Our "Unplugged" week was a fantastic experience! We had a couple of minor setbacks (my 3 year-old declared a hunger strike on day one -- "I'm not eating until you turn the TV back on!), but we made it through the week unscathed. Here's what I learned this week:
- Our kids live in an "on demand" world. DVRs and iPods allow children to believe that everything they want is right there for them whenever they want it. Want to watch SpongeBob at 3 a.m.? It's on the DVR! Want to listen to the new song you like? Download it to your iTouch and listen away! Well, you know what kids? You don't always get everything you want. I had to explain to my daughter what a radio (we did listen to the radio) was. She had no concept of having to listen to someone else's programming.
- It's not that I don't have enough time to read anymore, it's that I use that time on other things. I read two and a half books this week. TWO AND A HALF BOOKS! (The Leisure Seeker, The Ladies' Lending Library and The Creative Family) Apparently I do have time when I'm not playing Sodoku on my iTouch or surfing my favorite blogs.
- Technology has made our lives sooo much easier and should be appreciated (without letting it take over your life). I've grown so used to using USPS.com to mail packages, that it was a big huge hairy pain in the ass to drag my two kids down to the post office to mail off a package (I must reaaaaaallllly love you Louise!!). I screwed up our flexible spending paperwork and needed to fax something in for reimbursement. It slowly dawned on me that I had no idea where to go to send a fax if I couldn't use mine at home. (BTW, my public library had a fax machine. Who knew?). And Mapquest. I bitch about you constantly Mapquest, but you have truly changed all of our lives.
- I get way too many e-mails. I had over 1,000 new e-mails when I turned on my computer this morning. And over 1,100 blog feeds. And twitters. And instant messages. Ugh. Too much information coming at me.
- Things are much calmer in our house when the TV and computer are not on. We played games. We read books. We ate at the dinner table EVERY NIGHT. AS A FAMILY. EVEN THE BABY.
Coming out of this, we're going to try to capitalize on these learned lessons. During the week, the TV will be turned off before Daddy gets home. We're going to keep playing games at night. (I'm getting really good at Don't Wake Daddy and Rhino Rampage). I'm thinking of making Fridays "Unplugged" days for the entire Summer. And we're certainly going to do this again next year.
I did finally read the giveaway book from February -- The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian. I loved this book. I know that I had mentioned that the movie rights had already been purchased. Please read the book before the movie comes out. Let Zadoorian's words and your imagination give faces to these delightful characters before some Hollywood actor is given the reins. It's a great summer read. Go grab yourself a copy!
I have a number of things planned for this week (including a new limited edition kit). I leave you with some pictures from our "Unplugged" week:
This armoire holds our TV/DVD player/DVR/etc. We locked it up (with an antique key) on Sunday night and didn't unlock it for seven days.
Rhino Rampage. Lots of Rhino Rampage.
My menu board. I made it using a white platter from Wal-Mart and chalk paint. Easy peasy. And the chalk markers make all the difference.
G's reading nook. She managed to thumb through all of those books in one morning.