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TV

We nearly became one of those crazy families without a tv yesterday. Well, actually, for a day we were. For a few nights we would come out for Leda's 2am feeding and find that our one and only tv in the living room had turned itself on. Never a good sign, right? Finally, it refused to come on yesterday morning. Much to Cole's frustration. It was disturbing how much he cared and was bothered by the lack of morning cartoons. Not that I think television is harmful to his development--he watches only PBS Kids. More like I think it has become comforting background noise to his day. An emotional soothing like his blankie in some ways.

I'm pretty sure the problem with the tv is related to the "capacitor plague" from bad parts in Taiwan that cripples electronics from the first decade of the 2000's. I could be wrong. But if I had a $1.50 part and some soldering tools I could give it a try. There are a few things in life that just aren't worth it though. Despite my love of the planet and feeling guilty about purchasing more consumer goods. We're actually going to repair the old one still and reuse it, hopefully. It takes time to find a repair person though. And let's be honest, most things these days can be replaced for the same price as having some questionable repair service take a look at whatever it is that's not made here and cheaply made in some other country.

In any case, I nearly told Kelly to not replace it. Why not become one of those crazy anti-tech families who amuses themselves other ways...we're halfway there already. She and I can watch DVDs on our computers, ditch the cable, and Cole doesn't need tv. Right?

Except he does. It was a long day yesterday without his shows. Oh, don't get me wrong...we had fun reading nearly all his books, playing music, and being in other rooms besides the one with the tv. But the whole rhythm of the day was thrown off. He was much crankier, grumpier, more likely to have a tantrum.

But here's the thing...I'm ok with tv. I think we're going to institute some harder rules about when it can be on. It will no longer be a background white noise and must be watched for specific programs/movies. We're hoping it largely stays off until the kids are in bed and the adults are ready to watch. In the end, I don't buy the arguments that tv is bad for children though. Despite Cole's frustration with it going away for a day. I relate that more to kids enjoying routine and stimulation--the key is not being confined to the television all day everyday. I'm taking him to the Children's Museum later in the week.

When it comes down to it, there's no sex, violence, or merchandising that is going to scar my kid. Because it's my job as a parent to filter the world. Television--like computers, smart phones, microwaves, or a hairdryer--is just a piece of equipment that can be used, utilized, properly handled...or improperly handled.

Falling tvs have actually killed several children in Chicago recently--so tv can be deadly. But watching Curious George or learning vocabulary on Martha Speaks? Probably not harmful--maybe even beneficial.

Trust me, the last place Kelly wants to be is the middle of a Best Buy choosing from 100 different tv models. We don't care...if it has sound and a picture, we're good to go. The downside of losing that window to the world outweigh the costs though.

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