Like everyone else in Knoxville, we fell victim to the Power Outage of 2011 (thus far), and more importantly, the Cable and Internet Black Out of 2011 (thus far). It sucked, but not as bad as it could, since we were only without power for 24 hours. Five days later, several thousand people still don’t have power in town, and they may not for a few more days. Suckage.
Once we got our power back, we were dismayed to realize that our cable and internet were still off. No one was more frustrated than Declan, who didn’t understand why he could watch a DVD, but not Dino Dan. And we have a pretty limited DVD collection, so no favorite movie was going to take the place of the hundreds of channels and OnDemand shows he has available at his fingertips. I was sweating it.
By Saturday, however, I wasn’t missing cable at all. And most importantly, neither was Declan.
Over the course of the 4 days we were off the grid, I know we interacted and played more as a family than we have in a long time. It kinda shamed me, actually. I used to be pretty diligent about how much and what TV Declan could watch. Then I got pregnant (read: lazy) and then I gave birth to a little boy who nurses tons and TV became way more present in our house. What started with turning it on while I went and put Simon down turned into leaving it on after Simon was down so I could put dishes away or straighten up or eat or sit for a minute. I first started feeling REALLY bad when Declan would start telling stories about Max and Ruby or Diego like they were real people. This was not part of my parenting plan.
So while I am glad that the cable and internet are back on, I am recommitting myself to limiting Declan’s TV time. He is a smart, social and totally creative little boy, and left to his own devices, he has a great time. So while I don’t love summer time without a/c or being totally cut off from the outside world, this mom is using the storm as motivation to stay unplugged a lot more.