Wednesday, November 12, 2008

morning routine

We had a change of routine around here this morning.

Normally, mornings are our tv time... my kids get up so early I need time to ease in to them. To ease into the day. When they drag me down the stairs, we say our good mornings, we chat for a minute, they give their requests for breakfast, and then we all "break!" to start our morning; the kids with their Little Einsteins and Curious George, and me with my blogs. The tv goes right on, I get their breakfasts set up, and then I snuggle up in the corner of the couch with a blanket and my laptop to "wake up".

I can't remember a morning around here without the tv on. It's never really been distracting to us; it's not like the kids are glued to it, eventually I get off the couch and everyone still (mostly) gets dressed and ready and fed in plenty of time to catch the bus or for whatever is on tap that day. (Remember, my kids get up plenty early!)
It's just always been on. It's a good way to keep Sawyer semi occupied while helping Savannah get ready, getting laundry started, getting us ready for the day if we have morning plans, or just a chance for me to relax, browsing blogs and email, etc and catch my breath before really jumping into our busy day. It's our routine. A habit that's never changed.

Until today.
Our main tv finally gave out yesterday. It's been giving us hints that it was about to retire for months (a year?) now. The sound would go out sporadically, it took at least a whole five minutes for the picture to come in whenever we turned it on... it was getting tired in it's old age. Yesterday it finally bit the dust. Ironically it served it's last morning well; Savannah had just got on the bus and it was time for Sawyer to round up shoes and jacket for MOPS. I was just opening my mouth to tell Sawyer to turn the tv off, it was the very end of the daily episode of Curious George, and before he could get to the button, the tv just went black. Perfect timing actually!

But then this morning as I dragged down the stairs and realized we had no tv, I cringed. No tv, can't even put on a quick movie. Was I actually expected to meaningfully interact with my kids at 6:40 AM??? I love my kids, but I don't do all that well with two kids actually talking to me non-stop for this first hour of the day. I'm much better after the sun comes up.

I tried just ignoring them... hiding behind my laptop and trying to ignore Sawyer bouncing all around me on the couch. I turned on kids music on the cd player. He wasn't interested. I found some cd's of "books on tape" we had years ago for Savannah and roadtrips. Who knows where the books are, but here were the cd's. What are the chances my ubber active just-turned-three-year-old would stay quiet enough to listen to a story on the cd player? Well, guess what? I sat down on the floor by the stereo with him and got him all into it and he not only listened to a story, but Curious George Goes to a Movie, Cars, and A Frog Thing. And then we turned music back on and listened to the full Trout Fishing in America cd. We sat there and sang along and Sawyer was singing and acting out all the songs and dancing like I've never seen. After each song he'd collapse onto my lap on the floor or just come and lean on my shoulder with his elbow and say, "what's next?". I had so much fun. It was really the best first hour of my day in a long time.

As much as I like our routines and find myself so comfortable in the mundane habits we have, I really liked this morning of no tv. It's crazy how amazed I am at our good morning. And ridiculous how taken by surprise I am. That probably sounds really sad.

It's also crazy how the "novelty" of listening and using imaginations was so intriguing to my kids. It's not like we never do those things, but the fact that they were fresh and new in the morning made it something different. I wonder if I pulled those out more they'd like them or grow tired of them. I remember growing up myself and listening to so many books on tape, records on tape really. Remember all those Disney storybook vinyl records? Loved those. I remember never tiring of those.

Anyway, as of now I'm in no real hurry to get a working tv in here. Sure it'll be nice to eventually get a new one and not have the frustrations of the old one we had limping along... but at the same time it's kind of nice to be forced to have to spend mornings actually (gasp) engaged with and entertaining my kids! First thing in the morning! When they have ten times more energy than I care to even think about at that hour of the day!

We'll see how long this lasts....


Anonymous said...

I loved listening to the records that went along with books, too. OMG, what a great memory to think about today! Come to think of it, I believe my mom still has our record player and all those records/books. I wonder if it still works?!

Good luck holding off on not buying a new TV. Does your husband agree with you, or is he already off shopping at Best Buy like mine would be?

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