We listen to a lot of music in our house/car; we don't watch television, so we read and listen to music (I am doing my best to make sure all of the kids are Social Outcasts by having such a freaky mom. Because I am course THE Freakiest, as well as The Meanest. And they say these things like they are really turning the knife, but I am actually quite pleased with the titles myself). But I had no real concept of how pervasive this really was, had no idea the complete and utter brainwashing I am doing to these poor beleaguered children. No idea.
Picture this: Owen, on the floor wearing a diaper and some of those fuzzy socks that look like Grinch feet, only purple, pulled up to his thighs, looking at his Goodnight Moon book. He was singing. Loudly. And here are the words: "Bikicle, bikicle, bikicle, I mon nof neo mine bikicle." Any ideas, folks? Yeah. "Bicycle." By Queen. God, that has got to be one of the proudest moments in my life so far. Even more tear-jerking that his assertion that he wanted to pee on (I mean IN) the potty last night. I thought later on tonight I would start with a little "Hell's Bells" and maybe go on to "Suicide Solution", and maybe wind it up with the heart wrenching ballad "Tuesday's Gone." Metallica version, of course. While wearing the socks, of course, because he ALSO has a pair of hip sunglasses and we could totally go for the Freddie Mercury look.
I have been doing some research on Outward Bound (and yes, I know about the hikers who got lost. I also know grown men who get lost in the parking lot, so I don't want to hear about it, thanks) for my Eli to perhaps participate in next year. We were talking about it last night, and I was going on and on about how great it would be for him, how he could just really have the opportunity to learn and grow and blah fucking blah, and as I was going on and on about how he would be isolated in the wilderness with no television and no radio, he just looked at me as if I had grown a third head. "Mom. Wait. I mean, wouldn't being in a tent in the backyard be the same thing? Because, you know, no TV?"
The funny thing is that I LIKE TV, I really do. I like select channels and shows, I love PBS, but I hate commercials. I hate them so much that I will turn the radio station every time I hear one come on, which is what ultimately led to the addition of Satellite to my life; I kept pissing the passengers off by constantly hitting the seek button. I am so anti-advertising that people around me know that if they want to really set me off, all they need to say is, "Oh, have you seen the commercial...."
I also think that somewhere inside me there is an extremely conservative Fundamentalist Christian hiding (and believe you me, I am really trying to choke her to death. And am up to the task), because a lot of the stuff that I see online and in magazines offends me. Which is funny, because all joking aside, I do consider myself a liberal person, very liberal, but I hate the fact that I am not allowed to nurse my baby without public censure, but I can look up and see some Victoria's Secret hootch with her tits falling out. I hate that there is nothing sacred anymore; I hate the "If you buy/drink/eat/wear this you will immediately become cool" mentality that advertising naturally consists of. I hate the fact that advertising people completely play on our insecurities, and that WE KEEP FALLING FOR IT.
So. We read, we listen to music, we play games, and only when we are at a hotel or someone else's house do we indulge. And yes, I am freaky, I get that, but I also think that the kids are all better off for having been somehow forced to look for other sources of entertainment. I love how they are just as likely to pull out the Scrabble game as they are to turn on the GameCube, and I love how they have re-enacted the Lord of the Rings sword fights before the movies even came out. I don't think that people who allow or watch TV are evil or anything like that, please don't get me wrong. I just know that for us, it is better.