Today (ok, yesterday, this is a retro-post), Gabriel's school's PTA hosted a Movie Night: Kung Fu Panda, which Julian has been really into lately (the book, that is).
It started at 8pm, creating numerous logistical problems. Starting with one for me (because, it's always about ME!), I had a goal of exercising every day this week, and had a 4-day streak going, and wanted to swim from 7:15pm-8pm. Not to mention a busy day tomorrow -- Tonya's baby shower and a Las Madres picnic, both of which I wanted to bake for, plus kid-sandwiches for the picnic, plus a present to wrap. Could I sit through a movie that night? I didn't think I could leave them there alone.
Well, my tummy solved all the logistical dilemmas -- no swimming, no going out. I felt horrible all day yesterday, despite a long nap in the morning. I just couldn't shake it. The smell of pool chemicals during swim lesson didn't help at all.
But even though I hadn't psyched the boys up for the movie, I still felt bad about it. I wish it had been on a different night, and then I would have taken them to the move and stayed with them. So I made it up to them (really, myself), by digging out some of our kid-movies, still packed in a box. The boys picked a "SpongeBob Christmas" video, and for the first time since we've moved home, they watched TV.
They were awfully peaceful during the movie. But, I didn't like hearing it while it was on. I also didn't like the time constraint it imposed, how we had to wait until it was over to do anything else (like bedtime for Katrina). Worse, the boys were whiny and complainy afterward about being bored. I'd actually interrupted Gabriel working on a new circuit, Julian reading and Katrina playing outside for them to watch SpongeBob (which they did really enjoy watching).
Maybe the collateral damage of TV-watching would subside if they watched TV on a more regular basis, or if we all watched movies together that we'd all like (SpongeBob isn't bad but it's not my thing). As I discovered when Gabriel was a todder, for the most part in our current lives, there's more to be lost than gained. The reasons are different, but the balance remains. This is mostly a practical, not philosophical perspective, one of those living day-by-day parenting decisions, one that can't even be elevated to be called "principle." It just works for now.
As it turns out, whatever was bothering my tummy developed into full-scale intestinal war during the night, and I spent much of the next day watching TV. I didn't say I don't watch!