Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Randomness

Saturday mornings have turned into my favorite part of the week because both of my children have developed a fond appreciation for sleeping in. It started over winter break, when they were staying up late and then sleeping in the following day. When school started again, regular bedtimes where never firmly reestablished, so by the weekend they're both pretty tired. And I love it. Jay is usually at work (or if he's home he can be trusted to leave me alone and entertain himself) and I can just sit and enjoy a pot of coffee and read or watch The Weather Channel so long that I end up seeing the Local on the 8's thirty times. I thought this morning I'd take a few moments to share some random thoughts:

*Daphne is coming into town next week (YAY!) and a bowling date meet up of Portland area friends new and old has been set up. I haven't been bowling since I was probably 14 years old. It will definitely be interesting. We shall see if I'm still the reigning Queen of the gutter ball.

*Last week I found this Orla Kiely for Target serving tray at Goodwill.I paid $2.99 for it. I just sold it on ebay for $46. So if you're ever out thrifting and see any Orla Kiely stuff, snatch it up. Or leave it for me to find, that's cool too.

*I have a new favorite show and crazily enough, it's on the Science Channel. (I'm going to be totally up front and tell you that I didn't even know I got the Science Channel until I heard about this show.) It's called An Idiot Abroad and it's from the mind of Ricky Gervais. (Love him.) Every episode centers around Ricky sending his friend, Karl Pilkington-a sort of high functioning simpleton-to see one of the seven wonders of the world. Hilarity ensues. (Go here for more info.)

*A few weeks back, Jessie shared with me an older issue of the parenting magazine Brain, Child. At first I didn't know what to think because I'm totally over parenting magazines. They just seem so heavily influenced by advertisers that even the 'articles' seem like advertisements. "Want your child to succeed? Buy these toys!" Whatever. I don't need that kind of guilt and pressure. Anyway, last night I finally got around to reading the magazine and I really like it. There was one article by Catherine Newman that I can't stop thinking about. It was called Bored Again and it was basically about the beauty of boredom and how boredom is such a luxury. The way Catherine writes is so unapologetically honest that I'm completely drawn to her style. At one point she writes, "I am not trying to sound like one of those crafty-mama blogs that makes you want to kill yourself, the kind you bookmark one day because you think that putting out a wooden bowl of felt gnomes sounds like a good idea, but then you unbookmark it the next when you realize that the bowl is supposed to get refilled every morning with a different inspiring and wool based activity and it is just too fucking much to deal with." Bravo!

To go along with the above thought, I fear my kids are caught up in some weird technology loop that they can't get out of. Last night I announced that we were going to have a tech-free 15 minutes while I cooked dinner. Honestly, they both stared at me as if I was speaking Chinese.

When we do things as a family, we're fairly outdoorsy. We go to parks, we hike, and we all love traipsing through the woods. But when we're just hanging out at home the kids go from computer to tv to ipod to video games. The other day, for whatever reason, all those things were shut off willingly and I was so proud of my kids. Then I looked over at my son only to see that he was playing a bowling game on his phone. Seriously? How fun can that even be?!?

So now I'm stuck trying to figure out how to teach my kids (my pre-teen son specifically) the difference between entertaining yourself and having something entertain you. Are any of you dealing with something similar at your homes? Any thoughts, ideas, solutions? I like the idea of having some time every day devoted to no technology, but last night when I set up the aforementioned tech-free 15 minutes my son asked, "Why are we being punished?" I fighting a losing battle?


Maria Rose said...

Your random blogs always make me laugh! And man alive I totally know the gnome/felt/wood bowl thing and have shared those exact same sentiments!

Jessie at Luna Pacifica said...

I'm glad you liked that article in Brain, Child. That mag is hilarious and thought provoking. I dig.

In regards to the techno-loop. We don't have TV, the kids are very limited with computer time, they don't have phones or iPods (just yet), and video games are out of the question.

