square eyes

January 8, 2011

family life

the boys are refusing to go anywhere. they have had a busy year. the mere suggestion that they may have to go somewhere, and they dig in their heels, it takes two hours for them to get ready and they whinge the whole time. they are usually one-venue kids at the best of times, but at the moment they are no-venue kids.

i wonder aloud if they are going to be sitting at home with their mum on a saturday night when they are adolescents, instead of going to the nightclub. middle son says “in your dreams mum”, eldest son asks “what’s a nightclub?”

the boys spent a scorching afternoon watching the adventures of the monkey king, sandy, pigsy, and tripitaka on the television. “monkey magic, monkey magic” that old familiar tune wafts out of the loungroom at the start of each episode.

we have a small analogue tv, and a computer. there is no wii, nintendo ds, x-box, or playstation. people ask us how we managed to avoid all of those contraptions. we look at them, incredulous, and reply that we refuse to buy them. it’s amazing how kid’s stop asking when they are refused about a thousand times.

the in-laws offered to buy our poor deprived kids a wii for Christmas. i declined without a hint of hesitation, saying that the kids don’t need any further incentives to jump around the loungeroom, we have a backyard for that. the in-laws  bought a wii for themselves, and oddly enough the kids aren’t interested in it.

the boys spend some bonding time with their dad, watching him play Assassin’s Creed, which sounds gruesome but isn’t too bad, and appeals to their interest in history and espionage.

what i can’t stand is the free-to-air channels which have kid’s shows all day and night. the kids want to park their butts on the lounge and their brains somewhere else entirely and stare at the screen, and every half hour the view changes.

if they are going to watch television, i insist that it’s a movie. i love that they love the Hayao Miyazaki films, every scene is hand-coloured, and the themes are of spirituality and the relationships between humans and nature. and they are bizarre, it gives the kids something to think about. they might as well be cogitating and ruminating whilst they are hibernating and vegetating.

some days i declare a ‘no-screen day’. the kids declare that i am the mother from hell, and they draw and paint, scooter, play games, and interact with each other the whole day long.

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About hakea

groupworker, parent educator, therapist, mother of three boys.

View all posts by hakea


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