Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cutting The Cord

I've noticed lately that the days my family and I get out of the door early and we do some sort of exercise that everyone is in good spirits, there's less fighting amongst the little people, the day passes even more quickly, and it usually ends up being a pretty good day. Because of this Dave and I have been really trying to get the girls outside for as long as possible during the day. They have been washing the vehicles more, Lady is now being walked every night and sometimes in the morning as well. We are adventuring to different neighborhood parks, water parks, and playgrounds.

Who are we I wonder? Anyone who knows me knows I'm pretty damn lazy so really I don't know what's going on. Partly it stems from my hatred of the girls watching TV. I mean I love TV but I am also an adult who's brain has already rotted so when I tune in to my favorite program/s it is for a brief break or relief from a chaotic day. When the girls tune into TV I envision their brains turning to mush, their activity level dwindling, and the advertising world of America creating values in their minds that I would really not like to have in there nor do necessarily I believe in. So we've turned the box off for the most part except for times where I need the girls to be quiet due to an important phone call or if I need to cook dinner and there's a lot of stuff going on in the kitchen and I don't want them in there for safety reasons.

At first I felt like the days were just dragging and I was racking my brain trying to come up with new ideas and things to do. Then somehow things slowly fell into place. Who knew there was a book reading at the book store in the mornings? I do- now. There are probably 20 parks in a 10 mile radius of our house. We have been to about 6 of them frequently but now are expanding our horizons to the other parks. We kinda get stuck going to the water park a lot because well- there's water there to play in. It makes all the other parks seem less interesting.

Today we ate breakfast and put on our jogging shoes. I walked the girls around the neighborhood and took the extremely long way to the park. When we reached the park we jogged the big dirt trail that is next to it. This was Ava's first time to actually have her feet on this trail. Usually she is in the stroller when Olivia and I walk the trail. So I told the girls if we accomplished one lap around jogging we would play at the playground. The girls took off running. I feared Olivia was going to fall flat on her face like usual but she held her own and shook her booty. Ava went jogging too while clapping all the way. There were a few moments Ava asked me to hold her hand and as soon as I stuck out a finger and she grabbed on she went jogging away and let go. We made it around the trail everyone still smiling and entered the playground. The girls slid, swung, and ran all over the place for another 20 minutes and then we headed home to cool off in the pool.

After the girls finished playing in the pool Ava brought out her Legos and Olivia and I worked on her number flash cards. She has been really excited to go to preschool so we have been going over some of the things she will learn there. It's been fun. Ava has started working on the alphabet flashcards now that she learned all of her colors and shapes. She has been picking up knowledge so easily by having Olivia around and repeating things to her all of the time.

After awhile Ava started to doze off so I woke her up and fed the girls their lunch. Olivia ate hers in record time and Ava struggled with the meat but did finish it so she could eat some grapes. Soon Ava was in bed sleeping on her puzzle like usual (Dave calls this puzzle-acupressure) and Olivia and I played with the dogs. It has been a good day so far today. Time flew by, no one had a tantrum which are in fact actually getting better since Ava is understanding the concept of 'use your words', and the girls both learned something from their experiences and not from the TV.

After reading my parenting magazines and discovering that roughly 20% of all 2 year olds have a TV in their bedroom I am proud that we fall into the 80% that don't. We also have never let the girls watch anything rated PG due to the fact that shows like Spongebob have characters that hit or call each other stupid. So far my girls don't call each other names and I'd like to keep it like that for as long as possible. I'd like them to remain innocent and young while they are in fact innocent and young. Kids today are acting like adults at 12. When I was 12 I got my last doll for Christmas.

Every day I think about how the girls are being raised and what ideals are being instilled. It scares me sometimes to think about how sexualized the kids are in school now or the fact that guns and violence are so predominate. Just thinking about it makes me cherish my girls even more. It makes my desire to teach, share, and explore with them positive adventures even greater and even more necessary so they learn to be kind, loving, forgiving, silly, outgoing, and adventurous- and I hope for all hopes somewhat nerdy, somewhat geeky, and somewhat like me and Dave.

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