I think the way we handle technology is a little extreme. So much so, that we aren't even handling it since there's nothing to handle in the first place. I'm not sure if we are doing a disservice to the children, but so far, there have been few complaints. Computers can be used unlimited for school needs, but at this point in their ages, they aren't a big deal. But like I said, JUST YET.

I'm interested to read the comments on this topic. We will soon me making the shift to iPods and such, and I'm not sure how to introduce them.

Lia said...

I am in awe of your thrifty ebay sale! I probably would have kept it and been pleased with my $2.99 purchase.

Yes, we have issues with technology, but alas no real solutions other than the old stand by, "Turn it off!" It's one of the reasons I am on the fence about getting Ben a phone for middle school next year.

Tammie said...

maria rose: i've shared those same thoughts too! i'll save something on the computer and then come back and look at it a few months later, and wonder what in the heck i was thinking.

jessie: thanks again for the mag. im thinking of subscribing. our techno loop started innocently enough with jay wanting a playstation 1 back in the day. monty was probably 4. so video games have almost always been in our house, because we (the adults) wanted them. but of course that leaves us with having to teach the kids about moderation when it comes to such things. the funny thing is, now jay plays video games the least of everyone in the house.
and yeah, i do think the technology debate gets more intense as the kids get older. i can very easily tell my daughter to entertain herself and she will usually do so without too much debate. the boy is a different story. plus, all his friends are caught up in the same 'loop' he is, some even more so, so it can be hard to see where to draw the line.

lia: i thought about keeping it, but really had no use for it. and yep, the phone thing freaked me out at first too. im still not in love with the idea of him having one but i do like being able to reach him.

Shalet said...

My children are completely and totally addicted to their media and I, too, have no idea what to do about it. I keep nagging them -- read a book! knit something! draw something! build something!

But no. Back to the computer it is. ;o(

Daphne said...

Yay! I can't wait to see you guys! I need to email you.

I love that tray, and awesome profit!!

I need to read that blog about the gnomes. I have no kids, but just *reading* about raising kids these days makes me exhausted and stressed out.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Tammie - did you see the mom on the Today show who wrote this book?

They interviewed the children and I found them and this whole project quite interesting. Rick and I have been thinking of doing this ourselves - not sure 6 months but a couple. Not even sure we can.

Tammie said...

peggy: i just looked that book up. im going to see if i can get it at the library.

kraftykash said...

We are all highly addicted to our phones around here. Kiley started a new rule that from the time the kids get home, we all put our phones up til 8pm. Then we can have it for 30 mins. I about had a heart attack. But now I'm amazed at how much more I can get done. I might even blog about it. I have a love/hate relationship with eletronics.
Way to go on the tray find! You rock like that!

mandy said...

thanks for the laugh, that quote still has me smiling, too funny.

super impressed with your ebay savvy. i have a small pile of thing in the closet i keep meaning to put on ebay (helllllooo strange, expensive, and/or useless gifts to jay from student's parents you may just buy our house some vintage glass doorknobs...)

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

First off, yes you are fighting a losing battle. Technology has ruined by children. The girl is best at finding alternatives because she's a great reader. The boys are at a complete loss without their electronics. I tried to persuade the two left at home to go XC skiing with me today to no avail. They're a pitiful lot.

And just for the record, I think I need to give up my day job and spend more quality time thrifting. Dang -- you're good!

Run Lori Run said...

This is the exact conversation we've been having at my house this week. My daughter's phone broke a few days ago and she therefore couldn't text and I thought she was going to have a meltdown. She was completely unable to cope. I have started seeing technology as an addiction, something that I need to limit as she is losing interest in the other things that used to occupy her time. I have a friend who only lets her daughter use technology on weekends...but she says her daughter spends the whole weekend in her room. Whats the solution?

The WoodLand School said...

I love all this randomness!

I was thinking of you this week as I devoured Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Good glory -- have you read it?!?! Wow ...