Monday, April 29, 2013

Entertaining Kids Without A Crutch

I could have easily just put a few adorable photos of my kids up and left it at that today. I'm not the gabbiest girl on the block lately. But let me tell you what's been going on here. For the last 5 days, we have not had the internet. Our server is having issues and after checking to make sure we paid our bill (which we did), they sent us a new router and it still didn't work. Then they promised to come fix it Saturday and they never showed, so I'm sitting here on Sunday afternoon hooked up to Jeff's phone which we are using as a hot spot. We use a different phone company than our internet server (thank God) and he is grandfathered in to an unlimited data package (thank God).  But unless Jeff doesn't need or want his phone and happens to be around, we have no internet. Hopefully today they come.

Let's face it! In the culture we live in, as parents, the internet and television has become a crutch for us. It's our "keep the kids busy" safety net and way of escape.  When you get used to it; the kids wanting to play online or go on Netflix or theWii, it can get a little very uncomfortable if it's gone because suddenly they are all bored out of their mind and suddenly have to find something mischievous to do to entertain themselves.  The funny thing is,  I've been thinking over this a lot lately, changing the way we live to the way things used to be, like in the "olden" days. You know before a grocery store full of processed foods, before fast food,  before television, before the internet... What did people do? What did people eat? And very honestly, we have been working on this at home. Changing bad habits. I've been working on it. Being more natural with the way I live.  Which is mainly the reason I haven't been around as much.  The less and less I go online, the less and less I am interested in going online, The less and less I eat junk, the less and less I am interested in eating  junk.
It's a good feeling.
However, it's one thing to decide to make changes. It's quite another to have it all ripped away from you without warning. Womp Womp.  We have had some of the most ridiculous fights between the kids this past weekend. I'm not exaggerating  when I say that Saturday morning I woke up (because of) and immediately dealt with an hour long screaming fight over a mighty bean. Not mighty beans plural, which we have. It was one specific mighty bean, a robot one. And not just any robot one. A red robot mighty bean. If you don't know what it is, google it and you will realize how ridiculous this is. Out of breath and out of a voice from yelling, I finally forced the girls into the bathtub and made Wes give Jada the robot (it was only fair, he had like 8 others). It's sort of a blur, but what I remember is I kept yelling "We are family! That's what we do! We share!" And Wes was hunched around the corner outside of the bathroom like crouching tiger, hidden dragon ready to pounce on her and steal it back when I wasn't looking. This was a serious brawl, my friends.
I was close to losing my mind.  
Saturday night, I forced Jeff to take Wesley to a movie, just to get him out of the house and away from Jada.  And Friday Night, Jeff took Jada out while I had a date with Wesley. This is what we have to do. Split them- the older kids. Usually the internet or Netflix will preoccupy one of them so the fights are kept to a minimum, but now we have to keep them separated in order to maintain our sanity.   Sure I love the idea of doing things together as a family. It's just is no fun usually.  Jada loves to tick Wesley off.  It's a sport to her. She really loves it when he gets mad and chases her around the house. I'm serious.  She loves it. It's a power play for her.
Yes, she is 'one of those.' You know the type. She provokes it and she laughs as he starts screaming and running after her threatening to punch her. And then it happens. He punches her or chokes her or throws a remote control at her eye.  And then I have to discipline him, even though I know it was her fault. She has no problem playing the role of the instigator and in the end, the victim.  And she laughs as he gets disciplined.
I look over at her with tears in her eyes and a huge smile on her face. Do you know anyone like this?
It's exhausting. I'm wiped out. This momma is tired.
I always pull out the big guns with my kids. You know the "When I was a kid, we played outside. We didn't even have the internet. The first time I saw a computer was in high school and I played Oregon Trail."
You know the tough stuff that parents say that their kids don't care about... Yeah, that's right. I say it.

Tell me. How do you keep your kids entertained without the "crutch?"


Joy Foucault said...

oh ya! With 3 under 5 I feel your pain! There are days when I turn off the TV and the eldest will scream NO FAIR! what? On sunny days I am blessed to take them for walks, to the park, or sidewalk chalk, But when it's rainy? I just about loose my mind in alternating between play-doh, coloring and waterpaints. Of course every once in awhile the "mean mom" comes out and I declare the day to be a cleaning day and give everyone an old rag and a list of chores. Anyway, I feel your pain and have been there myself. Everything you said. Ya, I've been there. Chin Up!

Madison D'Amario said...

Seriously I know how you feel {after moving twice this year and having no cable/internet both times for a few days} by day two or three it's like you're truly disconnected from the world and its such a weird feeling. I love how you say "lets face it" because thats exactly what 2013 is all about haha! My son could NOT understand why we couldn't put the TV on. Your kids are adorable!!!

Hanna said...

Lord have mercy on me is all I keep saying all day long along with many, many silent prayers that I won't totally loose and start screaming incoherently!!
It's funny because middle child, a girl does the EXACT same thing to my son, the oldest. It;s not quiet to the same degree as they are only 2 and 3 but still it's coming and it's already happening.
She instigates then she screams and cries and plays vicitm when I know it was all her fault and my poor son gets the time out. I hate it!
I am also guilty of netflix. No internet for them as they are too little but usually I force them to go outside. I give them sidewalk chalk, paint, I let them get horiibly dirty and muddy. WHatever, just get them outside. SOmetimes they try ro refuse and then I take them to a park and they play.
right there with ya sister!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Your kids are SO cute!! I can't even imagine being without internet. How sad is that?! And I was so like Jada with my brother. Sadly I still am a bit and am almost 30! I can't help but egg my brother on haha.

Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

TicoTina said...

one of my other friends is dealing with this with kids around the same age. let's just say I'm not looking forward to that... I don't think anything wears you down quite like kids do. sounds like you are doing the best you possibly can!

Sue said...

I invoke random "no electronics" days and at first it's horrible, but eventually they all flock to the legos or art supplies, random bins of toys they hunt for in the basement...
I also invoke mandatory outside play to just get them away from the tv or computers, etc, even if it's for only 20 minutes at a time, I think it's worth the struggle=)

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