Jan 3, 2008

You're Both Going To Bed? Promise?!

Kellan from On the Upside wrote about a Saturday afternoon drive with her kids which made me giggle. If you haven't read it, you should do so now. I'll wait here. Really, go...!

[....waiting patiently....]

You're back? Yeah, I know, she's funny!

Yesterday at bedtime, my boys were told that today would be an electronics free day. Meaning a day without access to electronic toys, including the computer, their beloved DS consoles, the playstation, the television, etc. Today would be a day of good old-fashioned playing.

Our poor neighbours likely thought we'd sentenced our kids to 20 years of daily showering, judging from the whines, wails and heartfelt sobs echoing from our house when we broke the news to the boys.

But honestly, we were not trying to be cruel and unjust. We only wanted the children to take a break from all the electronic games they've been playing over the holidays. Heck, we even took them downhill skiing today - a wholesome, family friendly outdoor activity. No electronics required.

But we've been back from the slopes for a few hours now, and, quite frankly, my kids are driving me crazy. They apparently have no clue how to entertain themselves without electronic stimuli. At this very moment, my eldest is lying on a couch, stroking his hair, staring absent-mindedly into space. I can hear my youngest out in the kitchen, doing something with tape and glue that I am sure I will end up cleaning up.

Granted, most of their toys are in Canada, but in the short months we have been in Norway, they have managed to accumulate a respectable amount of playing things. You might think they could figure out how to sit down and play a quiet game of Monopoly, Uno or Scrabble? But noooooo....

Mike even dragged out an electric experiments kit which held their attention for...I dunno...5 seconds, before the kids left him to his own devices.

And while Mike was making sad magnetic fields all alone, the boys could only come up with a ridiculously silly game they've oddly named 'Meditating', which consists of whopping each other with pillows until Christopher falls off the bed and cries foul.

I suggested to the boys that they ask friends over, but they both refused. It is evidently impossible - or impossibly lame, more likely - to have other kids visiting without being allowed to play any electronic games.

So they've booked play dates for tomorrow instead. Because tomorrow has electronic privileges.

But wait - there's a silver lining! Benjamin just proclaimed with glee that it'll be tomorrow in only 3 hours, prompting Christopher to pipe up that he was going to sleep. And with that, they both decided to go to bed!

Soooooo.....it's 9 pm, and my boys are in bed. We’re celebrating with a bottle of red and some cheese, 'cause I think we may be on to something here...

Cheers and happy Thursday!

28 comments:

Steph said...

Yep, you're definitely on to something! Although, with my kids being only 3 and 6, I cherish the time that they are zoned out watching Arthur or Dora on TV :)

Rima said...

How funny that they opted to turn in rather than endure another hour of electronics free existence! Hopefully they won't be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow! And what the heck was Christopher doing with tape AND glue?

On the few occasions that I've taken away the V-meister's TV privileges, I've felt the acute pain of shooting myself in my own foot.

Dawn said...

That is really funny. I didn't let my kids watch t.v. yesterday and there was a lot of whining about that. I was happy when they went to bed.

Professor J said...

I like the idea of an electronics free day. Frankly, just a few hours without the noise of the disney channel would be heavenly.

Jennifer said...

Voluntary bedtime? Whee!

Tape and glue, eh? Uh-oh... ;)

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Too cute!!! Maybe if I go to bed now, it will be February and CJ will be home!!

Think that will work??

Hallie

Laura said...

I can relate!!!!

Happy new year!

Stomper Girl said...

I think we could get through maybe half a day on this idea because train sets and lego are still so attractive to my kids. Maybe I should try it? Wait. Does it mean I wouldn't be allowed on the computer too though? Hmm, maybe not then ;-)

Lisa @ Take90West said...

That sounds like a great plan!
But I think I'm afraid to actually try it because I am not very tolerant of tape and glue messes that need to be cleaned up!

Just Seeking said...

My daughter, O, is the queen of tape and glue combinations! in fact, she's the queen of anything messy like that. When I see her doing something like that, I walk over with a bit of glitter or paper or something that I think will allow her creativity to continue but will leave less of a mess for me! What did he make anyway?
I'm proud of you for doing an electronic free day. Maybe if you did them more frequently, they'd get used to it? and maybe even like it? hmm... but those easy to bed moments would be hard to pass up!

Kellan said...

Hey - thanks for pointing to me in your opening - very nice and very cool! I know this feeling - as I type right now, my son is downstairs in the family room with his friend Matt playing some XBox or Guitar Hero - I don't know what - but I couldn't be happier!!!! These kids live in such a different world! Have a good evening Heidi - I'll see you tomorrow. Kellan (girls have a baketball game at 7:00 - I better get busy making dinner).

Amy Y said...

My kids could not live without electronic entertainment...
Sigh.

Aliki2006 said...

A world without electronic entertainment--imagine that!

When I was younger I fantasized about playing lots of cool board games for hours with my future kids. Of course now we never make it past the first five minutes.

suburbancorrespondent said...

The electronics entertainment scene is definitely a double-edged sword. Just pray you don't have a power outage.

Ree said...

Sometimes, when there's no electronic activity around here, my wish is a good old-fashioned head cold and a shitload of Benadryl ;-)

jennwa said...

We have no screen days too. I know it is good for the kids but it is like torture for me. It is sad how hard it is for them to entertain themselves without "screens". My kids would not go to bed, it is too much fun for them to torture me.

hokgardner said...

Every once in a while, I declare our house a tv-free zone. The girls complain for a while, but then they disappear into their room and make a glorious mess of their toys for a few hours. We're going to have to have a few of those days as we approach the end of winter break. They've become far too used to watching tv over the holidays.

MamaGeek said...

You are SO onto something! What a clever idea.

Gina said...

Ahhh, playdates and no electronics on every alternating day should do the trick! ;)

theotherbear said...

Hahaha - they would rather go to bed than play without electronics. That is truly funny and sad.

shay said...

We do that sometimes too. We've found that it actually take them two days to detox and figure out how to use their imaginations again. I can't usually last that long however...

Oh and cool about wanting to run 15 km. The farthest I've run is 13 so 15 would be huge for me too. I was wondering about a half marathon but it kind of scares me.

Mountain Dweller said...

I know what you mean. I try and limit electronic time too and am always met with "I don't know what to do" despite the fact that they've got stacks of other toys. Glad to hear that you managed to come out on top!

another good thing said...

HAH! Love ut! our school does TV FREE WEEK. My kids figured out how to watch TV on the computer. Gotta love ingenuity.

the dragonfly said...

Meditating??!?!??!?

*hysterical laughter*

But I totally get it. Today the Sergeant and I were talking about tv, and he talked about getting a tv for the Little Mister's room someday.

Ummm..no.

Besides, he's only six months old.

Sue said...

That is hilarious AND awesome. It's like when the power goes out - you might as well go to bed because there is nothing else to do. Hilarious.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Ha ha ha, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who is evil enough to take away electronic entertainments. I needed to read this today.

Kathryn said...

HAHA! Those funny boys. Rather go to bed than think of something constructive to do. Ya gotta love a kid like that. ;)

ALM said...

Thanks for the idea! I'm trying it tomorrow! (In bed voluntarily by 9 pm... imagine that...)