it does come in handy while I'm trying to take a shower while Syd's awake. Showering is an activity that Sydney thoroughly refuses to accept to stay in her pack n play quietly for unless …
BUT having a television on my dresser is not my favorite because dressertops are quite obviously for photo frames and knick-knacks and girlie things and NOT electronics. Soon after we decided on this setup we got one of those intimidating wall mounting thingies at Costco and it's been sitting on the floor in front of our bed for ages. The other night while John was teaching I decided to go crazy with a drill and socket wrench and hang it myself.
And I DID IT!
(And I only broke ONE LAMP in the process!)
(I also rearranged the bedroom furniture. And repurposed a mug tree and a coat tree. Wanna see?)
(A necklace tree! YAY!)
Anyway, there will probably come a point when the television resurfaces in our front room (hello, second child, wherever you are! You shall no doubt usher in the era of Veggie Tales so that Mama can nurse you without wanting to stab herself in the eye with a fork!). We do occasionally like having people over to watch movies, playing Wii, and working out in the living room with the 30 Day Shred. In my imagination we'll probably hang it up on the wall and try to keep things just as blissfully uncluttered as they are right now. Until then, we can keep updated on LOST and The Office via the internet (as a side note isn't it awesome to be able to watch television at your leisure!? I know many of you already sing the praises of the DVR. Perhaps I'll have to get one of those one day) and the rest of it – and its commercials – can go by the wayside.
I once heard that it takes 21 days to break a habit. I think this is probably very true. Once upon a time the background noise in my life was the drone of white noise, of a t.v. set tuned to whatever was on. Now the background noise of my life is my daughter "reading" a book and imitating animal sounds and laughing as Juicy barrels into her space trying to find a place to nap among the chaos of toys and books, airplanes off in the distance carrying travelers to and fro, the clack of dog nails on hardwood, the music of our favorite singers on the stereo, the sound of my husband's voice as he murmurs to himself at his desk. How sad that I missed out on the sounds of my own life for as long as I did, and how beautiful this new music is to me. Three cheers for new habits!